One of our favorite summer activities in the Pittsburgh area is to visit local farms and pick our own fruits.
We've visited almost every farm over the years, and learned a thing or two about the best places for picking each type of fruit- and we're here to share these tips with you!
As fruit harvests vary greatly from year to year and picking conditions vary from day to day, we highly recommend calling ahead before you go to double check the farm has what you're looking for. With that being said, if you have a particular fruit in mind, check out these great farms!
Strawberries: Paskorz Berry Farm
Paskorz Berry Farm is located in Russelton, north of Pittsburgh off of Route 28. We like this place because it is simply a farm. There's no sprawling farm store with kitschy knick knacks for sale, there is simply a little stand where you weigh and pay, and the lush fields full of beautiful fruit.
We have in general had good luck with strawberry picking here, and better luck when we've gone early in the morning around 9am before the fields are picked over. You should bring your own container as well as cash (they don't accept credit cards).
The farm also grows raspberries and blackberries, although we've never been successful with picking these here due to seasonal variations and timing issues. This one only periodically updates their voicemail and social media with what fruit is available, so the possibility of missing out does happen from time to time.
Paskorz Berry Farm is located in Russelton, north east of Pittsburgh off of 28.
Blueberries: Trax Farms
We visited Trax Farms for the first time this summer for blueberry picking and were blown away by the quality and quantity of blueberries. The blueberry bushes seemed to go on and on forever, and they were all brimming with plump, super sweet berries! Granted, the weather has a lot to do with that, but still, we were impressed. They provide containers here and also accept credit cards.
Trax Farms also has a large farm store that sells other produce and almost anything else you could want from a grocery store. Just be sure to call ahead to ensure that the pick your own blueberries are available, as the fields are sometimes closed to let the bushes rest and allow more fruit to ripen- a true rarity!
Trax Farm is located in Finleyville, PA is located approximately 30 minutes directly south of Pittsburgh near South Park.
Apples and Peaches: Simmons Farm
This farm is one of the most beautiful out of any that we've been to, set amidst the rolling hills south of Pittsburgh in McMurray. Simmons Farm is one of the only places we know of in the area with pick your own peaches. They provide containers and you pay by the size of container you would like to pick (1/2 peck, peck, 1/2 bushel, or bushel).
They accept credit cards and there is also a small farm store where you can purchase other produce from the farm. Additionally they grow many varieties of apples for pick your own, and even offer cut your own flowers!
Visitors to this one should be careful during late peach season (and perhaps early season too), as the numerous fallen peaches are a magnet for bees. We thankfully did not get stung, but those with allergies may want to skip this one.
Simmons Farm is located in McMurray, PA, just slightly further south from Trax Farms.
Cherries and Apples: Norman's Orchard
Norman's Orchard in Tarentum is a small orchard that grows blueberries, peaches, pears, apples. It's also the only place we know of in the area that grows cherries (and sell out about as fast as they ripen).
We visited this year for pick your own apples in September. When we arrived on a Sunday afternoon around 1pm, the place was already packed with tons of families (they open at noon on Sundays), and the picking was somewhat slim.
One interesting thing to note here is that we had to sign a waiver before picking, which at first I didn't understand. I soon realized that apple picking here is the real deal: the trees are so tall that you need to climb precariously placed ladders in order to reach the apples. Most of the places where we've picked apples before had dwarf trees and so picking was much less intense. The workers showed us which varieties of apples were on which trees and set us loose. Baskets are provided, and payment is cash only. They also offer a small amount of pre-picked apples if you decide you're not up for the challenge of picking your own, which may be a good idea!
Norman's Orchard is located in Tarentum, PA.
Raspberries: Triple B Farm
Triple B Farm is a favorite of many Pittsburghers, and for good reason. They offer strawberries, red raspberries, black raspberries, blueberries, apples, pumpkins, and sometimes peaches (if the weather cooperates) for pick your own. This is the only farm we've had really good luck with pick your own raspberries (both red and black).
Triple B is extremely kid-friendly with playgrounds, games, farm animals, and a corn maze in the fall. Festivals are also a big thing here with a Strawberry Festival, Raspberry Festival, Blueberry Festival, Peach Festival, and Fall Festival- each with special kids' activities and hayrides.
Triple B also has a farm store with produce, baked goods, and gifts, and even a food barn where you can get lunch.
Triple B Farms is located in Monongahela, PA, about 45 minutes south east of Pittsburgh.
For Everything Else: Soergel Orchards
Soergel Orchards is similar to Triple B in that it is a large complex with multiple buildings and lots of family activities and events. It is located just off of I-79 in Wexford, meaning it is very easy to get to but doesn't have a rural setting like the others farms mentioned in this post do.
In addition to the customary bakery, market, and gift barn, Soergel's also has a wine shop, an Arsenal Cider taproom, an ice cream stall, and even a special shop called Naturally Soergel's full of natural and organic items.
Although mainly known for their apple orchard, Soergel's also offers pick your own strawberries and blueberries. We have gone blueberry picking here and it was a fun and easy way to snag some beautiful berries, albeit without the country backdrop of a traditional farm. For everything else, the shop on site is one of the largest out of all of the farms mentioned and is great for a fast pick-up of fruit throughout the year!
Soergel's is located in Wexford and is approximately 20 minutes north of Pittsburgh immediately off I-79 N.
Do you have a favorite spot to pick fruit in the greater Pittsburgh area? Let us know about it by commenting below! We'll try and visit it during the next season to add to our list!
Looking to grow your own fruit instead? Check out our favorite Pittsburgh flower nurseries to get your own fruit and vegetable plants!