Summer may be over, and we all know winter is coming, but for this brief, glorious moment in time we have fall, and fall in Michigan means it’s cider mill season! Oakland County contains a bounty of farmland and there are many different orchards and cider mills that you can spend a crisp fall afternoon at with the family. Here is our list of all the orchards and mills in Oakland County where you can enjoy cider, donuts, and the splendor of fall in metro Detroit!
Franklin Cider Mill, Bloomfield Hills
Call it an “urban” cider mill, if you want—tucked away in a wooded corner of Bloomfield Hills, yet only a ten-minute drive to the Somerset Collection and the 696 expressway, the Franklin Cider Mill is a cider mill experience close to home for when the hour-long drive out to the countryside farmland just isn’t in the cards. There is no u-pick orchard, but the all-Michigan apples are pressed on a historic press that dates back to 1837. Their cider is not filtered or pasteurized and contains zero preservatives, so it’s about as real as cider gets. The store is small but jam-packed with delicious products, including local jams and honeys, candy and caramel apples, fresh made-from-scratch pies, and their classic cinnamon spice cake donuts made from an old German recipe brought to this country generations ago.
Long Family Orchard and Farm, Commerce
This family farm grows sweet corn, peas, asparagus, garden vegetables, pumpkins, and, of course, a variety of apples. The apple orchard is open for u-pick apples, as is the pumpkin patch, or you can just stop in the farmhouse and grab bags of pre-picked apples as well as pumpkins in addition to some fresh-squeezed cider, hot cider donuts, and local honeys, butters, jams, and breads. On weekends you can take a hayride out to the orchard to pick your own apples!
Bonadeo Farms, Highland
If you like your cider and donuts with a side of hauntings, Bonadeo Farms is the orchard and cider mill for you! They’re all about the outdoor fall fun at Bonadeo, and a trip out to the farm is a whole day’s worth of adventure. Pick your own pumpkins, wander the corn maze, take a wagon ride, and enjoy some pasteurized cider hot, cold, or in slushy form. They also have hot, fresh cider donuts you can watch being made right in front of you. At night things get a little spookier when the haunted house opens and the corn maze becomes haunted.
Diehl’s Orchard & Cider Mill, Holly
Diehl’s is a destination for family fun in the fall. There’s a playground with playscape, a hay maze, a kiddie maze, a bird coop, nature viewing at the pond, a corn maze, hiking through the apple orchard (but please no helping yourself to the apples), pony rides and hayrides on weekends, and of course fresh-made non-pasteurized cider and hot cider donuts as well as caramel apples, fudge, and pies.
Parmenter’s Northville Cider Mill, Northville
Parmenter’s isn’t just your typical old-fashioned cider mill: for the grown-ups, they also have hard cider, beer, and wine, all made on-site at the Northville Winery & Brewing Co. On weekends at the cider mill you can watch cider being pressed and visit the Nut Hut and the Fudge Hut for fresh-made cinnamon roasted almonds and fudge, chow down on some hot dogs and kielbasa, get a cider slushy, and enjoy the usual hot, fresh donuts. At the winery and brewery, they also have live music and food trucks on weekends. This “urban” cider mill is fun for the WHOLE family!
Ashton Orchards, Ortonville
If you’re looking for the real deal out-in-the-country orchard experience, head to Ashton Orchards. They sell their own apples, peaches, plums, pears, sweet corn, pumpkins, and other vegetables, and also make their own donuts, pies, breads, pastries, caramel apples, and applesauce on-site in their bakery. Cider is made fresh from their own orchard apples and non-pasteurized for the pure, old-world taste.
Goodison Cider Mill, Rochester
If you haven’t had the “world-famous” pistachio nut break from Goodison Cider Mill yet, it’s time you made the trek. Located just a quarter mile from the Paint Creek Cider Mill (which is more of a fast-casual/BBQ joint now), Goodison has pasteurized cider pressed on a century-old press; homemade donuts, pies, caramels, and other treats; plus that pistachio nut bread. On Sundays there’s bouncy houses for the kids and live bluegrass music. There’s also a play area open seven days a week, and it’s located just off the Paint Creek Trail so you can bike over.
Paint Creek Cider Mill, Rochester
Though still a cider mill by name, Paint Creek is also a full-fledged from-scratch eatery, and it’s still well worth the trek. They smoke all their own meats and make everything in-house, including their applewood-smoked pulled pork mac and cheese, house-made pizza dough, hand-pressed burgers with homemade bacon jam, house-brined corned beef, house-smoked bacon, ribs, and brisket. (They also serve a killer meatball sub on their own fresh-baked bread, for what it’s worth.) Oh, and don’t worry—they still make their own fresh, hot cider donuts to go with their own fresh cider, made with all Michigan apples pressed on-site or by Blake’s. This is also located right off the Paint Creek Trail, so why not make it a cider mill dinner and dessert crawl?
Rochester Cider Mill, Rochester
For a day of family fun with the little ones, head to the Rochester Cider Mill. Kids can feed and pet the animals in the petting farm, ride the pumpkin and apple slides, play on the straw pyramid, and push tractors in the corn box. For history lovers, they also have a wall of antique farm tools on display. They press non-pasteurized cider every Saturday and Sunday morning on their 150+-year-old leather belt driver cider press and use Michigan grown apples sourced from within 50 miles of the mill. They also make a wide variety of donuts including the classic cider donut, cinnamon sugar, blueberry, apple cinnamon with maple glaze, chocolate frosted with scary sprinkles, as well as several different kinds of pie, caramel apples, and apple crisp. Additional locally-made food items are also for sale, as are decorative fall produce like pumpkins, gourds, Indian corn, hay, and straw.
Yates Cider Mill, Rochester Hills
Michigan’s number one cider mill has been open since 1863 and serves pasteurized cider; fresh-made pies, crisps, turnovers, and cookies baked right there at their bakery; fresh fudge made in front of your eyes at the on-site Frankenmuth Fudge Shoppe; 20 flavors of ice cream and a variety of ice cream treats including their signature donut sundae; and hot-off-the-grill Dearborn Brand hot dogs and knockwurst. The historic mill also has a petting zoo, pony rides, a picnic area, and a half-mile-long scenic river walk.
Erwin Orchards U-Pick, South Lyon
If the cider mill experience is all about the u-pick apple orchard and pumpkin patch for you, then Erwin Orchards is your spot. You can also pick your own red and yellow raspberries! In addition to the u-pick experience, Erwin Orchards is an “agri-tainment” destination with wagon rides, target paintball, a corn maze, a goat walk, a hay and straw bale maze, a sunflower garden, and on weekends they also have a trike trail, petting farm, live acoustic folk rock, and fresh popped kettle corn. And, of course, there is cider made from their own apples and pressed by their award-winning Master Cider Maker, as well as five varieties of donuts made fresh daily including apple spice plain (the classic), pumpkin glaze, and salted caramel.