Wasn’t it Adam and Eve who ate that first apple? At least that’s the way I learned the story back in Catholic School when I was in first grade. In any event, we’re in pretty thick by now. If apples are indeed the forbidden fruit, the world is going to hell in a handbasket. So, why not just accept our fate. One of my next day trips will be to the charming town of Warwick, New York to pick some apples at Masker’s Orchard. Warwick is only 55 miles north of the city.
Apple picking is a Patterson family tradition begun by my parents. We do it every year just as football season is ready to start. Sometime around the second Saturday of September. A week before fall officially begins. It’s a tradition I continued with my wife, Kelly, from the time before our children were even born.
Kelly, and I once went on a delightful date to Masker's to pick apples. We were only boyfriend and girlfriend then. She thought it was such a romantic invitation that she just couldn’t turn me down. Although we were both in school and working very hard, we spent a stress-free afternoon picking apples that day. Neither of us regretted it at all. Quality time always nurtures relationships.
The apple business in New York State is a big deal by the way. It brings in $600 million every year and employs over 20,000 people. Even so, our state is a distant second to Washington State, where they grow ten times more than we do. However, New York grows more varieties of the red fruit than any other state in the country.
Masker’s is a medium-size orchard, by Orange County standards. They have 200 acres dedicated to apple production. Apple farming is important in that part of the state. It has been for a long time. Warwick is home to the Apple Festival. Masker’s Orchard itself has been in business for 100 years. A retired New York State judge owns the orchard. I recall when he and his partners took over the farm when I was a kid. Masker’s is a great place to go not only to pick fresh apples, but you can plan a lovely picnic around your visit as well.
Masker’s also has a country store where you can buy apple butter and jams as well as other produce from the farm. For the little ones, there is a petting zoo with friendly farm animals. They even have a hayride. The apple orchard is huge. It is so expansive that two lovers could possibly wander off and get lost in their own Garden of Eden.
What you will find surprising is how easy it is to reach Warwick, New York. Remember it’s only 55 miles from Manhattan, perfect distance for a day trip from New York City. You don’t even need to drive. You can take the bus from Port Authority and be there in less than an hour (Check the FYI below for details).
An outing to Masker’s Orchard is a perfect getaway (on weekends only) for both New Yorkers and visitors to the city alike. It’s one more great thing about living in the New York metropolitan area.
How to get to Masker's Orchard:
Take New Jersey Transit bus #196 or #197 from Port Authority to Willowbrook Station Warwick. The Orchard is only a 15 minutes walk (1/2 a mile) down Ball Road, or you can call Josie’s taxi at 845-986-8073.