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Le centre d'interprétation de la courge
Photograph: Le centre d'interprétation de la courge

The best pumpkin patches to go pumpkin picking near Montreal

Grab some gourds and enjoy local treats when checking out any one of these pumpkin patches for picking near Montreal

By JP Karwacki
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Once fall begins, there's few things that are more picture-perfect for the season than going pumpkin picking at one of the patches near Montreal. If heading out of town isn't an option, the best farmers markets in Montreal always stock pumpkins by the end of September, but this narrow window of the year when the weather's just right is something to savour. This is when apple picking near Montreal is coming to a close, the cider's been bottled and put up for sale, and Montrealers can enjoy the crisp air and foliage of the season alongside a farm's freshly baked pies, donuts and/or hot beverages. Get out there, enjoy what little good temperatures we have left, and get prepping for Halloween in Montreal.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Montreal

Where to find the best pumpkin patches for picking near Montreal

1. Le centre d'interprétation de la courge

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Travel time: 40 minutes

Open until October 31 every season, few U-pick farms take pumpkins and other such gourds as seriously as this farm. Its fields are accessible rain or shine, and the farm supplies wheelbarrows for visitors looking to stock on more than Halloween decorations. If you don't want to get your hands dirty, these squash specialists also have a shop to wander through—the bonus there is that the owners also run Vignoble & Microbrasserie Les Vents d'Ange, so their superb wines and beers are also for sale.

2. Verger Labonté

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Travel time: 40 minutes

If there's one orchard operation near Montreal that takes its pumpkin picking season seriously, it's this place. While wandering through its U-pick apple orchards and corn maze labyrinth are both prime reasons to go, the pumpkins and boutique fully-stocked with products—farm-raised chicken, apple jams, baked goods, you name it—give this place a whole new angle as fall begins.

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3. La Courgerie

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Travel time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Pumpkin picking and pumpkin products are the main focus of this farm that's been running since 1999, alongside a range of pumpkin-themed activities for the kids. With 20,000 viitors a year, 8 cookbooks under their belts and 300 varities of squash, it isn't just about picking a pumpkin here. Be sure to dig into their boutique's dozens of homemade products on your way out.

4. Les Citrouillards

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Travel time: 40 minutes

For more than 20 years, Les Citrouillards holds the self-proclaimed position as the kingdom of pumpkin picking. If the name isn't enough to convince a potential picker, then maybe their suggestion of dressing up in costume while enjoying their walking trails, picnic area, petting zoo and boutique with vegetables and decorative gourds will.

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5. Vergers & Cidrerie Denis Charbonneau

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Travel time: 45 minutes

From September 15 to October 31, pumpkins are available for picking at this orchard and cidermaker, as well as some end-of-season apples, pears and plums. The best time to go is during weekends when their crêpe shop is open, best washed down with some of their sparkling and ice ciders. The selection of booze here is one of the most robust when it comes to U-pick farms, so bring a designated driver if you want to go buck wild this autumn.

6. La Ferme Quinn

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Travel time: 45 minutes

With its location on L'Île-Perrot, Quinn Farm provides a great farm and orchard experience near the city without needing to make a full day of it. A visit there begs otherwise: Apple picking, pumpkin picking, tractor and wagon rides, a petting zoo for the kids with a cedar maze, plus a farm shop filled with baked goods plus jams and preserves of past seasons make a trip more than worth the gas. It is accessible by public transit, but that's a full 3.5 hours of sitting on the metro and the bus.

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7. La Magie de la Pomme

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Travel time: 40 minutes

While the Dubeault family's place is chiefly known for its apple picking earlier in the year, once it comes time to pick pumpkins, they're ready: Every year they run their own pumpkin festival with tractor rides, fresh apple juice to taste, a donut shop, pumpkin carving and—of course—picking your own squashes and pumpkins from more than 100 varieties. Only serious pumpkin aficianados need apply.

