Best apple orchards in Albany

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Best of the Capital Region


Scott Seeberger, co-owner of Windy Hill Orchard, shows some of the McIntosh apples at the Castleton farm. 

Paul Buckowski/Times Union

Autumn in upstate New York is magical: The air is crisp. Layers, often with a bit of flannel in the mix, re-appear. Thoughts turn to football and bonfires. And cravings for all things apple and pumpkin kick in.

That means now is the time to head to a local orchard. For seven years, we’ve asked readers to nominate and vote for their favorite apple orchard in our annual Best of the Capital Region reader poll. For seven years, Indian Ladder Farms has come out on top — but it’s a category with some good competition.

Here’s a rundown of the winners, starting with the 2022 finalists. Looking for other fall adventures? We have comprehensive guides to you-pick apple orchards and apple cider doughnuts, and weekly updates on the fall foliage report.

More: See all of the 2022 Best of the Capital Region winners. | Sign up for the Best of the Capital Region newsletter.

BEST OF THE CAPITAL REGION

Indian Ladder Farms

2022: Winner


Cailey Heffley of Glenmont holds her daughter Fiona, 4 mos., who’s tasting an apple, as her other daughter Elly, 3, finds a low hanging apple while apple picking at Indian Ladder Farms on Monday, Sept. 27, 2021 in Altamont, N.Y.

Cailey Heffley of Glenmont holds her daughter Fiona as her other daughter, Elly, finds a low-hanging apple while apple picking in 2021 at Indian Ladder Farms in Altamont.

Lori Van Buren/Times Union

Best apple orchard: First place in 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016

Best doughnuts: Second place in 2022

Best local brewery: Third place in 2022; runner-up in 2021

Best outing with your kids: First place in 2021; third place in 2020

Address: 342 Altamont Road, Altamont

Phone: 518-765-2956

Website: indianladderfarms.com 



BEST OF THE CAPITAL REGION

Bowman Orchards

2022: Second place


Families make their way around Bowman Orchards on Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, in Rexford, N.Y. Sunday was the 25th Annual Clifton Park Farm Fest, with various farms taking part in the event. (Paul Buckowski/Times Union)

Families make their way around Bowman Orchards in 2018 in Rexford.

Paul Buckowski/Times Union

Best apple orchard: Second place in 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018 and 2016; third place in 2017

Address: 147 Sugar Hill Road, Rexford

Phone: 518-371-2042

Website: bowmanorchards.com



BEST OF THE CAPITAL REGION

Golden Harvest Farms

2022: Third place


Apple orchard at Golden Harvest Farms on Friday, Sept. 2, 2022 in Valatie, N.Y.

An apple orchard at Golden Harvest Farms in Valatie.

Lori Van Buren/Times Union

Best apple orchard: Third place in 2022, 2020 and 2019; runner-up in 2021, 2018, 2017 and 2016

In the Hudson Valley’s Best contest, Golden Harvest placed second for best cidery and third for best orchard.

Address: 3074 Route 9, Valatie

Phone: 518-758-7683

Website: goldenharvestfarms.com


BEST OF THE CAPITAL REGION

Lakeside Farms

2022: Runner-up


Lakeside Farms in Ballston Lake touts itself as home to the original apple cider doughnut.

Lakeside Farms in Ballston Lake.

Photos by Sara Tracey

Best apple orchard: Runner-up in 2022 and 2020

Address: 336 Schauber Road, Ballston Lake

Phone: 518-399-8359

Website: lakesidefarmscidermill.com



BEST OF THE CAPITAL REGION

Windy Hill Orchard East

2022: Runner-up


Scott Seeberger, co-owner of Windy Hill Orchard, walks down a row of his Mcintosh apple trees on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022, in Castleton, N.Y. (Paul Buckowski/Times Union)

Scott Seeberger, co-owner of Windy Hill Orchard, walks down a row of his Mcintosh apple trees in Castleton.

Paul Buckowski/Albany Times Union

Best apple orchard: Runner-up in 2022 and 2021

Address: 1297 Brookview Station Road, Castleton

Phone: 518-732-7753

Website: facebook.com/windyhillorchardnyeast/



BEST OF THE CAPITAL REGION

Altamont Orchards


Best apple orchard: Runner-up in 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016

Address: 6654 Dunnsville Road, Altamont

Phone: 518-861-6515

Website: altamontorchards.com



BEST OF THE CAPITAL REGION

Saratoga Apple Orchard & Farm Stand


Grace Donahue, 11 months, of Queensbury sinks her tiny teeth into an apple at the Saratoga Apple Farm on Monday, Sept. 24, 2018, in Schuylerville, N.Y. (Skip Dickstein/Times Union)

Grace Donahue, 11 months, of Queensbury sinks her teeth into an apple at Saratoga Apple Farm in Schuylerville in 2018.

Skip Dickstein/Times Union

Best apple orchard: Runner-up in 2019

Address: 1174 State Route 29, Schuylerville

Phone: 518-695-3131

Website: saratogaapple.com


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