Fall. Fall up north, at that! This is a spectacular time to explore northern Michigan and, for some, the best time to try all things spiced, pumpkin, and apple. Take a look at this list of favorite pumpkin patches of the area – some offer much more than your average fall farm while others are an ongoing market.
Pond Hill Farm – Harbor Springs
Pumpkins, gnomes, and foosball, oh my! Pond Hill Farm is one of my favorite places to visit in any season but especially the fall. There is just something about the crisp autumn air and enjoying some hot apple cider while going on a hayride or picking out a pumpkin… This sounds like a typical farm in the fall, but I assure you it is not.
Pond Hill Farm is located just five miles north of downtown Harbor Springs off M 119. This makes for a great pitstop while you journey through the Tunnel of Trees – a winding scenic route with gorgeous views of Lake Michigan. Pond Hill offers all the classic fall farm festival things PLUS Pond Hill Farm wines, cider, and beer – with tasting flight options. Their café is also something you will not want to miss out on where they use farm-sourced ingredients, homemade sauces, and dressings. You’ll have to try my menu favorites: their Pesto or Margherita Pizzas – hand-tossed and made in their brick oven (vegetarian, gluten-free, and vegan pizza options available), Pepper Jelly & Cream Cheese appetizer to try their phenomenal Hot Garlic Pepper Jelly – jars of this are available for purchase in their market and do not last long in my house – think sweet with a little heat, and lastly their Spicy Peanut Noodle Salad – made with their Pond Hill Peanut Sauce & Thai Noodle Sauce! Be sure to check out their menu online for specials featuring in-season items too.
For things to do at the farm, you can expect to visit their livestock, take in beautiful panoramic views from the top of the vineyard, do some pumpkin bowling, smash a pumpkin with a large wooden mallet, and starting September 24th – Fall Fest Weekends on Saturdays and Sundays, September 24th through October 23rd. Also, new this year is their Haunted Vineyard and Friday Family Fright Nights September 30th through October 28th.
Uncle Frank’s Apple Town – Brutus
Here’s your chance to experience a real cider mill! Uncle Frank’s Apple Town is just 3 miles north of Alanson. This year will be open starting September 10th through October 30th – Thursday through Sunday. Watch as they make donuts and cider on-site! At Uncle Frank’s you can pick the pumpkin yourself from their pumpkin patch. Additionally, you can anticipate hayrides, drinking fresh pressed cider (or purchasing it to take home), and trying out their corn maze for just $5. Such a great little cider mill to take the whole family! Their donuts are absolutely to die for, made fresh on-site just like the cider. But don’t take my word for it, make time to try them for yourself. It shouldn’t be too hard as they are a quick stop on US-31 just north of Alanson.
Bill’s Farm Market – Petoskey
Bill’s Farm Market has operated on the outskirts of Petoskey for many years. Although you don’t go out into the pumpkin patch to pick it for yourself, this is a great little spot with many pumpkins to choose from. If you are with young ones or those who can’t walk far but would still like to pick out a pumpkin in a fall setting this is a great option! You can purchase not just pumpkins from Bill’s but other seasonal goodies too. Apples, squash, pie pumpkins, decorative items like corn stalks and hay bales too. A convenient stop outside of town for you to grab your fall essentials. Did I mention the view of rolling hills of fall color?
Coveyou Scenic Farm Market – Petoskey
Coveyou Scenic Farm Market is a cute little market that is inside an old barn with beautiful fall color views of Walloon Lake from their deck. In their market, you can buy not only their produce but items made in Michigan like pesto made by Black Barn Farm, Crooked Tree Breadworks products, Grand Traverse Pie Company pies, American Spoon Foods products: jams, jellies, and even Margarita & Bloody Mary mixes, and so much more.
Seasonal produce and plants? They have those too! Outside the market, you will notice a variety of plants to look through.
More Fun Things to Do
Hike A Trail with Beautiful Scenic Views – Avalanche Mountain Preserve for color and distant views of Like Charlevoix, Bear River Valley Recreation Area trails for color and the Bear River, Offield Family Viewlands for views of color, Little Traverse Bay and the Inland Waterway, the Skyline Trail in Petoskey, and MORE.
Seasonal Treats to partake in – A Pumpkin Pretzel from Petoskey Pretzel Co., a pumpkin donut from Johan’s Pastries, a fall-themed brunch at Maple + Batter in Bay Harbor – think sweet potato hash or pumpkin pancakes, grab a seasonal release from one of our local breweries or craft spirit distillery – Petoskey Brewing, Beards Brewery, High Five Spirits – and their new tasting room Gypsy Distillery (Apple Pie Vodka is a must try as their seasonal release)
Tour our area wineries of course – Petoskey Wine Region!
Of course, you can’t forget a fall specialty coffee at one of our local coffee shops: Petoskey – North Perk Petoskey, Roast & Toast, and Populace; Harbor Springs –Birch Tree Bakery and Trillium Woods Coffee; Boyne City – North Perk Boyne City, Beani’s Coffee Lounge
About the author
Ellen Auten is a native of the area and loves to promote the next fun thing to do in the Petoskey Area – but also loves giving out local favorites and learning opportunities for all. She hopes to help in your planning process for your next trip to the Petoskey Area of northern Lower Michigan.