Carter Hill Orchard: Appley fun for the whole family

Apart from apples, pumpkins, cider and baked goods, Carter Hill Orchard also offers some stunning views and walking trails, so you can make a whole day out of visiting the orchard with the family. JON BODELL / Insider staff
Apart from apples, pumpkins, cider and baked goods, Carter Hill Orchard also offers some stunning views and walking trails, so you can make a whole day out of visiting the orchard with the family. JON BODELL / Insider staff
Apart from apples, pumpkins, cider and baked goods, Carter Hill Orchard also offers some stunning views and walking trails, so you can make a whole day out of visiting the orchard with the family. JON BODELL / Insider staff
Apart from apples, pumpkins, cider and baked goods, Carter Hill Orchard also offers some stunning views and walking trails, so you can make a whole day out of visiting the orchard with the family. JON BODELL / Insider staff

Concord’s two pick-your-own apple farms have a lot in common – obviously, you can pick apples at either location – but there’s plenty that makes each place unique. At Carter Hill Orchard, tucked away at 73 Carter Hill Road, there’s a lot to do beyond picking apples.

One of the highlights of Carter Hill is the raptor observatory platform. This high perch next to the farmstand is often full of avid bird watchers with their cameras and binoculars. From this vantage point you can see for miles and miles, and birds of prey are always circling overhead. Even if you’re not a birder, it’s worth hiking up the stairs to get a view of all the stunning scenery surrounding the orchard.

Speaking of hiking, you can do that at Carter Hill, too. The orchard property is part of the city’s trail system – a 7.5 mile trail runs from the back side of the orchard all the way to the bike path at the Audubon. The trail is open all year, so you can even take a snowshoe walk if you want. If you’re not sure where exactly to go, there are signs at the orchard directing you to the trail, and anyone working there would be happy to point you in the right direction as well.

For the little ones who might not be down for a 7.5-mile stroll through the woods, there’s a big playground right out front featuring a huge sandbox, all kinds of little ride-on toys, toy lawnmowers, a playhouse, slides and a very popular tire swing. This is a perfect spot to let the kids burn off a little energy while you sit back and enjoy some of Carter Hill’s famous apple cider donuts, which are made all throughout the day – get them while they’re hot!

You can make Carter Hill your one-stop shop for all things fall if you want to – pick some apples, pick out a pumpkin, grab a pie and even shop for a nice scarecrow for the front porch.

If the donuts are the most popular treat at Carter Hill, the cider has to be right there at No. 2. The orchard started New Hampshire Cider Works in 2006 and has been churning out hundreds of gallons of the sweet drink ever since. The cider is made right there on site using their own hand-picked apples chosen specifically for cider.

If you want to take a little tour of the property – without having to walk and lug all those apples around with you – you can hop on a wagon ride at any point during the day. Pulled by a tractor, the wagon rides are a fun way to take in all the orchard has to offer – plus you’ll have time to munch on some apples or sip some fresh cider.

Honeycrisp, mac and gala apples will all be ready for picking by the time you read this, with many more coming in the near future.

For much more info, go to carterhillapples.com.

Author: Jon Bodell

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