Apple Orchards & Patches
by Mikayla Peters
Have some down-on-the farm family fun while picking fresh apples and pumpkins at area apple orchards. Pick out your own jack-o’-lantern or find the perfect apple for your pies at the wide range of farms offered in and around the La Crosse area! Find the freshest fruit right off the tree or vine as you enjoy the outdoors, the fresh air, and the sunshine. Whether you want a hay ride, a cup of fresh-made cider, or a delicious caramel apple, there’s an orchard for you!
Southwind apples are grown on the choice hillsides of a broad, deep valley near the town of Dakota, which nestles on the banks of the Mississippi River. Here, their roots lie deep in the wind-driven loess soil that blankets a deep deposit of limestone rock. Kissed by the dew and mist from the Mississippi, they spend long hours bathing in the sun, gently ripening to full-bodied goodness.
Near the border between Wisconsin and Minnesota is the wonderful La Crescent, Minnesota. Leidel has been in the family for 6 generation (since 1854). They offer a wonderful selection of caramel apples, locally grown apples, and sweet treats at their stand.
Located just five miles east of La Crosse, Wisconsin on Highway 16, Hidden Trails Corn Maze is just a short drive from anywhere in the tri-state area. Getting lost in the maze is fun, but there is also plenty of other activities that include pumpkin patches, wagon rides, farm animals, and more!
Home of the RiverBelle and Pazazz apples with plenty more kinds of apples and pumpkins, Shefelbine is a family-owned pick-your-own operation located in the beautiful Holmen Countryside.
For over 20 years, Van Lin has served the wonderful La Crescent community with their wide variety of apples. During Apple Fest in La Crescent, Van Lin offers apple orchard tours. In September, you can see how they pick, package, and store their apples.
With over 30 types of apples, including the newest developments from the University of Minnesota, Hoch Orchard is well worth the drive! While there, you could take a tour of the organic pollinator planting. Hoch Orchard and Gardens is open for strawberries, cherries, raspberries, blueberries, apricots, plums, and blackberries. With a certification as organic, this family farm is the place to go! Just a short drive over to La Crescent for a juicy apple!
For apples and blueberries, it’s Ecker’s Farm, located in gorgeous Trempealeau, Wisconsin. With over 20 kinds of apples, a John Deere train, a Honeycrisp Express, bee hive, and peaches, there’s something for everyone! Stop by to pick up a scratch-made apple pie at their market, or walk the orchard rows and pick your own.
For over 100 years, Sacia has been in Galesville, Wisconsin. With their own Amrket and Bakery serving the sweetest treats made from their apples, local honey, maple syrup, salsa, penny candy and more, there’s something for everyone at Wisconsin’s oldest and second-largets apple orchard!
This family-owned and operated farm allows people to pick their own apples. Whether you’re looking for delicious baked goods, a wagon ride up into the orchard, a play area for the kids, or a visit with farm animals, Ferguson’s Orchard is the place for you!
From a 40-foot observation tower, you can see the beautiful scenery of the apple orchard spread before you. For the kids, there’s a hay mountain and tire gym slide. In the store, you can find apples, homemade apple cider donuts, caramel apples, cider, and more! Located along the “Amish-Country” trail in Cashton (between Sparta and Viroqua), the drive is less than a half hour from La Crosse!
In Health, Recreation, & Outdoors, YMCA and Smith's Cycling & Fitness won best fitness center and best bike shop, respectively, in landslides, while All Star Lanes and Pettibone Boat Club took best bowling alley and best boat harbor by narrow margins....