(CBS DETROIT) – Fall has officially arrived. That means it’s getting a little colder and if you’re living in Michigan – you have a craving for apple cider. Michigan is the third largest producer of apples in the United States, and with the backdrop of autumn leaves, there’s no place like a cider mill.
Here’s a look at our favorite ones in the Metro-Detroit Area.
Most Traditional Cider Mill: Franklin Cider Mill
Location: Bloomfield Hills, MI
Hours: Weekdays 7am-6:30pm, Weekends 8am-6:30pm
Background: Franklin Cider Mill was founded in 1837, the same year that Michigan gained its statehood, as a gristmill. Now a cider mill, visitors can observe cider being pressed daily in the main visiting area. The Franklin Cider Mill donuts are made fresh each day and are made from an old German spice recipe that has been used for 80+ years.
Best for: Traditional Cider. Franklin Cider Mill’s most known for it’s unique donuts and varieties of apples. Mostly packed on weekends, this may be a place for a planned trip. The mill offers pies, apples, cider and donuts. Although often said to have the best donuts in the state, there are no attractions or activities. Like other cider mills, the Franklin Cider Mill has a reputation for having a lot of bees buzzing around.
Most Romantic Cider Mill: Yates Cider Mill
Location: Rochester Hills, MI
Hours: Weekdays 7am-7pm, Weekends 9am-7pm
Background: Yates Cider Mill was founded in 1863 as a gristmill. The Clinton River supplies the headwaters that power the mill. The mill uses the steam that is created for water power. By 1876, a cider press was installed and local farmers would bring their apples to Yates for custom apple pressing and it was there changed to Yates Cider Mill. The taste and color of the cider varies over the course of the fall season with the use of different apples. The extensive cider making process that visitors can see firsthand as the water-powered machine pumps out 300 gallons of fresh cider per hour.
Best for: Dates. Yates Cider Mill is located right off of the Clinton River (Yates’ calls it the ‘River Walk), a perfect place for a date while you enjoy their homemade cider and donuts. Other activities include: Petting Zoo, Pony Rides, Fudge Shoppe & Ice Cream, Apple Tent.
Best Looking Cider Mill: Parmenter’s Northville Cider Mill
Location: Northville, MI
Hours: Daily 10am-8pm
Background: Parmenter’s mill was established in 1873, originally producing apple cider vinegar. The mill itself has been powered by a team of horses, a machine engine, steam engine, and now using an electric motor with a stainless steel drum to keep the pressed apples refrigerated.
Best for: Adults. Parmenter’s offers a selection of wine & hard cider thanks to its partnership to Northville Winery & Brewing Co. Other activities include: Play area & DIY vendor shopping.
Most Touristy Cider Mill: Blake’s Orchard & Cider Mill
Location: Armada, MI
Hours: Daily 8am-6pm
Background: Founded in 1946, Blake’s Orchard was the first pick-your-own orchard in Michigan. It has evolved over the years into a family entertainment farm.
Best for: Families. The Orchard & Cider Mill offer train rides, pony rides, hayrides, cornfield mazes, several animated attractions and many other family oriented activities. Blake’s has grown and expanded offering Michigan’s #1 nighttime attraction, Blake’s Nighttime Haunted Hayride & Three Story Haunted Barn. Other Activities include U-Pick fruits & vegetables, Funland & Animal Farm, Picking Tours, and Tasting Room.
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