8. Verger Du Flanc Nord

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Travel time: 45 minutes

For a more family-oriented experience, this orchard with apple and plum picking (plus a cider house producing an award-winning ice cider since 2011) provides a great place to celebrate Halloween before it hits on October 31st. From mid-October onward, the farm owners dress as witches for entertainment, kids get to select their own pumpkin.

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9. Ferme Roland Cloutier

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Travel time: 45 minutes

With a farm that's been ongoing for four generations, Ferme Roland Cloutier has been providing people with a place to pick their own fruits during the summer season—berries, plums, pears, melons—and pumpkins during the approaching fall. They've also got U-pick vegetables from June to October, and a full range of fresh pies, marinades, jams and locally-produced meats to pick up between July and October.

10. La Citrouille Enchantée

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Travel time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Once the picking season starts, this farm runs every day of the week for families looking to pick up a few pumpkins from their 56 varieties of pumpkins and squash as kids take advantage of the tractor rides, mazes and playgrounds that the owners set up. It's an amazing place for a day trip from Montreal when considering that they only acquired their farm in 2010, having turned it into the wide-spanning farm it is today. 

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11. La Ferme Reid

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Travel time: 40 minutes

Specializing in corn in the summer and pumpkins in the beginning of the fall season, Ferme Reid offer U-pick pumpkins alongside a picnic in the countryside: Do some farm-fresh groceries before grabbing one of their pies and chowing down (though we can't guarantee they've got forks on site). They've also got a petting zoo for the kiddies, plus a John Deere store for any true farming fans out there.

12. La Ferme Genest

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Travel time: 2 hours 30 minutes

With U-pick berries and apples in the summer, corn in August and pumpkins in later months, La Ferme Genest's distance from the city means making a day trip out of it. Lucky you, they've got enough going on to keep folks busy with field tours, a shop selling ice cider, donuts, apple brioche and jams, and room for family gatherings. In fact, they've got one of the more robust shops, so pack the car with goods before you head home.

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13. La Fille du Roy

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Travel time: 50 minutes

Picking pumpkins here can begin as early as September 1st, and according to these U-pick pros, that's actually the best month to come through for a visit. If you visit later on, pumpkins are still available until mid-October along with a corn maze to explore, guided tours of the land, product tastings from the farmers and a wood-fired oven for pizza that's burning on the weekends.

14. Ferme Cormier

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Travel time: 1 hour

Take a trip out to this farm near L'Assomption that's been run by eight generations of farmers and enjoy picking up squash and pumpkins on your own before picnicking on their remaining crops of veggies and berries, plus baskets packed with sandwiches, pizza, chocolate-pumpkin cake and cheese-filled gallettes.  They've also got their own baked bread and jams for the next morning.

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15. Ferme Mathieu Lavoie

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Travel time: 1 hour

While this farm is mainly looked to for what they offer out of their apple orchards—picking, bubbling hard ciders, pies, jams, heck, even recipe books—they've also got pumpkin picking available every day of the week in October. Dig into their squash sausages and squash chips for a snack if you're getting hungry, and enjoy picking the biggest pumpkin you can find.

16. Ferme Au Pré Bleu

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Travel time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Keep this one in mind for strawberries, raspberries and blueberries in the summer, but if you're late to the U-pick game, they've also got rhubarb, Quebec garlic and U-pick squash and pumpkins on the weekends once summer turns to fall. Be sure to pick up some of their excelelnt fresh breads and pies while you're there.

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17. La Ferme Éthier

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Travel time: 1 hour 40 minutes

The U-pick options for pumpkins come first, but this farm comes with a whole range of things to do while you're there: A cornfield maze, tractor rides, hiking trails, playgrounds for the kids with a petting zoo and a picnic area to dig into the farm's homemade pies and jams help round out spending a day there. Keep this place in mind for warmer months as well when saskatoon berries, blueberries, strawberries and more can be picked by the bucket. 

More fall activities in and around Montreal

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