CT orchard named one of the best apple picking farms in the U.S.


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Of all the apple orchards in Connecticut to choose from, one farm in Middlefield was listed as one of the nation’s best.

To compile its 2022 list of “Top 25 apple picking spots in the U.S.,” Yelp looked at businesses with a large percentage of reviews mentioning “apple picking” and ranked them using multiple factors like total volume and ratings of reviews mentioning the term. The website also excluded businesses on its 2021 list.

Lyman Orchards’ rating on Yelp is four out of five stars, and many reviewers mentioned its apple cider donuts, corn maze and a wide array of pick-your-own fruit options. In 2022 and 2021, CT Magazine readers voted the orchard for the state’s best pick-your-own farm.

“We’re honored to be recognized,” John Lyman, executive vice president of Lyman Orchards, said. “We’ve got a really nice apple crop and pumpkin season is just starting, so we’re pretty excited.” 

The orchard has been operating since 1741 and is the 12th-oldest family-owned business in the country, according to its website. The orchards’ features include Apple Barrel farm market, 1741 Pub & Grill restaurant and multiple golf courses.

The orchard’s four-acre corn maze is taking the shape of Benjamin Franklin and is open from Sept. 3 to Nov. 6. The orchard is also offering Horse-Drawn Hayrides up until Oct. 31 and is bringing back its interactive haunted trail starting Sept. 30.

This isn’t the first accolade Lyman Orchards has earned. In 2021, Reader’s Digest named the orchard the best in the state. Along with the best pick-your-own farm ranking, CT Magazine readers also nominated the orchard for Best Pie in 2021.

The rating comes after Connecticut orchards surmounted impacts of the summer drought and the state’s hottest August on record. As a result of the dry conditions, apples are expected to be smaller and sweeter due to higher sugar concentrations.

Lyman Orchards experienced dry conditions in July and smaller apples, but the post-Labor Day rainstorm helped alleviate the worst of the drought, Lyman said.