Get Away: Halcyon Days Cider Co.

This Virginia orchard features a labyrinth made with more than 2,000 apple trees.

The Halcyon Days labyrinth. Photo by Steven Shires.

Taste fresh ciders and explore a 1.7-mile-long labyrinth created with more than 2,000 apple trees at Halcyon Days Cider Co., which opens for business Labor Day weekend in Natural Bridge, Virginia. Owner Larry Krietemeyer, a retired architect, says he modeled the orchard after France’s famous Chartres labyrinth, although Halcyon’s diameter—at 425 feet—is 10 times larger. Set on a knoll overlooking the Allegheny and Blue Ridge mountains, the trees are planted in four sections that represent the apple’s evolution. The innermost ring is lined with ancestral apple trees originating from parts of Asia and the Caucasus Mountains, which divide Asia and Europe. The next ring contains varieties from England and France, followed by a ring with heirloom American apples. The outer rows are comprised of modern apples (circa 1900 and later), such as WineCrisp and Gold Rush. (None are for public picking.) Larry’s wife, Martha, and brother, Andy, are partners in the business and staff the cidery’s tasting room, where you can sip both nonalcoholic and hard ciders.

Halcyon Days Cider Co., 4135 S. Lee Highway, Natural Bridge, Virginia, 540-291-1340,

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