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 to last a life time (or at least a season!)
Mercier Orchards Blue Ridge 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 early August, including the popular Honey Crisp variety. See 2016 pricing here.
Hillcrest Orchards and Farms Ellijay Hillcrest is family-owned and operated, and filled with fun for the family. Pick your own apples during the Apple Pickin’ Jubilee. You can also milk a cow, watch live pig races, visit the petting zoo, take a wagon ride through the farm and visit the Moonshine Museum. 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. The 2016 schedule begins Sept 10; see here for dates and pricing.
BJ Reece Orchards. Ellijay. Enjoy U-Pick just before Labor Day, though the market is already open. You can pick apples and visit the country bakery. Weekends in September and October include pig races and apple cannons, pony rides, jumping on the giant pillow or taking the cow train. Leashed dogs welcome. The only Pick Your Own apple orchard we found that was open during the week. Great fun; lots of varieties. This is our favorite in the area. Update: According to the Gilmer Chamber, R&A also offers weekday U-Pick!
R&A Orchards. Ellijay Enjoy a tractor tour and apple picking beginning in late August. Their website has a great tool for determining approx. harvest dates of your favorite varieties. Get the apple doughnut! Update: According to the Gilmer Chamber, R&A also offers weekday U-Pick!
Jaemor Farms. Alto in Rabun County 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 Sept 10. Also love the cooking classes, farm-to-table dinners.
Red Apple Barn. Ellijay 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, eating baked.
Panorama Orchards & Farm Market. Elliay Established in the 20s, Panorama offers more than 20 varieties of apples. You pick is not available, but you can stop in for fresh picked apples and homemade baked goods/ Kids will love the new expanded Ice Cream area with an old fashioned soda fountain.
Mack Aaron’s Apple House. Ellijay. Not a PYO apple location, but a neat little store. Great peaches and apple cider.
Organics Note. I have not yet found an organic apple picking farm in Georgia. If you know of one, please be sure to tell us! The closest thing I know of is Mercier, which uses all-natural products on their fruits, even encouraging a bite in the field.
Don’t Miss Apple Event: 2016 Ellijay Apple Festival
When: October 8/9 & October 15/16
Where: Ellijay Lions Club Fairgrounds, 1729 South Main Street, Ellijay, GA 30540
Adults are $5 and kids 10 and under are FREE
The Georgia Apple Festival brings two exciting weekends to Ellijay, Georgia every year with hundreds of vendors offering food, art, crafts, and more, as well visitors from all over.
There are over 300 vendors with handmade, hand-crafted items, as well as many on-site demonstrations of how selected types of crafts are made. This year promises many new crafts as well as favorites from past festivals. There is a parade and antique car show each year. The antique car show is held at the Civic Center on October 10th. The parade is on October 17th and begins at 10 AM in historic downtown Ellijay.
Other Apple Events:
October 8/9 & 15/16
9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
APPLE CLASSIC AUTO SHOW
Saturday, October 15th
Gilmer County Civic Center, Old Hwy 5 (next to Lions Club Fairgrounds)
APPLE FESTIVAL PARADE
Saturday, Sept 26th in downtown Ellijay
LITTLE APPLE QUEEN PAGEANTS
All of Gilmer County