Food & Drink

Blazing a Trail

A Weekend Full of Apple-Based Beverages

Leaves are on the ground. There’s a sweater on your person. And cider’s just a quick trip from being in your hand. Because you’re hitting the Michigan Cider Trail (see the map), whereupon you’ll hop from orchard to mill to tasting room on a weekend jaunt with someone who really loves to drink apples. It all goes something like this.

An Old Cider Mill with a New Winery
STOP #1

An Old Cider Mill with a New Winery

1873: Parmenter’s Northville Mill is established. It originally ran on horsepower. Like, from actual horses. 2012: New owners build a winery/brewery, which produces nine different hard ciders. 2015: You explore the barn, stroll the grounds and hit the tasting room to sample the product. Everything good begins with a barn.

Come for the Cider, Stay for the Donuts
STOP #2

Come for the Cider, Stay for the Donuts

Inside this five-generation-old family orchard, you’ll find:

1) Storage for 10,000 bushels of apples.
2) A working cider mill.
3) A bakery.
4) A picturesque winery set amidst the apple trees.
5) A donut room.

Which is exactly what you think it is.

First, Biking. Then, Cider-ing.
STOP #3

First, Biking. Then, Cider-ing.

If cider and wine tasting at a bucolic mill in Grand Rapids just isn’t autumnal enough for you, well, okay. We get it. That’s why there’s also a tree-lined bike ride along a nearby trail. Nothing whets your cider appetite like that last sentence.

Drinking Cider and Shooting Zombies
STOP #4

Drinking Cider and Shooting Zombies

During the day: You’re in Blake’s Orchard Café, snacking on chili cheese fries and sipping on a can of their Cider Dayze, whose award-winning recipe hasn’t changed since 1946. When night falls: You’re shooting zombies with a paintball gun from the back of a moving truck. Classic Michigan leisure activity.

Still Apples, but Now It’s Brandy
STOP #5

Still Apples, but Now It’s Brandy

By now, you’re probably ready for something stronger. Something like Black Star Farms’ cider-distilled apple brandy. So have a glass or three in the tasting room. Enjoy a chef-prepared picnic on their 160-acre estate. Then retire to your room for a massage. You don’t not deserve it.

Elsewhere on the Daddy

More Food & Drink