In search for the best fall activities in southern Vermont, we found ourselves in East Dorset at Mad Tom Orchard. On our way to pick our own apples, excitement buzzed throughout the car in anticipation to embrace the cool, crisp fall air and gather fresh produce from the Vermont trees. Little did we know that we would be greeted by a friendly couple and immerse ourselves into the breathtaking surrounding mountains.
Located on Mad Tom Road just 20 minutes from Manchester Center and about 35 minutes from Stratton, Mad Tom Orchard dates back to 1962, first run by Tom as a commercial orchard and eventually developed into a pick-your-own. The Orchard was forced to close in 1997 due to loss of an airplane spray service, but was re-opened and restored by Tom’s son (also named Tom) and his wife, Sylvia in 1999. The couple pruned over 100 of the original trees and planted 1,2000 new apple trees resulting in 8 acres of prime apple picking. The first tree planted on the orchard dates back to 1940, making this season the orchard’s 75th birthday.
Choose from 14 different apple (depending on the time of season):
Zestar, Sansa, Ginger Gold
McIntosh, Gala, Cortland, Honeycrisp, Macoun, Fuji, Spartan
Empire, Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Northern Spy
Be sure to pick up a gallon of fresh apple cider, just $5.00. There’s also a variety of Vermont’s best items to take home like local maple syrup and cookie cutters made up the road in Rutland.
What to Wear & What to Pack
Be sure to wear warm clothing and boots or sneakers. This orchard is nestled in the mountains and there is often a cool breeze. Bring a camera – you’ll definitely want to take pictures of the surrounding mountains. The orchard accepts debit and credit cards, as well as cash.
Hours of Operation
During apple harvest season, the Orchard is open Tuesday through Sunday 9AM-5:30PM. The orchard is closed on Mondays. The apple picking season varies, so give the orchard a call to see when they are open until. Phone: (802) 366-8107.
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