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SE Michigan: best cider mill?

I like Spicers for U-pick, cider and donuts, and scenery. We've been going there since our 19 year old was 4.

Wiard's near Ypsi was too "agritaining" and I haven't yet forgiven them for eliminating U-pick asparagus!

Opinions on others?

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  1. My favorite is the Parshallville Grist Mill (just North of Brighton)because of the beautiful setting alongside the creek.

    1. The Dexter Cider Mill has great baked goods and is a convenient stop-off from the parks along North Territorial Road. Extra points for sign that says "Pie without cheese is like a hug without a squeeze." No U-pick.

      1. Erwin's on Silver Lake Road outside of South Lyon has a pretty good U-pick system. Also U-pick raspberries. Their cider and donuts are fresh and tasty, and they have lots of picnic areas. There's a free racetrack with John Deere trikes for the kids, but the bouncy castle things costs extra.

        1. I've always been a fan of Yates' Cider Mill on Dequidre at 23 Mile Road. Simple, honest, and tasty cider and *really* yummy doughnuts, especially if you are lucky enough to get them sprinked with cinnamon and sugar, which usually means you have to get there early.

          Still, it's the best I've had in the area, though I've hardly done an exhaustive search of all the cider mills. NOTE: in order to rate cider, I *must* try it on-site. Buying bottled cider from a store does not constitute actually trying cider in the proper way, so I don't rate cider mills based on store-bought cider.

          1. A day trip to Romeo is truly getting away from it all and we enjoy Soney Creek Orchard & Cider Mill on W 32 Mile Rd. Not only do they have a U-Pick - but they take you on a hayride to the fruit. This is a family run business - and the family farmhouse sits right next to the farm market. Fresh donuts, including pumpkin pie spice donuts, come right out the the oven and into your bag. There's nothing "touristy" about this place and it's a lovely ride getting to it.

            1. The Franklin Cider Mill has the best donuts.

              No picking. It's donuts, cider, pies and baked goods only. Kind of crowded, but worth it. They also have things like pumpkin-carving contests, carriage rides around Franklin, musicians.

              1 Reply
              1. re: rweater

                I've eaten a lot of donuts in my life--I could've been a cop--and the donuts at Franklin Cider Mill are indeed the best--not just of cider mill donuts, but of all donuts. Period.

              2. My favorite is Wasem's - their address is Milan, but they're not that far from Wiard's, although at the other end of the spectrum in atmosphere. U-pick, great cider, great donuts, not a lot of frills. They also have a spot at the Ann Arbor farmer's market.

                1 Reply
                1. re: gooddog

                  I like the idea of Wasem's--nice area to drive through. If you see a red 66 Nova in the area this weekend, that's us!

                2. MacQueen's in Toledo, OH. Bakery with apple fritters, apple dumplings and donuts. Caramel apples. Cider. Big variety of apples. U pick apples.

                  1. For cider & donuts, Franklin is heaven on earth. mmmmmm....

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: g rote

                      I put Franklin in the "Agritaining" category -- nice turn of phrase! For just cider, donuts and apples, it's Dexter Cider Mill. It's a great spot to visit by canoe as well as car.

                    2. beyond the ambiance and activities of everyone's particular favorite cider mill, is there really that much difference between the cider and the donuts from mill to mill?

                      we went to blake's (armada center road just east of romeo plank) yesterday. we always go there because it is over the top with kids activities: $8 gets you petting farm, corn maze, hay piles to climb, "train" ride through the orchard, and a hay ride to the pumpkin patch. it's huge, busy, and touristy - but the kids have fun.

                      but to me, their cider tastes the same as yates' which tatses the same as franklin's which tastes the same as hy's (that i buy at nino's). and the donuts are warm frycakes - plain, cinnamon-sugar, and powder sugar. i just don't see a big difference from place to place.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: xman887

                        Ciders do differ--at some places it's pasteurized, which results in a blander (but, I guess, slightly safer) drink, and the varieties of apples used also have an effect. Donuts--I dunno. One thing I like about the Dexter Mill is that they have other options for sale besides donuts.

                        1. re: Jim M

                          Do you know of any cider mills that still sell unpasteurized cider? That is the best! My understanding is that law requires the mills to sell only pasteurized now. Not sure if that is true for the smaller mills.

                          1. re: houndlover

                            Franklin Cider Mill sells only unpasteurized cider on site. I agree. Unpasteurized is the best. But all cider mills can serve (by law) unpasteurized on site. Pasteurized is for the kids. I will risk it. Or for those who buy it at Kroger or Farmer Jack. ;)

                            1. re: dearborn barkis

                              Dexter Cider Mill does too, I believe. They had a sign up saying that they had passed a course that allowed them to sell it unpasterized. Alber Orchards way out west of Saline off Bethel Church Road also did, the last time I looked--that one is in an extremely scenic spot.

                              1. re: Jim M

                                The cider at Erwin Orchard in South Lyon is unpasteurized.

                                  1. re: coney with everything

                                    Westview Orchards on 30 mile and Van Dyke is unpasteurized. I went there last week for the first time. tasty cider! Rochester Cider Mill on Rochester Rd a few miles north of downtown is also unpasteurized and tasty.

                                    Are you sure about Franklin still being unpasteurized? That was always my favorite growing up - best donuts, I agree!