Autumnal Adventures

 
A local youth enjoys a birch tree leaf.

When it comes to family-friendly fall fun, the Chippewa Valley has it covered. There’s a whole range of activities, from the classic apple picking and pumpkin carving to the not-so-classic apple slinging and pumpkin launching. So go ahead, try some cider, stab a pumpkin, and embrace all fall has to offer (because it’s only around for so long).

Orchards

 

Bushel and a Peck Market 18444 Co. Hwy OO, Chippewa Falls • 723-0133 • This is a family-owned, pick-your-own orchard of over 6,000 apple trees, located on a ridge overlooking the Chippewa River Valley. The orchard shop offers jams and jellies, crafts, pottery, soap, and other gifts. The on-site bakery serves up pies, turnovers, and cookies. McIntosh, Cortland, Honeygold, Pristine, Redfree, Viking, Zestar, and Honeycrisp. School tours available. Open everyday 9am-6pm through October.

Class Apple 5198 Sunset View Dr, Eau Claire • 834-9060 • classapple.com This is a great little mom-n-pop, pick-your-own orchard featuring a scenic view. Gourmet jams and jellies, applewood chips, and eight varieties of apples are all for sale. Extremely reasonable prices. Open Sat. and Sun., noon-5pm, through Oct. Class apple is a member of the new Chippewa Valley Eco Apple Network.

Connell’s Orchard 19372 Co. Hwy OO, Chippewa Falls • 723-5119 • Connell’s grows 27 varieties of apples. Besides the ready-picked apples, they sell apple cider, baked goods, gift baskets, honey, jams and jellies, maple syrup, pumpkins (in season), hand-crafted ice cream, and 40 varieties of salsa. The on-site bakery specializes in numerous homemade pies. They’ve even got fall mums for sale. On the weekend, check out the wagon rides and a free petting zoo. Open everyday 9am-6pm, through November.

Eau Claire Orchards 6470 Balsam Rd, Eau Claire • 839-8370 • eauclaireorchards.com ECO grows most apple varieties, plus pears, sweet corn, pumpkins, Indian corn, and winter squash. Try out their apple slingshot and send fruit soaring into the air over 175 feet at about 50mph. Old Haunted Barn open on weekends in October. There are lots of photo opportunities at the pumpkin house and fun character cutouts. Don’t miss the corn maze, inflatable castle, pumpkin checkers, or bean bag toss. Small kids can have a blast on the new Apple Train. Pick your own apples and/or pumpkins. Tractor wagon rides take you out into the orchard. Open Monday-Saturday 10am-6pm, Sundays 10am-5pm.

Hillview Farm E6198 Hickory Road, Eau Claire • 878-4526 • apples4u.com At Hillview, you’ll find ready-picked apples, country crafts, pumpkins, and squash for sale. Make sure you stroll the scenic nature trail and the kid’s playground, featuring a new obstacle course and apple slingshot. On the weekends, horse-drawn wagon rides tour the countryside. Pick-your-own apple season is from September through October. Open Tuesday–Sunday, 11am-6pm.

John McIlquham Orchard, LLC Corner of County Hwy J & County Hwy K, Chippewa Falls • 720-1663 • autumnharvestwinery.com The McIlquhams offer visitors 17 varieties of fresh-picked apples, including Honeycrisp. Visitors to the tasting room can enjoy complimentary sips of apple, fruit, and grape wines produced and bottled on-site, plus gourmet food samples. Season permitting, apple cider and hard cider are also available. The gift shop offers McIlquham Orchard jams, preserves, and apple butters. Enjoy the beautiful patio and picnic areas, as well as a new bakery kiosk with apple treats, fruit tea smoothies, and crepes. At the end of the season, you can pick your own apples. Free corn maze. Open everyday 9am-6pm through Halloween.

Schaefer’s Orchard Run 1726 County Hwy K, Chippewa Falls • 723-8865 • Schaefer’s is a certified organic orchard offering fresh-picked and pick-your-own McIntosh, Cortland, Connell Red, Harla Red, Honeycrisp, Honeygold and Wealthy apples. Starting in mid Sept., the orchard is open Thursday-Sunday 10am-6pm.

White Oak Farms W2369 Maple Road, Eau Claire • 834-0998 • A small, boutique orchard, White Oak Farms offers fresh-picked Honey Crisp, Connell Reds, and Red Cortland apples. Their little retail shop sells crafts, jams, honey, maple syrup, a variety of fruit butters, caramel, mums, and more. Feel free to pack a lunch and stage a picnic in one of their many relaxing areas. White Oak is a major supplier of farm market Honey Crisp south of Eau Claire. Starting on Sept. 17, they’re open Fri.-Sun. 10am-6pm.

 PATCHES & MORE

Autumn Harvest Winery Corner of County Hwy J & County Hwy K, Chippewa Falls • 720-1663 • autumnharvestwinery.com The Chippewa Valley’s first winery, Autumn Harvest produces twelve varieties of wine including five apple wines using fruit from the adjacent John McIlquham Orchard. Apple cider and hard cider is also available. They offer complimentary wine tasting everyday, patio seating to enjoy libations by the bottle or glass, gourmet foods to sample, and a gift shop. Open now through Halloween, 9am-6pm Monday through Friday, and 10am-5pm on Sunday.
 

Hawkins’ Hollow 8966 County Hwy X West, Chippewa Falls • 720-0192 • Hawkins’ features a rustic farm setting featuring antique displays, a large corn maze, a petting zoo, and variety of country gifts. A haunted walk is set up for the kids. Activities include stuffing your own life-sized scarecrow ($10, materials included). In season, pick out your pumpkins, squash, and gourds. Corn bundles and straw bales are also available. Enjoy Don Lexvold’s horse-drawn wagon rides on Sat. and Sun, starting at noon. Open Sept. 25-Oct. 31, Fridays 1pm-5pm and Sat. and Sun. 11am-5pm. Call to make weekday group appointments.

Klinger Farm Market 12756 132nd St, Chippewa Falls • 288-6348 • This family-run farm features 120 acres of homegrown vegetables including potatoes, corn, tomatoes, peppers, melons, beans, squash, pumpkins, gourds, and more. For the few items of produce they don’t grow themselves, Klinger’s Market looks to other local growers to provide apples, carrots, onions, honey, jams, jellies, and cheese. Its 17 greenhouses also provide one of the largest selections of plants, herbs, flowers, and shrubs in the area. They have a kids-friendly corn maze and straw maze as well. Open every day, 9am-5pm.

Lowes Creek Tree Farm S9475 Lowes Creek Road, Eleva • (888) 878-4166 • lowescreektreefarm.com Immerse yourself in fall colors as you pretag a Christmas tree, purchase a pumpkin, or take part in the fall nursery stock sale. Open throughout October, Mon. through Sat. 9am-6pm, and Sundays 11 am-6pm.

Pleasant Valley Tree Farm N7240 810th St, Elk Mound • 879-5179 • pleasantvalleytree.com Pleasant Valley’s Fall Harvest activities kick off Sept. 25 with the opening of their corn maze, haunted forest trail, petting zoo, play areas, pumpkin catapult (Jack-o-Launcher), gemstone mining, and wagon rides. Pick out a pumpkin and peruse the other fall produce including apples, squash, gourds, and Indian corn. A concession stand is on hand. New this year are Annie the Apple Slinger, an expanded magical woodland maze and play area, and a 40-ft. “Spooktacular Slide.” The country store features home décor and gourmet foods. Open every day 10am-6pm from Sept. 26 through October.