Take a short trip to Fly Creek Cider Mill
The Fly Creek Cider Mill & Orchard is a historic, water-powered mill on the banks of Fly Creek in the heart of beautiful Central New York just minutes from Cooperstown. For more than 150 years visitors have witnessed the pressing of fresh, sweet and delicious cider creating an experience that has become a tradition shared by generations. The Mill Store Marketplace is the heart of activity with sampling of over 40 specialty food products, many made right at the Mill. Daily tastings include apple salsa, zesty salad dressings, hot sauces, preserves, aged cheddar cheese and Mill-made fudge. From the Farm Winery you can taste Hard Ciders and Apple Wines, another feature of the New York cider making tradition.
The Fly Creek Cider Mill & Orchard is located in the hamlet of Fly Creek, NY, only a short three miles or five minutes northwest of Cooperstown. South of the Mohawk Valley, the Mill is an easy 24-mile drive from Herkimer and Interstate 90 (Exit 30.)
Hours: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
The On-Line Store is open year-round. On-Line purchases may be scheduled for pick-up at the Mill or shipped directly to your home.
For more information, visit http://www.flycreekcidermill.com/index.asp or call (800) 505-6455.
Tours & Activities
Milling around is part of the fun at the Fly Creek Cider Mill & Orchard. The entire facility is available to explore and discover on your own. Tours are self-guiding and include the Mill Store Marketplace, the cider mill processing area known as the Cider Gallery and our outside activity areas.
The Mill Store Marketplace, Restaurant & Bakery and outside activity areas are wheelchair accessible. The Cider Gallery is located on the Mill’s second level 14 steps up.
Follow in the footsteps of the many folks who have witnessed the making of fresh, sweet cider at the Fly Creek Cider Mill. Take a self-guiding tour of the Mill’s production area in the Cider Gallery on the second level. The Gallery houses the exhibit Power, Process and Popularity that depicts the entire process, portraying the unique equipment that powers the Mill and offering information about apples and cider. The Gallery overlooks the original cider-making equipment that the Mill still uses to produce some 20,000 gallons of cider each fall. The actual process takes place on weekends at non-scheduled times dependent on cider sales. On busy fall weekends the Mill runs continuously from ten until two. At other times a video demonstrates the cider making process.
The cider making starts with the harvest of hand-picked New York State Apple Country Apples. The apples are stored at 38 degrees Fahrenheit before pressing. As needed the apples are sent through the apple washer located in the Mill’s old ice house where they are scrubbed with nine rows of brushes and heavy jets of fresh, clean water. Grinding is the next step performed by the power of the Mill’s 1924 Waterloo Boy two-cylinder engine. The engine was purchased directly from the factory that later became the John Deere Corporation. The Waterloo Boy runs a flat belt that turns a line shaft delivering power to the grinder. Once ground, the apple mash, called pomace, is transferred to the 1889 Boomer & Boschert water-hydraulic press. Layers of pomace are placed in nylon cloths between plastic racks in a formation called a “cheese.” After the “cheese” is complete the entire pressing tray is rotated under the press. Pressure is applied by a two-cylinder water pump that is powered by the Lestner Water Turbine located in the basement of the Mill. The spinning turbine runs another flat belt to transfer power to the press’s water-hydraulic pump creating pressure on the “cheese.” The resulting sweet cider is pressed out of the pomace and held in a storage tank for the next step: assuring cider safety. The Mill’s newest piece of technology is an ultraviolet light processing machine called “Cidersure.” The Cidersure process guarantees cider safety by shining high intensity ultraviolet light through a very thin stream of cider. The light eliminates the possibility of any harmful contaminates in the fresh juice. The cider is then pumped into two storage tanks ready to be tasted and purchased by Mill visitors.
Tours are complimentary and self-guided daily from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.
A journey through the Mill Store Marketplace at the Fly Creek Cider Mill provides a culinary tour sampling of over 40 different products ranging from our famous sweet cider to our tangy Mill~aged, extra-sharp New York State cheddar cheese. Inside the refrigerated apple and pie room you can taste New York Apple Country® Apples, hand-picked, fresh from the orchard. During the fall harvest season the room is stocked with up to 12 varieties of apples that you can mix and match to fill a bag or two. Our knowledgeable apple experts are on hand to explain the different varieties grown for baking or eating and to offer serving and baking suggestions that your family will enjoy. The Mill’s fresh baked pies are on display plus half pies are available for visitors that have a tough time choosing their favorites.
The next stop is in the wine tasting area where hard ciders and apple wines are sampled daily. The Mill also offers a selection of recognized grape and fruit types from throughout the State. The sampling trip continues through the Mill Store Marketplace with stops at the tasting stations for salad dressings, dips, marinades and finishing sauces. A favorite is the apple salsa display, the Mill’s most popular condiment in mild, hot and apple-cranberry styles. The fruit preserve display is next showcasing over 35 different spreads, butters, jams and jellies. A tour through the Mill Store Marketplace is not complete without a treat of fudge. Every year the Mill manufactures over five tons of sweet, butter-cream fudge in over 14 flavors – and you may taste them all!
Milling around is part of the fun at the Fly Creek Cider Mill and there is no better place to start than by the Millpond. Located just behind the Mill, the pond is where water energy that drives the cider making machinery is held before releasing it through the turbine. It is also home for the Mill’s friendly ducks and geese whose antics are entertaining to watch. The wheelchair-accessible boardwalk provides a wonderful place to sit, relax and enjoy a refreshing treat from the restaurant and bakery – all the while taking in the beautiful view.
For the tractor lover the Mill offers an extensive collection of vintage John Deere equipment on display and at work around the Mill. A group of single-cylinder gas engines is often operating with their interesting hit-and-miss rhythm.
Children will not want to leave without exploring Tractorland next to the Restaurant & Bakery: a kiddie play area with a paved little-trike track and a wooden climb-on tractor. Plenty of covered picnic tables are provided for mom and dad to enjoy a food treat while the young folks work off their energy.
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