The height of cherry season runs 3-4 weeks in mid- to late-July, but can be impacted by weather so start checking in late June. Here are a few places you can pick your own cherries near Rochester.
You can find U-Pick and farmers markets for the entire harvest season on our Locally Grown Produce harvest guide.
Information for each farm was updated June 19, 2021. Please check with a farm directly before you head out to make sure the crop is still available. Many farms do take multiple forms of payment, but we advise bringing cash just in case.
Cherry Farms in Monroe County
1. Burch Farms
“Burch Farms is a local fruit grower in Hilton, NY. Crops are: Apples, Peaches, Nectarines, Strawberries, Cherries, Blueberries, and more.
“Both sweet and tart cherries are available for picking in season.”
2. Whittier Fruit Farm
“Fresh, home grown fruits and vegetables. Pick your own sweet cherries and apples in season.”
3. Schutt’s Apple Mill
“Picking locally grown cherries is one of the pleasures of summer, so bring the whole family out and start a new tradition.”
Cherry Farms in the Greater Rochester Area
4. Burnap’s Farm Market & Garden Cafe
“Burnap’s Farm Market is a family owned business that has been in operation since 1970.
“Summer provides the great tastes of fresh sweet corn, peaches, raspberries, ice cream and our wonderful lunches from the Garden Cafe.
“U-Pick sweet cherries become available in July.”
5. G and S Orchards
The Sweet Cherries season runs late-June through mid-August, with Sour Cherries early-July through mid-August.
“G and S Orchards offers a great selection of you pick fruit including strawberries, blueberries, apples, pumpkins and much more. Along with CSA shares and a roadside stand.”
6. Morgan’s Farm Market
“At Morgan’s Farm Market in Marion, NY, we believe fruit tastes better when you pick it yourself. Stop by and pick your favorite in-season fruit.
“The cherry-picking season has a pretty short window in early to mid July. Sweet Cherries are available staring July 7 and Tart Cherries July 16, both while they last.”
7. Hurd Orchards
“Sweet Cherries are available July 4 – Aug. 1, and Sour Cherries July 15- Aug. 10.
“Hurd Orchards is a family owned fruit and flower farm and canning company nestled in the fertile lake plains of Western New York between the banks of the Erie Canal and the shores of Lake Ontario.”
8. Watt Farms
“Watt Farms has become a wonderful destination for U-Pick. Our orchards are well groomed, well drained and very picturesque offering you ripe fruit with easy picking.
”We have plenty of parking area and wagons for you to take into the orchards.
“U-Pick Sweet Cherries available in July.”
9. Kappus Farms
“Cherries are harvested from late-June to mid-July. We grow ten varieties of Sweet Cherries and two varieties of Sour Cherries.”
10. Bittner Singer Orchards
“Bittner-Singer Orchards has one of the largest orchards of dwarf cherry trees in the eastern United States. In the month of July, you can pick large sweet and tart cherries without using a ladder! Note: the U-Pick parking lot is at 6620 Lake Rd. (State Rte. 18), Appleton, NY.”
June Cherry Festival
Varick Winery, roughly an hour from Rochester on Cayuga Lake, hosts their annual 2-day Cherry Festival near the end of June.
Pick sweet and sour cherries from Varick Winery’s five acres of beautiful cherry trees. Savor Varick Winery fine wines and New York crafted bottle beers, scrumptious ice cream, and delicious fresh-baked goods.
And, of course, cherry-themed items for purchase among other vendor offerings.
Tips for when you pick your own cherries
Thank you to pickyourown.org for these helpful tips!
- The difference is simple: sweet cherries taste sweeter and are eaten fresh. Pie cherries are very tart and most people prefer to use them in pies, jams, preserves, jellies and butters, adding sugar to sweeten them.
- Cherries, like peaches, continue to increase in size until they are ripe. They should be picked when they are of maximum size and full-flavored.
- Picking before they are fully mature will not ripen off the tree.
- Sweet cherries become firm when ripe (the stems usually stay attached when you pick a sweet cherry), and sour cherries part easily from the stem.
- Cherries that are to be shipped will keep longer if the stems are left attached. They will store in the refrigerator for two to three days.
- Bring something to drink and a few snacks; you’d be surprised how you can work up a thirst and appetite! And don’t forget hats and sunscreen for the sun. Bugs usually aren’t a problem, but some deet might be good to bring along if it has been rainy.
- Avoid placing the picked cherries in the sunshine any longer than necessary. It is better to put them in the shade of a tree or shed than in the car trunk or on the car seat.
- Always call before you go to the farm. They are affected by weather (especially rain and cooler temperatures) more than most crops. And when they are in season, a large turnout can pick a field clean before noon, so call first.
- If you use your own containers, remember that heaping Cherries more than 3 inches deep will smash the lower ones. Plastic dishpans, metal oven pans with 3 inch tall sides and large pots make good containers. I like the Glad storage containers like the one at right.
- Don’t wash until you are ready to use them. Washing makes them more prone to spoiling.
- Cherries are more perishable than blueberries or strawberries, so make a point of refrigerating them as immediately as possible after purchase.
- Even under ideal conditions cherries will only keep for a few days in a refrigerator, so for best flavor and texture, consume or freeze them as soon as possible after purchase.
Find out which locally grown produce (fruits, vegetables, plants) are at their peak each month, and enjoy Rochester-area harvest festivals.
Where is your favorite spot to pick cherries?
Please share your thoughts and stories with us in the comments. Your insight and experience are invaluable!