When you think about ways to enjoy a beautiful Iowa fall day, one of the first things I think about is visiting an orchard.
Admittedly, I am always a fan of agri-tourism opportunities and when my friend, who lives in Cedar Rapids, suggested a stop at Wilson's Orchard...I was eager to adventure to rural Solon to check it out.
From what I gather, eastern Iowans already know and love Wilson's Orchard as it is apparently a busy place, especially on weekends, during the fall months.
When my buddy and I showed up on Saturday afternoon, it was busy but not overwhelmingly so. It probably helped that there was a home Iowa Hawkeyes Football game kicking off in a few hours and it was well into the 90's...not necessarily the crisp Fall weather you'd expect to go picking crisp apples.
When you arrive, you find ample parking. On days when the place is very busy, my friend tells me... like many Saturdays and Sundays in October... you can end up walking a bit from your parking spot.
However, you'll need those extra steps to save room for the incredibly delicious apple cider donuts that are a must have. Trust me...a must have.
They have a nice country store full of all kinds of goodies, apples, and other local merchandise and apparel. Since you can also pick your own apples, they have attendants ready to weigh your haul of apples. A staff member was also there offering samples of the apples that you can buy or pick yourself.
The orchard is located in a beautiful valley but for those who are not as confident on their feet, they have a cart pulled by a tractor that can take you down into the orchard and pumpkin patches.
If you need a bit more exercise or like a good hike, I would recommend just making the jaunt without the cart. It's a terrific workout and you can really stop to enjoy the natural beauty around you.
Because it was hot and I had other stops to make, I probably did not stay as long as I maybe would have wanted to do...but it's definitely a place where you can enjoy a nice morning or afternoon and find plenty to do for the whole family.
A recent addition to the property is a restaurant and event venue. From the outside, it appears to be a beautiful facility. If I am in the area in the future, I would love to stop in to see that but I only viewed it from the outside.
I would encourage you to check out the Wilson's Orchard website and plan your stop if you live in the area or are up for a fall field trip with the family or your special someone. They offer acres of adventure.
I am looking forward to stopping by again sometime when I am back in Johnson County on one of my future Iowa adventures.
As always, I welcome your suggestions of places to visit and profile whether in Johnson County or any of the other 98 counties in Iowa. If you have a good idea or would like to host the Iowa Adventurer, please drop me a note through this site.