Our personal favorite DIY apple picking spot is MacQueen Orchards and Cider Mill in Holland, Ohio. This orchard will equip you with a basket and set you loose amongst the trees, their branches heavy with apples, for a crisp $20 bill.
This is actually the perfect time to seek out MacQueen's in Northwest Ohio (a quick drive from Detroit, Ann Arbor, Dayton and 2 hours from Cleveland or Fort Wayne) as the Orchards hold their annual Apple Butter Stir Festival, October 6-7. It's a free festival to attend, with activities including pony rides, hayrides, an apple pie contest a kids talent contest, arts & crafts and a chance to hit the orchard for apple picking with lots of others, in a party-like atmosphere.
Pro tip! Get a hot apple dumpling with cinnamon ice cream on the side.
[Photo: @hannahtornquist at MacQueen's]