Bayfield Apple Festival – And Why Bayfield Is Perfect for Growing Apples
It's that time of year when you can’t help but talk about Bayfield’s apple orchards. The two go together like peanut butter and jelly (apple jelly).
The shores of Lake Superior and the hills of Bayfield create a microclimate that's perfect for fruit growing. Especially apples! This is why Bayfield Apple Festival is the highlight of our fall season.
Here at Seagull Bay, we love the changing seasons and truly believe fall is the best time to visit Bayfield. And one of the main attractions are the apple orchards.
Apples helped put Bayfield on the map in the early 1900s. William Knight, a Bayfield pioneer found that apples and cherries would flourish in this unique climate.
Knight said, “To be successful in growing apples one must have courage, love, and faith in the business and always have an eye to the care and advancement of the work.”
Because of his hard work, the Bayfield’s orchards attract thousands of visitors each year.
When Are Apples in Bayfield Ready for Picking?
Apples in Bayfield are ready for picking starting in Mid-September through Mid-October. Trust us, grab your best flannel, and tromp up to the Bayfield Fruit Loop to pick apples. You won’t regret it.
The Bayfield Fruit Loop is minutes outside of Bayfield’s city limits where you have over a dozen orchards to pick from.
Here you'll find rows of apple trees, tall green grass, and views of Lake Superior. Who wouldn’t want to spend an afternoon warmed by the sun and filling your bushel basket with apples?
Familiar varieties like:
Other varieties include:
Also, Sansa, Sweet Sixteen, Crimson Crisp, NovaSpy, GoldRush, and a variety of crab apples.
You will find that each orchard has a specialty of its own. From jams and jellies to pies, cider, and more. Beware if you're reading this blog post when hungry, things are about to get juicy.
The Bayfield Orchards You Need to Visit
Many of the orchards found in Bayfield are family owned and have been for generations. Here’s a list of our favorites and some unique treasures found in each orchard.
Erickson Orchards and County Store
Erickson Orchards was started by Jim and Muriel Erickson in 1954 as an apple and strawberry farm. Today their children own and operate the family farm and country store.
Erickson’s offers a variety of apples and strawberries. But are best known for Muriel’s famous apple cider donuts. Savor these melt-in-your-mouth, old-fashioned cake doughnuts rolled in cinnamon and sugar. There’s nothing like it. They’re finger-licking good!
Bayfield Apple Company
The Bayfield Apple Company was established in 1982 by Einar Olson. In 2009, Einar sold his farm to the Kositzke family. The Kositzke’s have continued to grow and expand the vision of the Bayfield Apple Company. Today they grow over 30 varieties of apples.
The Bayfield Apple Company is best known for jams, jellies, and fruit mustards. Their Bayfield Apple Mustard is the perfect condiment on an apple brat. Wash it down with their famed Apple-Raspberry Cider.
Hauser’s Superior View Farm
This fifth-generation family-owned farm sits high on the hills of Bayfield. Here you can see some of the original William Knight orchards with apple trees over 100 years old.
When visiting Hauser’s Superior View Farm you can:
Tour the historic Sears Roebuck Red Barn
Enjoy panoramic views of Lake Superior
Hike along a walking trail
Ride behind a tractor through the orchards
Hauser’s features jams, jellies, and apple butter. And recently began brewing hand-crafted hard cider under the name Apfelhaus Cider.
Hillcrest Orchard is easy to spot with its larger-than-life apple sitting outside its store. For many years this was the throne for the Bayfield Apple Festival’s Queen. A perfect place for a photo-op.
Hillcrest Orchard offers pick-your-own and pre-picked apples along with seasonal jams and jellies.
Sunset Valley Orchards and The Apple Branch Gift Shop
Sunset Valley Orchard is owned and operated by the Johnson family for the last 55 years. This cozy 25-acre orchard sits in a beautiful wooded valley perfect for picnicking.
At Sunset Valley you can:
Buy pre-picked apples
Stroll along the long rows of trees and pick your own
Wander up to the barn to buy apple cider
Visit The Apple Branch – a curated gift shop filled with unique treasures ready to take home with you
Sunset Valley Orchard will give you a taste of what Bayfield offers in the fall season.
Blue Vista Farm
Blue Vista Farm is best known for its practices in sustainable farming. It's also part of the Bayfield Landmark Conservancy protecting it from future development.
Blue Vista offers raspberries, blueberries, and apples. This 40-acre farm enjoys a Lake Superior view and a turn-of-the-century barn and gift shop.
These are a few of the orchards where you can find apples in Bayfield.
Looking for something more festive? Then we encourage you to visit the Bayfield Apple Festival.
The 60th Annual Bayfield Apple Festival
This year marks the 60th anniversary of this festival. Thousands of people come to Bayfield to celebrate it.
The idea for the festival came from Jim Erickson of Erickson Orchards in late August of 1962. Jim was driving to North Dakota to sell a truck full of apples.
He hadn’t traveled far when he got a flat tire on a bridge near Duluth. He nursed his truck to a nearby truck stop. There he began to sell apples out of the back of his truck while waiting for a spare tire.
During this time that he realized there was a market for them much closer to Bayfield. Many people purchasing apples didn’t know that they grew in Bayfield or knew where Bayfield was.
Once Jim got back to Bayfield he talked to other members of the Bayfield Chamber of Commerce. And they established the first Bayfield Apple Festival in September of 1962. Here Bayfield entertained over 4000 visitors.
Today Bayfield’s orchards host thousands of visitors each year. The Bayfield Apple Festival also celebrates local artists, live music, lots of yummy food, and a parade on Sunday. This year's festival is on October, 7th, 8th, and 9th.
Pick Apples in Bayfield and Stay on the Shores of Lake Superior at Seagull Bay Lakeside Motel
Maybe you're coming to visit during the festival. Or staying with us at another time this fall. You’ll find we're uniquely located on the banks of Lake Superior.
We're an easy 5-10 minute walk to town. But offer a quieter atmosphere from the hustle and bustle found in Bayfield.
If you choose you can park your car when you arrive and not get in it again until you regrettably leave to go home.
If you’re interested in picking apples we’re only a 5-minute drive away from many orchards.
We offer balconies and shared deck spaces. They’re perfect for sipping hot apple cider. Or dunking an apple cider doughnut in your morning coffee.
The fall colors are the perfect backdrop to our Lake Superior views inviting you to:
Look a little longer
Breathe a little deeper
Enjoy all that Bayfield has to offer
We invite you to pick and eat apples in one of Bayfield’s orchards. And we hope you stay for the Bayfield Apple Festival.
What are you waiting for? You deserve time away from it all, BOOK NOW, your room is ready!
Mollie, Isaac, Axel, Ridge, and Banks
An Interesting Talk - William Knight - Bayfield Heritage Association
Bayfield Apple Festival - The Beginning