By Sara De Leeuw
Nestled just 15 miles east of San Bernardino is the scenic little town of Oak Glen – a popular destination for those looking for good, old-fashioned, family fun.
Along a five-mile scenic loop through the heart of town, visitors can find a variety of ranches, shops, restaurants, bakeries, a petting zoo, trout farm, hiking trails, camping places, historical school houses, picturesque vistas and, of course, plenty of apple orchards.
Our favorite stop along this historic route is Hudson’s Snow-Line Orchard. Established in 1898, Snow-Line is best known for its apple cider mini-doughnuts. Baked fresh while you watch, these warm gems are made with Snow-Line’s own apple cider and doused with a secret blend of cinnamon and sugar.
While the doughnuts alone are worth the drive, there is also a lot of history in this family-run establishment. Celebrating 118 years of growing apples, the quaint orchard is home to California’s oldest chestnut tree, the original packing shed from the 1800s, a historic cider mill where they press their own cider, and their own winery, which produces small-batch artisanal wines and hard cider.
Snow-Line also carries a wide assortment of freshly bagged apples and mini-apples, three flavors of apple cider, its own u-pick raspberry patch, artisan balsamic vinegars and oils, local honey and unique gifts. There is a gorgeous picnic area where you can watch the blue jays and woodpeckers, and on the weekends you can listen to live music and enjoy the delicious offerings of their barbecue shack.
When we visited, we sampled some of those famous apple cider mini-doughnuts (hint: go early or during the week so you don’t have to wait in a long line for doughnuts. Yes, they are that good!), nine different types of apples and all three varieties of apple cider.
This month’s recipe highlights the incredible, fresh-pressed apple cider from Snow-Line Orchard. While it’s often at least 10 degrees cooler in Oak Glen than the rest of the Inland Empire, it’s still pretty warm here, so I decided to make an apple cider ice cream float to share with you. The ingredients are simple: vanilla ice cream, ginger ale (optional), apple cider (not optional), whipped cream and perhaps a dash of cinnamon. It’s the perfect fall drink to share with your family when you get home from a hard day of picking apples in Oak Glen.
Please make sure you visit Hudson’s Snow-Line Orchard this fall. Enjoy the cool weather, the apples, the great hospitality and history, and I won’t even tell if you don’t share your apple cider mini-doughnuts.
Apple Cider Ice Cream Floats
- 1 cup Snow Line Apple Cider
- 1/2 cup ginger ale
- 1-2 scoops good quality vanilla ice cream
- Whip Cream
- Ground cinnamon
Pour Apple Cider and ginger ale into a glass. Add vanilla ice cream. Top with Whip Cream and sprinkle with ground cinnamon to taste. Serve immediately with a straw!l
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