Where can you go apple picking with your dog? A few more places than you might think in Southern Ontario, Canada. Considering there aren’t many places we can go at all right now, let alone with the pups, pick-your-own-apple farms with trails and corn mazes might be one answer to all the pet festivals we’re missing in 2020.
Needing time away from the screen, I headed outdoors – somewhere I hadn’t been much since losing my precious Victor two months ago. I’m fortunate to live in an area equal distance from the biggest city in Canada and expanse of rural landscape is a short drive away.
To the apple orchard it is.
Literally. The Apple Orchard Inc. along Highway #6 outside of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Not only does this farm have rows and rows of 30 varieties of apples (and some pears) but also a small field of sunflowers, haybales to jump on, wagon rides, walking trails, miniature ponies to visit and a corn maze to explore. The whole place is set up for eco-tourism, so you’re not tramping through a working farm as we did in along The Apple Pie Trail last year. You’re here to play.
It’s family-friendly set-up – and this family includes dogs. The homepage of the website announces its dog-friendly (on leash) status. Bring your pets to The Apple Orchard, they’ll love it especially during the week when there’s less people, lots of room and a surprising number of pups.
Depending on type, apples ripen between early September to late October. Pears were gone by the third week in September and sunflowers going to seed (but still potential for interesting photos). Kids poised on tractors for pictures, jumped on haybales (during the week) and looked for garden gnome scattered through the woods and in the creek (a nice touch).
One thing I never took my dog Victor to is a corn maze – the ones we’ve encountered previously prohibited dogs. Not here. Dogs can roam The Apple Orchard’s corn maze, along with the wooded trails surrounding the fun zone.
And yes, you can take home bags of apples too. Pay by the pound – admission ranges from $5 to $7. Open Thursday to Monday, 9 am to 5 pm.
Where else can you take the dog apple picking? Here’s a list:
Ancaster, Ontario: Carluke Orchards, 2194 Shaver Road South, Ancaster
Carluke Orchards is a country store open all year (expect January) and everyday (except Mondays) offering apple picking in the fall. Dogs allowed on leashes. Admission free.
Beamsville, Ontario: Windwood Farms, 4198 King Street, Beamsville
Authentic farm experience at Windwood Farms. Apples in the fall and other vegetables earlier in the season. No kids’ games, climbers or rides. Open weekends only. 10 am to 4 pm. Dogs allowed on leashes. Admission free. (Oct 3 and 4 will be the final days open in 2020).
Brampton, Ontario: Carl Laidlaw Orchards, 9496 Heritage Road, Brampton.
Participate in apple and pear picking at Carl Laidlaw Orchards September and October, 9 am to 5 pm Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Wagon rides and hay barn and apple pie. Dogs are allowed on leashes. Admission is $7.75.
Brantford, Ontario: Brantwood Farms, 251 Powerline Road, Brantford
Brantwood Farms celebrates the apple season a little differently by hosting a Fall Festival. Pick your own apples and enjoy corn maze, hay castle, peddle carts and a haunted barn, Saturdays and Sundays in October. Advanced tickets for specific days are $13. Dogs are allowed on leash.
Halton Hills, Ontario: Chudleighs, 9528 Regional Road #25, Halton Hills
Apple picking on Chudleighs‘ 60-acre farm with a play area for kids, nature hiking trails, farm animal. Dogs allowed on leashes. Advanced tickets for time slots only. $15.
Hamilton, Ontario: The Apple Orchard Inc. 1668 Highway 6, Hamilton
Designed specifically for family fun, in addition to rows of apples ready for picking September and October, there’s a sunflower garden, creek, corn maze, wagon rides and ponies at The Apple Orchard Inc. Open Wednesday to Sunday, 9 am to 5 pm. Dogs allowed on leashes. Admission is $5 to $8.
King City, Ontario: Pine Farms Orchard, 2700 16th Side Road, King City
Apple picking in a farm environment minutes from Canada’s Wonderland at Pine Farms Orchard. Twenty-one varieties of apples, bakeshop and café. Open Monday to Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm. Dogs on leash permitted. Admission $5.
Stoney Creek, Ontario: Luna Farms, 661 8th Road E, Stoney Creek
Luna Farms is a working farm growing apples, plums and grapes along the Niagara Region Escarpment. Come here to pick apples every day of the week 9 am to 4 pm. Dogs are permitted on leash.
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