As we ease out of summer and into fall, I find my excitement growing over football, changing leaves, and cider mills. While I don’t always welcome the inevitable Michigan winters that follow, there are few things I enjoy more than Michigan autumns. UM pulled off a win this weekend, so I was ready to celebrate! My family and I headed up to the Paint Creek Trail after the game to enjoy the cooler weather and some cider.
This side of Labor Day, just about every one of Michigan’s more than 100 cider mills is open for business. Here’s a brief snapshot of the wealth our local mills have to offer:
- Franklin Cider Mill, Franklin: Originally a gristmill opened in 1837, the mill uses 21 varieties of apples for its cider, all hand-picked and organic. Enjoy warm donuts and cider slushes.
- Blake’s Orchard & Cider Mill, Armada: Around since 1946, Blake’s was the first pick-your-own orchard in Michigan. In addition to cider and donuts, Blake’s has an animal farm, pony rides, hayrides, apple picking, and a corn maze.
- Dexter Cider Mill, Dexter: The oldest continuously operating cider mill in Michigan. Using the same process they used 120 years ago on equipment over 100 years old, Dexter blends three to five different apple varieties in every pressing, making “each press unique.”
- Yates Cider Mill, Rochester Hills: A water-powered cider mill since 1863, Yates presses 300 gallons of cider per hour. Kids can feed farm animals and catch a pony ride.
- Wiard’s Orchards and County Fair/Cider Mill, Ypsilanti: Wiard’s has been around for 177 years. At Wiard’s you’ll find haunted attractions, mini golf, u-pick apples and pumpkins, a corn maze, pony rides, an apple cannon, and more!
- Paint Creek Cider Mill, Rochester: Run, walk, or ride along the Paint Creek Trail and stop at the mill (which also has a full-service restaurant) along the way.
We hope to see you out and about these Michigan gems this fall!