The headgate of fall? Apple picking in Ga – especially in the North Georgia Mountains. Only a short drive from Atlanta, these U-Pick Georgia apple orchards are sure to create memories with your family and answer that question, where is the right apple picking near me?
Other sites give you a list, we have the inside scoop on apple picking in Ga with kids, for organic apples, those with lots of activities, and those with only a few. No into apple picking? We know the best places to grab a peck and go. Read on for all your fall apple needs.
Fall begins early in Georgia, at least when it comes to picking apples, and there is no better place than the Apple Capital of Georgia – Gilmer County. John W. Clayton is credited with introducing the first apples to Gilmer County in 1903. Over a hundred years later, this north Georgia area produces more than 250,000 bushels of apples annually in over 30 varieties.
For generations, farmers have cultivated the land to grow the most delicious apples around. Some are sold wholesale but most are sold direct to consumers as either fruit or in one of the many delectable treats, jams, or jellies available at one of the many apple houses dotting the countryside in Gilmer County.
10 Best Places for Apple Picking in Ga [& Apple Festivals]
What we like best is the U-Pick season. Here is your guide to the apple orchards in Georgia. Read through this list, not all orchards provide the same activities or experiences, so find the one that is right for you. Not sure the latest? Check out the orchard Facebook page. And while you are at it, keep reading for a the best fall events in Gilmer County.
9696 GA-52, Ellijay, GA 30536 | (706) 273-3838
Hillcrest is family-owned and operated, and filled with fun for the family. Pick your own apples during the Apple Pickin’ Jubilee. Activities included in the general admission are wagon rides, cow milking, pig races, multiple playgrounds, jumping pillow, giant slide, pedal cart and trike races, moonshine museum and farmhouse museum. They have also recently added Hillcrest Hillbilly Mini Golf Course and a cow train and host the only Apple Tree Maze in the State of Georgia. There is live country and bluegrass music and clogging on their stage. They have a petting zoo and pony rides. They also have a farm market.
We love the playground, especially the giant slide through the mountain. This is another great option, with tons of fun for the kids. I wish they allowed U Pick during the week, but alas, it is only on the weekend. Still, if you are in the area, the slide on the side of the hill is worth the stop alone, not to mention the farm animals! Grab a bag of apples and juice in an apple cup.
During weekdays you can not pick your own apples, but you can enjoy the petting farm, wagon rides and playground, and pick up apples and other apple treats in the market.
9131 Georgia 52 East, Ellijay, GA 30536 | (706) 276-3048
Beginning August 26 and lasting for ten weeks, U-Pick will be available every day at BJ Reece Orchards. They are the only orchards that offer U-Pick during the week. They also have their petting farm open during the week as well.
On the weekends they offer other great activities such as zipline, cow milking, corn maze, pig races, apple cannons, pony rides and much more. Leashed dogs are welcome in the orchards, but not the apple house.
This has been our go-to apple house for years. If you aren’t sure what kind of apple you’d like, taste them in the apple house, where you can also watch them make the fried pies.
5505 GA-52, Ellijay, GA 30536 | (706) 273-3821
Enjoy a tractor tour and apple picking on weekends beginning in late August. This is the best U Pick location if you don’t want the fuss of lots of activities and simply want to pick apples. Their website has a great tool for determining approx. harvest dates of your favorite varieties. Plan to eat lunch here too. They have a delicious restaurant with daily specials, hamburgers, BBQ and other sandwiches. And do yourself a huge favor – get the apple cider doughnuts. You won’t be disappointed.
3379 Tails Creek Rd, Ellijay, GA 30540 | (706) 635-5898
U pick begins at Red Apple Barn in September, and all weekends through October. They even have a pumpkin patch! I love using their website tool that shows, by variety, the harvest time, eating scale, texture and storage rating, and info for cooking such as whether the variety is good for applesauce, a pie, or eating baked.
