Sep 15, 2023 - Things to Do

Your guide to Metro Detroit's best cider mills

The brown Franklin Cider Mill building advertising fresh apples.

Franklin Cider Mill has been around since the 1830s. Photos: Samuel Robinson/Axios

👋🏼 Howdy, folks, it's Sam. There's just nothing better than Michigan in the fall.

Why it matters: From late August to November, you'll find families of all backgrounds walking up to huge barns seeking fresh doughnuts and apple cider across the Great Lakes State.

Driving the news: I drove to Bloomfield Township on Thursday to try Franklin Cider Mill for the first time, a family tradition for thousands around Metro Detroit.

  • The mill has a number of seasonal treats for sale in and outside its barn: apples by the half peck (6 lbs.) and bushel (40 lbs.), as well as pies, homemade jams, maple syrup and salsas.
  • There's also a hot dog stand selling cider dogs marinated in apple cider (and regular dogs, too).

Zoom in: You can watch staff make cider from behind glass using a process called pressing.

  • You can also watch freshly made cinnamon sugar doughnuts get boxed hot off a conveyor belt.

By the numbers: Each press — using around 5,000 Michigan apples — makes 150 gallons of cider.

One of the oldest water wheels in the state powers the press that makes the apple cider.

Other favorite mills in Metro Detroit include:

  • Westview Orchards & Winery (Washington Township): The wine porch is open and so is the vegetable garden for you-pick.
    • Open daily, 10am-5pm.
  • Apple Charlie's South Huron Orchards (New Boston): They have reasonably priced cider ($10/gallon) and pies ($13 pumpkin, $15 apple).
    • They also offer hayrides.
    • Open Sunday-Thursday, 10am-6pm, Friday-Saturday, 10am-8pm.
  • Parmenter's Northville Cider Mill (Northville): On weekdays you can look through the viewing gate to see the cider being pressed.
    • On weekends, the mill opens its Nut Hut, which makes candied almonds, and the Chow Mill, serving hot dogs and kielbasa.
    • Open daily, 10am-8pm.

Flashback: My childhood cider mill is Bayne's Apple Valley in Freeland, about a 20-minute drive from my childhood home in Midland.

  • Read more about Bayne's here.
Franklin Cider Mill's apple cider beef hot dogs.

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