Sites of the Season

Local cider mills help capture the spirit of fall

I like to think that the beauty of fall is Michigan’s way of apologizing for everything we’ll have to go through in the upcoming winter months. And since the window of time between fall and freezing tends to be a short one, be sure to round up your nearest and dearest and head to your local cider mill before it’s too late. Whether that means apple picking, a hayride, or all the doughnuts, caramel apples, and hot cider you can handle, fall memories and good times are sure to abound.


Yates Cider Mill has been churning out their signature cider blend since 1876 and attributes their unique recipe to the six varieties of apples they combine onsite. They also have doughnuts, ice cream, and a fudge shoppe as well as pony rides and a river walk to complete your afternoon.

1990 E. Avon Rd., Rochester Hills; 248-651-8300.



Franklin Cider Mill has changed ownership just three times since opening its doors as a gristmill in 1837, but the place still presses 800-1,200 bushels of apples into cider every season. They also have doughnuts made from an old German recipe, baked goods, caramel and candy apples, jams and butters, and pumpkins weighing up to 1,500 pounds.

7450 Franklin Rd., Bloomfield Hills; 248-626-8261.



Wiard’s Orchards brings some country flair to Ypsilanti with apple picking, corn mazes, hayrides, and their signature country fair. Every Saturday and Sunday, you can experience amusement park rides, moonwalks, apple cannons, pony rides, paintball, and more.

#5565 Merritt Rd., Ypsilanti; 734-390-9211.



Erwin Orchards has been family owned and operated for three generations. The site offers a variety of fruit picking, Friday night haunts, and of course, the cider mill and everything that comes with it. The family prides itself on being environmentally friendly and offers “agri-tainment” including a petting zoo, trike trail, sunflower garden, corn maze, and more.

61475 Silver Lake Rd., South Lyon; 248-437-0150.

Dexter Cider Mill is the oldest continuously operating cider mill in Michigan and a great place for a quick run if you’ve got cider and doughnuts on your mind. The grounds may not be expansive, but there’s plenty of scenic spots to snack, and the cider we bought there was allegedly still in apple form 30 minutes prior.

3685 Central St., Dexter; 734-426-8531.



Uncle John’s Cider Mill is the place to go if you’ve got an entire day to devote to fall festivities. Come for the traditional treats, stay for the hard cider and wine tasting. Kids will have a blast on the train ride, jumping pillow, and moon bounces, and various play areas.

8614 N. US-127, St. Johns; 989-224-3686.