This apple house is not located on Hwy 52 aka Apple Alley, so it’s a great place to visit during the peak apple picking weekends because traffic is not as heavy on 282 where they are located.
63 Talona Mountain Rd, Ellijay, GA 30536 | (706) 276-3813
Established in the 20s, Panorama offers more than 20 varieties of apples. You pick is not available, but this house has easy access to Hwy 515 making it a great quick stop to grab local apples and other favorite fall treats, so stop in for fresh picked apples and homemade baked goods. Kids will love the ice cream area with an old fashioned soda fountain.
8350 Hwy 52, East Ellijay, GA 30536 | (706)273-3180
Another fabulous Apple house that is perfect to pull off and pick up locally grown apples, fresh eggs and be sure to see the goats!
41 Talona Mountain Rd, Ellijay, GA 30540 | (706) 635-5110
Penland’s Apple House is all about convenience. They offer two locations, one located with easy access from Hwy 515 near Panorama Farm Market and the second located on Hwy 282 near Red Apple Barn. Both locations offer locally grown apples and other apple treats.
8660 Blue Ridge Dr, Blue Ridge, GA 30513 | (706) 632-3411
Mercier is a family business in its 4th generation, celebrating over 70 years of Georgia grown apples. You’ll experience u-pick apple opportunities, a Bakery and Deli, the Market Store and a Farm Winery. Don’t miss the Georgia Grown Hard Cider. U-Pick starts in early August, including the popular Honey Crisp variety. Note: For those looking for organics Mercier isn’t an organic orchard, but it does uses all-natural products on their fruits, even encouraging a bite in the field.
8955 GA-52, Ellijay, GA 30536 | (706) 273-3600
Although they do not offer U Pick, they are a favorite location on apple alley if you want to get your apples and other apple treats without all the fuss of other activities. They are your true stand-alone apple houses. Aaron Family Orchards also sells other produce and fresh eggs.
5340 Cornelia Hwy, Alto, GA 30510 | (770) 869-3999
Family run since 1912, you can find myriad fruit here. Apples start in August, and other fruits include watermelons, pumpkins, peaches and more. U-pick info is here, but they recommend checking Facebook for the most up-to-date info. The season starts September. Also love the cooking classes, and farm-to-table dinners.
3709 Big Creek Rd. Ellijay, 30536 | (706) 276-2512
This is the one organic apple picking farm we have found in Georgia. They are open by appointment, so be sure to call before you go.
50 Lane Rd, Fort Valley, GA 31030 | (800) 277-3224
When I think of apple picking, I think north Georgia and Ellijay, but Lane Southern Orchard is trying a new variety of U-pick apples in middle Georgia.
Don’t Miss Apple Events:
Georgia Apple Festival
Oct. 14 & 15 and Oct. 21 & 22
Ellijay Apple Queen Pageant
Saturday, September 16
For more information: 706-273-6485
Georgia Apple Festival
October 14 – 15 and October 21 – 22, 2017
Ellijay Lions Club Fairgrounds | 1729 South Main Street, Ellijay, GA 30540 | 706-636-4500
Adults are $5 and kids 10 and under are FREE. Parking is done by local civic and school groups and donation amounts may vary. Limited handicap parking is available at the main fairgrounds entrance.
Apple Arts on the Square
October 14 – 15 and October 21 – 22, 2017
This is a smaller version of the Apple Festival and is set up on Ellijay’s square.
Apple Classic Auto Show
Oct. 14, 2017
9 am – 5 pm
Apple Festival 5K Road Race
Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017
5K @ 8:00 A.M. – 1 mile @ 8:45 A.M.
Starts and ends at Ellijay Elementary School in Downtown Ellijay
Apple Festival Parade
Oct. 21, 2017
Gilmer County Civic Center, Old Hwy 5 (next to Lions Club Fairgrounds)
Map Your Apple Fun
Disclosure: We are happy to partner with the Gilmer Chamber of Commerce on this post. Apple picking is one of our favorite family traditions and we know you’ll love it too.