Fall Fun Around Washtenaw | Cider mills, orchards, farm stops, markets, and more

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Fall is here with tons of fun things to do and places to visit. Here’s a list.

Farmers Markets

Rhuligs Country Market: (11296 Island Lake Rd, Dexter) In its 41st year, this family-owned market offers fresh produce from the family farm. Hours: Sat & Sun 10-6.

Dexter Farmers Market: The Dexter Farmers Market is located in Downtown Dexter next to the Dexter District Library and Mill Creek Park. Products available: Fruits, vegetables, herbs, jams, baked goods, flowers, plants, and handmade crafts. May-Oct hours: Tue 2-6 pm, Sat 8-1 pm. Nov-Apr begins the Winter Marketplace. Check website for details.

Chelsea Farmers Market: Located in downtown Chelsea offering Food: fresh Vegetables and Fruit (organic available), Meat, Seafood, Poultry and Eggs, fresh-baked Bread & Sweets, Honey, Herbs, Jams, Cheese and Yogurt, and Maple Syrup Plants, Shrubs and Trees, Flowers Local artisan goods of all kinds - candles, jewelry, pottery and more. May-Oct hours: Wed 1-5 pm corner of Main and Old US 12, Sat 8-1 pm downtown. Winter Marketplace Nov-Dec. Check website for details.

Saline Farmers Market (S Ann Arbor St in downtown) Features fresh produce, plants, and flowers from local growers, specialty items such as jams, honey, baked goods, local cheeses, meats, maple syrup, coffee, seasonal corn stalks, Indian corn, wreaths, crafts and more. Hours: Sat 8-noon May-Oct. Winter Marketplace Nov-Apr. Check website for details.

Ann Arbor Farmers Market (Downtown near Kerrytown) A big year-round market with more than 100 vendors featuring farm-fresh produce, native plants, artisanal yogurt, cheese, baked goods, coffee, and more. Many craft vendors also display their artwork for sale. Visit the website for more details on vendors, online ordering, and curbside pick-up.

Farm Stops

Agricole Farm Stop (118 N Main St, Chelsea) Agricole is a farm market open seven days year-round. Local food suppliers set their own prices and receive 75% of the sale price for their meat, dairy, produce, baked goods, and other products. A fully equipped espresso bar serves RoosRoast coffee.

Vestergaard Farms (4408 S Wagner Rd, Ann Arbor) One of the newer farm stops in the area featuring their own meats raised free of hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, or fertilizer. In addition to beef, chicken, and pork, items such as baked goods, preserves, and other sundries are available.

White Lotus Farms (online ordering during Covid restrictions) White Lotus offers an amazing variety of meats, cheeses, baked goods, dairy, desserts & sweets, skincare products, and more. Visit their website for more details of their product line.

Acorn Farmers Market and Café (327 W Main St, Manchester) When the local grocery store closed, the community of Manchester united with 336 supporters donating $55,880 helping Acorn receive a matching grant of $50K from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. The farm stop offers a wide variety of meats, vegetables, baked goods, and more from local producers. Check their website for hours and ordering information.

Argus Farm Stop (Two Ann Arbor locations: Liberty, Packard) You’ll find locally grown produce, baked goods, cheeses, and a full line of coffee and espresso drinks. This popular farm stop takes things one step further by educating patrons on local farms. Argus also does pop-up events. See their website for store and event details.

Cider Mills & Apple Orchards

Dexter Cider Mill (3685 Central St, Dexter) At 134 years, the longest continuously running cider mill in Michigan located on the scenic banks of the Huron River, this cider mill is famous for its 5-apple cider blend, donuts, and is quickly becoming known for its crisp, clear hard cider. Lines can get long on a nice day, longer still with safety precautions, but it moves quickly. Parking can be a challenge. Check their website for auxiliary parking near the mill.

