Hacklebarney Farm Cider Mill, Bakery & Farm Store
104 State Park Road
Chester, NJ 07930
Open: Thursday-Sunday-10:00am-5:00pm/Closed Tuesday-Wednesday (Seasonal)
Review on TripAdvisor and link to their site:
Don’t miss this New Jersey institution tucked in the corner near the entrance of Hacklebarney State Park, one of the most beautiful and underrated parks in New Jersey. Just driving down State Park Road brings me back in time to the mid-1970’s when we used to stop at the farm for apple cider. My mom always liked to have it in the house to serve with dinner when we were growing up. The best part is that they still press their own.
Coming to Hacklebarney Cider Mill Farm is a step back into the rural era of New Jersey and the family that runs the farm respects its history and does not treat it like a theme park like the farms up the road from it on Route 206. The Pitney family is now into their 7th generation of running the farm and over the years have continued to add to the business.
I got to meet one of the daughter’s running the farm with her husband at the end of the day of business and got into a interesting conversation about the farm. They are really a nice couple and it was good to hear their perspective on farming in New Jersey today. It is not so easy but I told them I like that it isn’t so commercial as the farm up the road. It is quaint and family oriented and looks more like the working farm that it is today.
The farm is very family oriented and not some sort of Disneyland farm
When you drive up to the parking lot you still see the old family homestead of the Pitney family who runs the farm. Still used by the family, they have built around the property a prosperous retail business that includes the farmland itself, a retail bakery and cider business and a food stand. The hot dogs are cooked in cider ($3.00) and served hot in a soft bun. Their hot fresh apple cider, pressed on the property ($3.00) is perfect on a cold Fall day or refreshing cool on a hot day.
Their baked goods are amazing!
Don’t miss their retail bakery which is amazing. Their apple and fruit dumplings ($4.95) may be on the pricey side but are bursting with fresh fruit and are normally sold so fast that they are still hot fresh out of the oven. Their cider doughnuts ($1.00) are the most popular items in the bakery and are sometimes sold by the dozens. When they are hot out of the fryer, there is nothing like them especially with a little powdered sugar or cinnamon.
People were walking out with bags of them that day. They have different versions of the doughnut as well. The pumpkin doughnut has a nice flavor to it and with lots of cinnamon topping on it gives it a hint of the fall. They also have a maple glazed version of it and one with bacon as well ($2.00-$2.50). They are crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.
Hacklebarney Farm doughnuts are light and delicious
They also have the most luscious looking Apple and Pumpkin pies ($10.95 and $12.95) on display as well as they were cooking fresh turkey stew for customers to sample. There are all sorts of delightful smells when you enter and exit the farm stand.
The farm pies look amazing
Try to get to the farm early and see the demonstration of them making their fresh apple cider and pick up a half gallon or two for the road when it is in season ($7.95). It is delicious, sweet and tart and reflects a different variety of apples. After two days, the complexity of the juicy becomes more pronounced and delicious.
Visiting a small New Jersey farm stand is a Jersey tradition in the Fall months. With the sprawl of development in the Garden State, these farms are trying hard to adapt to the times. There are still many left though and Hacklebarney Cider Hill Farm is a treat to anyone who wants to ‘go out to the country’. Also, don’t miss walking through their corn maze. That looks like an experience if you have the time in the afternoon.
The Corn Maze will take some time.
While you are there remember to take time to spend at Hacklebarney State Park, one of New Jersey’s great natural park systems. So don’t miss visiting the park when you exit the farm or vice-versa. You will see some of the most spectacular views.
After Thanksgiving, the farm will be open on weekends only until Christmas and then closed for the season. Please check their website.