Midwest Mississippi River Communities Showcase Fall Harvest

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

The Upper Mississippi River Valley is one of the best regions to view fall colors; and many of the communities along the river extending from Dubuque, Iowa, to Quincy, Illinois, include orchards, pumpkin patches and more.

Spend a scenic weekend enjoying the beautiful colors and fall activities along the Mississippi River. As you travel along the river on the Great River Road from north to south, there are many places to find the perfect pumpkin, freshest cider, and sweetest apples.

Dubuque, IA - Czipar's Annual Apple Festival, Czipar's Apple Orchard, located on Highway 52 South just four miles south if Dubuque, celebrates autumn with their Annual Apple Festival, the weekend of September 29 -30, 2012. In addition to apples of various varieties and many products made from apples and other fall produce, the apple festival will feature kids' activities, inflatables, games, face painting, a wine tasting, a flea market, a variety of arts and crafts, NEW apple cider donuts, and more. Best of all, admission is free! 563-582-7476,

East Dubuque, IL - Tri-State Market Pumpkin Barn, 1887 Highway 35 North, East Dubuque, IL 61025, 815.747.6832, Open-air market and fresh produce, honey, jams and veggies. October family fun including pumpkins, apples, bounce house, corn maze, hay rides, farm animals and food.

Galena, IL - Wooded Wonderland, 610 S. Devil's Ladder Rd., Galena, IL 61036,, Pick your own organically grown blueberries and a variety of other produce. Take a sawmill tour after picking your goodies.

Bellevue, IA - Mill Creek Farms, 1212 State Street Bellevue, IA 213-399-5586 Locally owned and naturally grown pumpkin patch. Fall Festival Saturday Sept 29 – 30, open weekends through October 21.

Thomson, IL – Heirloom Market & Café, 2200 Illinois Route 84, Thomson, IL 61285, 815-259-0125,, Locally owned and naturally grown, there is something for everyone. We carry a large selection of pumpkins, melons and other fresh picked produce. Baked goods made daily.

Thomson, IL – Fairhaven Fruit Farm, 966 Creamery Road, Thomson, IL, 815-499-1856,, 600+ apple trees featuring 30 varieties. Pick your own, or let us do the work for you. We carefully hand pick, sort, wash and pack our award winning apples into ½ peck, peck, ½ bushel and full bushel bags.

East Moline, IL – Stone's Apple Barn, 16115 Hubbard Road, East Moline, IL, 309-496-2318,, Over 50 varieties of apples and seven varieties of pears, most grown right in the nearby orchard. Pick your own apples or shop the apple barn store featuring fresh cider, honey, preserves, caramel apples, Indian corn and more.

Quincy, IL – Mill Creek Farm, 2833 S. 48th Street, Quincy, IL, 217-222-8430, Enjoy fresh-picked produce in the spring and summer at Mill Creek Farm. Each fall appears the corn maze for cruising along with hay rides and pumpkin picking every Saturday in October from Noon to 5pm.

Nauvoo, IL – Baxter's Vineyards Pick-Your-Own Apple Orchard, 2010 E. Parley Street, Nauvoo, IL, 217-453-2528, Baxter's Vineyards, the oldest vineyard and winery in Illinois, also raise a variety of apples on dwarf trees! The orchard will be open for picking your own apples beginning mid-September through mid-October (or when the apples are gone!). All you have to do is bring bags to put your apples in – no ladders or tree climbing required! All varieties of apples may be picked for $0.75 per pound. Open September 15 – October 15, 2012.

More than a dozen Travel & Tourism groups in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois have joined forces to promote traveling along the Mississippi River Valley. Visit or find us on Facebook to check out regional events, trendy shopping areas, charming restaurants and historic sites. Use the website to plan your next weekend getaway!