Jenny’s Farm Stand & Cider Mill (8366 Island Lake Rd, Dexter) Cider, donuts, pies, pumpkins, a ginormous hay pile to climb and slide down, antique farm equipment, and animals to pet and feed are some of the main attractions to the popular stop at the corner of Island Lake and Pinckney Roads in Dexter.

Albers Orchard & Cider Mill (13011 Bethel Church Rd, Manchester) More than 100 apple varieties, traditional and heirloom, help make Albers a special place to visit in the fall. The family-owned and operated business boasts an award-winning cider. Donuts, other treats, and crafts are also for sale.

Lesser Farms and Orchards (12651 Island Lake Rd, Dexter) Do not miss Lesser Orchards on your cider mill crawl this fall. Cool, fresh, and sweet, a truly unique cider. In addition, the store offers various apple varieties as they come into season as well as pies, homemade jams, honey, pumpkins, and other goods.

Lutz Orchard
(11039 Macon Rd, Saline) A five-generation working farm specializing in traditional and heirloom apples. The orchard is off the beaten path but well worth a visit. Typically closed Thursdays, visitors are encouraged to call ahead for open hours. Ph 734 429 5145.

Wasem Fruit Farm (6580 Judd Rd, Milan) Perhaps the largest variety of donuts of any cider mill in the area with traditional cinnamon sugar, pumpkin, apple, blueberry, and more. Apples, cider, jams, honey, and other fruits make this a popular destination for many.

Wiard’s Orchards (5565 Merritt Rd, Ypsilanti) The granddaddy of fall destinations in southeast Michigan that has it all – corn maze, hayrides, u-pick apples and pumpkins, a country fair with rides, games, and activities. The country store has your cider, apples, baked goods, and more. Check the website for ticket information.

Erwin Orchards (61475 Silver Lake Rd, South Lyon) This is another family-owned and operated farm with tons of things to do and see. Cider, donuts, apples, pumpkins, corn maze, and wagon rides. Weekends are filled with special events. Open daily 6 am – 7 pm until Nov. 1.

Pumpkins and More

The Blast Corn Maze

Wing Farms (corner of Zeeb and Ann Arbor Rds, Dexter) Wing Farms is famous for its giant pumpkins and rides out into the pumpkin patch to pick your own. Hours are Fri, Sat, Sun, 10-6 pm for the month of October.

Blast Corn Maze (6175 Daly Rd, Dexter) With 3 ½ miles of trail over ten acres, three exits provide for short, medium, or full maze fun. Hayrides, u-pick pumpkins, and treats are also available. Check website for ticket information.

Schell Family Farm (10055 Dexter-Pinckney Rd, Pinckney) A new destination in its second year of operation. The farm offers one of the widest arrays of activities which include apples, pumpkins, sunflowers, wildflowers, syrups with flavors such as walnut, maple, and hickory, Christmas trees, and a haunted forest.

Chambers Family Farm (6820 Farley Rd, Pinckney) A family-owned and operated centennial farm boasting the “Best sweet corn anywhere.” Family fun includes a corn maze, pumpkins, farm animals, and play area.

Terrified Forest (145 Swarthout Rd, Pinckney) The popular October event is thirty acres of spookiness with jump scares and boogies. Frankenstein, werewolves, zombies, and ghouls inhabit the three-quarter mile forest walk which takes about 45 minutes. There is a haunted manor that takes about 15 minutes to tour. Get there early, the line can get long. Recommended for kids twelve and over.

Wiard’s Orchard Night Terrors (5565 Merritt Rd, Ypsilanti) Wiard’s “Night Terrors” features four attractions per admission – The Haunted Barn, The Asylum, The Mindshaft, and Hayrides of the Lost.

Howell Nature Center (1005 Triangle Lake Rd, Howell) Howell Nature Center is home to Michigan’s largest rehabilitation clinic taking in around 4,000 wild animals annually from all over Michigan. The wildlife park has a variety of interesting animals to view. It is a great stop for kids with many interpretive areas and animals. The Nature Center is open 7 days a week 10-5 pm.

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