The Big Apple
As rest stops go, The Big Apple in Colborne is the biggest, the boldest, and definitely the most entertaining. The iconic giant apple is the largest construction of an apple anywhere in the world.
The Big Apple is the iconic roadside attraction you simply cannot pass. Every kid wants to stop here and every adult does, too! It is a celebration of all things apple and especially all things apple in Northumberland County.
Originally, The Big Apple was built as an information centre for the area’s agricultural heritage. Now it has expanded to become a cultural and culinary destination on everyone’s must-see list. There is plenty to keep you entertained with a mini golf course, farm store, a smokehouse and every apple-treat you could possibly think of!
Located just off the 401 Highway on the way to Colborne, it’s easy to spot the 12-metre-tall Mr. Applehead from any direction. The Big Apple is 140 km east from Toronto, on the way to Kingston (125 km). It may look like a simple rest stop on the highway, but it is so much more.
For up-to-date information and details on The Big Apple, we recommend you visit their website. For information about other places of interest to explore nearby, keep scrolling to see what Destination Ontario recommends.
More about The Big Apple
Mr. Applehead has been greeting travellers for over 30 years, offering fresh produce and delicious treats.
Head inside and make the pie shop your first port of call. The Big Apple Pie Store is renowned for its scrumptious apple pies and mouth-watering offerings of other baked apple goods. Eat a small one now and take a large one home for later. There is also the onsite 401 Brewery, The Smokehouse Restaurant, and sweet desserts at the Chocolate Shop including fudge and frozen yoghurt.
Need to burn off some energy (or apple pies)? The Big Apple features fun activities for the kids. Mini Golf and Bocce Ball are always popular and free. Or ride the mini train through the park and play ‘Spot the Sculptures.’ And let’s not forget our four-legged friends dogs can stretch their legs in the Dog Run Park. There is something for everyone!
A favourite feature of the Big Apple is the top observation deck, with magnificent views across Colborne and Lake Ontario. The surrounding countryside is covered with apple orchards, including those at the Big Apple. It’s a great place to plan out the next leg in the journey and spot the outstanding landmarks.
On the last weekend of May, Colborne is host to the Annual Apple Blossom Tyme Festival. It is a celebration to welcome everyone to the village and the beautiful apple orchards. Along with the Big Apple, there is a collection of vendors and bakers to showcase their wares with delectable apple treats and fragrant blossoms all around.
Many visitors for the Apple Blossom Tyme Festival fall in love with Colborne, eager to return again and again. Once you pass the Big Apple, drive into Colborne and immerse yourself in the creative beauty of this quaint village. The walls of downtown Colborne are adorned with colourful murals to brighten the accommodating main street. Pick up a map from the Township Office and take yourself on a walking tour. The stories tell themselves with gorgeous architecture and historic buildings throughout the area. One of the highlights is the Colborne Art Gallery, displayed in a refurbished 19th century registry office. It regularly exhibits artwork of all kinds from local artists.
Whichever direction you are heading, the Big Apple is the ideal rest and recharge point.