Arielle Solomon

As the leaves start to change, that means one thing in Michigan. It’s almost time for a trip to the cider mill. There is nothing like those warm donuts and fresh cider.

The Great Lakes State has numerous mills where you can find these fall treats. Here’s a closer look at some favorites around our state.

Apple Barrel Cider Mill is a local favorite in Ithaca. The central Michigan mill has been open since 2010.

Their donuts are fresh-made every day. Plus they sell homemade honey along with various crafts. Apple Barrel even offers ripened fruits and sweets baked in-house.

They are open Monday through Saturday 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with extended hours in September and October.

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In Freeland, there is the autumn attraction known as Bayne’s Apple Valley.

This Saginaw County spot has rapidly earned its reputation as a favored orchard. Bayne’s Hard Cider House on site features several specially-brewed ciders on tap.

Blake’s Orchard and Cider Mill of Armada also may ring a bell. This Macomb County mill is known for the creation of Blake’s Hard Cider. Aside from apples, people are able to pick peaches and purple plums as well as a variety of vegetables.

The Country Mill Orchard & Cider Mill can be found in the city of Charlotte. Country Mill lets visitors pick their own blueberries and sunflower cuttings. Part of the farm is used to grow all-organic fruits. Among their organic offerings are uniquely named organic apples, peaches, apple cider, apple chips, apple butter, and applesauce.

The Dexter Cider Mill is a classic. It was founded in 1866. Their caramel apples are a must-have. The Franklin Cider Mill is another gem, going back to the 1830s. Their donuts are made from an old German spice recipe and they are worth a trek alone.

Gull Meadow Farms of Richland is a fun fall destination spot northeast of Kalamazoo.

They feature a petting farm and offer plenty of tasty treats. With home-baked pizza, cider floats and donut sundaes topping the list.

Hill Brothers Orchards & Cider Mill of Grand Rapids is held in high regard. It has been family owned and operated since 1843. The family takes pride in this place. Hy’s Cider Mill of Romeo ranks among the best mills in Michigan. The Bruce Township locale is beloved by many.

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Kapnick Orchards of Britton is a great place to get your fall goods. They are located in Lenawee County, open seven days a week.

Up North, Knaebe’s Mmmunchy Krunchy Apple Farm in Rogers City is mere miles away from the Sunrise Coast. Don’t miss the opportunity to stop by if you’re in the area. 

Hillsdale County haunt Meckley’s Flavor Fruit Farm in Cement City has to be mentioned.

In addition, here are a few other gems from around the mitten:

Montrose Orchards off M-57, about 20 miles south of Saginaw. Pond Hill Farm of Harbor Springs. Spicer Orchards Farm Market in Fenton, due north of Hartland.

Three Cedars Farm in Northville. The St. Johns staple Uncle John’s Cider Mill.

Last but not least is Yates Cider Mill of Rochester Hills. This town treasure was established in the 1860s.

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After you visit the cider mill, think about a local fall color tour. Here are some of note:

Little River Railroad Fall Pumpkin and Fall Color is an old-fashioned steam locomotive ride from Coldwater to Quincy.

The trip includes a stop at two train museums, with donuts and cider. Fare is $22 for adults and $15 for kids

The Fall Color Tour lets you ride a Southern Michigan Railroad car from Tecumseh to the village of Clinton. Upon arrival, the Clinton Station has cider to wet your whistle. There is a brief layover, then the train returns to Tecumseh. The whole trip will take about two hours.

The Southern Michigan Rail Society presents an autumn excursion of their own, a two-hour fall foliage ride that crosses River Raisin by Red Millpond. A great opportunity to see the beauty of Lenawee County.

Friends of Coopersville and Marne Railway present a fall outing in Ottawa County. The Pumpkin Train takes you on a scenic seven-mile trip from Coopersville to Marne. Soak in the spectacular shades of September and October on this jaunt.

In Soo Junction, Tahquamenon Falls Fall Riverboat Tours and The Toonerville Trolley are unique ways to view Northern Michigan’s vibrant hues.

Now is a perfect time to plan your own adventure.