Apples to apples


Story by Bridget Cooke

Looking to do some apple picking this fall but have no clue where to start?  Well consider this your guide to apple picking in the Eau Claire area. Make sure you get out there in the next couple weeks, before the apple picking season ends.

Ferguson’s Orchard — 6470 Balsam Rd., Eau Claire 715-830-9370

This 120-acre apple tree orchard opened to the public in 2011. There is plenty of space for apple picking or
browsing through the large pumpkin patch to take one home to carve for Halloween. There is also a store in the old dairy barn on the property that offers a selection of different apples and candy varieties for purchase. This year is the 10-year anniversary for the orchard and the owners are offering even more attractions, including an expansion to the play area with a tractor pedal course, a large corn maze and even barnyard animals. There are wagon rides and a haunted house being offered.

Connell’s Orchard — 19372 Cty Hwy OO,
Chippewa Falls , 715-723-5119

This orchard not only offers apple picking, but also has a variety of berries and melons available throughout the seasons. There are freshly grown vegetables and plants for sale, including shrubbery and flowers. The area is also used to give farm tours and wagon rides to visitors and houses a bakery. There is ice cream available as well.

J&K Orchard — 19947 Cty Hwy J, Chippewa Falls, 715-720-1663

Usually, the Autumn Harvest Winery provides apple picking of many varieties at its adjoining orchard. However, due to frost in the spring, pick-your-own apples are not available. They are staying open for wine sales, though. There is a tasting room on the property that allows visitors to sample a variety of wines, including apple and fruit flavors. The orchard has preserved jams as well as apple butters for purchase.

Bushel and A Peck Orchard — 18444 Cty Hwy OO, Chippewa Falls, 715-723-0133

This orchard’s trees were planted nearly a century ago. Located on a scenic ridge separating Chippewa River Valley and Eau Claire River Valley, this plot offers 30 varieties of apples and pears and currants are for sale. With a bakery on site, guests can purchase fresh apple turnovers while enjoying a cup of cider. There are also crafts and a gift shop for visitors. Pumpkins and gourds are for sale
on-location as well.