Apple Picking in Georgia: The 10 Best North GA Apple Orchards to Visit

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. All hosted affiliate links follow our editorial & privacy policies.

[Updated October 20, 2021] When autumn starts to roll around, there are plenty of fun annual traditions to look forward to.

From watching the leaves transform into glorious fall colors and visiting a pumpkin patch/corn maze to going to fall festivals and picking apples, it’s truly our favorite season in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia! 

There’s something incredibly endearing about exploring local orchards to find the juiciest apples (and strawberries, blackberries, peaches, etc) to pick straight from the tree.

We also love browsing these farmers’ markets, where the smell of delicious goodies like fresh-baked pies, donuts, and cider fills the air.

The town of Ellijay is most famous for its apple orchards and apple festivals, leading it to be nicknamed “the Apple Capital of Georgia.” But there are also many other great places for apple picking in the Georgia mountains.

To that end, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best North Georgia Apple Orchards to visit, with options in Ellijay, Blue Ridge, McCaysville, Alto, and Lakemont.

Each entry includes information about tours, other farm attractions, and some of the different varieties of apples you can pick when you visit.

READ MORE: 101+ Things to Do in the North Georgia Mountains

 

 

Apple Picking in Georgia Guide

  1. Hillcrest Orchards and Farms
  2. Red Apple Barn
  3. R&A Orchards
  4. B.J. Reece Orchards
  5. Panorama Orchards & Farm Market
  6. Aaron Family Orchards
  7. Mercier Orchards
  8. Jaemor Farms
  9. Deep Roots Orchard
  10. Hillside Orchard Farms

Ellijay GA Apple Orchards

Hillcrest Orchards
Photo courtesy of Hillcrest Orchards

1. Hillcrest Orchards and Farms

9696 Hwy 52E. • 706-273-3838

http://hillcrestorchards.net

History

One of the best places for picking apples in Georgia, Hillcrest Orchards provides families with a diverse and unique farm experience offering everything from u-pick options and wagon rides to cow milking and swimming pig races!

The 74-year-old, family-owned business is run by Janice and Lynn Hale along with their daughter, Kristin, and grandson Jackson.

It’s a great place to stop on your way to Blue Ridge GA, or combine it with a day trip to Amicalola Falls. 

Types of Apples Grown / Best Time to Visit

The types of apples grown in the u-pick orchard here include Rome Beauty, Golden Delicious, Mutsu, Granny Smith, Goldrush, Arkansas Black, and Yates. 

Other types of apples (including Pink Lady, Fuji, Cameo, and Jonagold) can be bought inside the Hillcrest market.

Their hours of operation are from September 1st to October 31st from 9 AM to 6 PM, and November 1st through 30th from 9 AM to 5 PM. 

But “you pick” apples are offered every day from the beginning of September through early November… or until all the viable apples are picked!

Tours & Activities/Attractions

Along with apple picking, Hillcrest Orchard also offers wagon rides, a kiddie corn maze, a petting farm, and pig races every day!

There’s also a farm market stocked full of fresh fruit, jams, jellies, and honey, as well as a farm bakery that sells delicious fresh-baked apple pies, cider doughnuts, and apple fritters.

Pre-registered tours of the farm also are available on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

READ MORE: The 20 Best Things to Do in Blue Ridge, GA

Red Apple Barn
Photo courtesy of Red Apple Barn

2. Red Apple Barn

3379 Tailscreek Road • 706-635-5898

https://www.redapplebarn.com

History  

Marvin Pritchett planted his first orchard of 100 trees in Gilmer County in 1965, then planted 500 more the next year on Tails Creek (which adjoined his father’s land).

The Red Apple Barn was built in 1971 to sell the apples from, and it remains a popular attraction in Ellijay today. The Apple Barn has grown over the years, both in size and status, but ownership has stayed within the family.

The Pritchetts continue to run the business under the same principles upon which it was founded– customer satisfaction, quality of merchandise, and friendly service. 

Types of Apples Grown / Best Time to Visit

Picking apples at the Red Apple Barn is available on weekends in September, October, and November, or until all the apples in the orchard are picked.

So it’s generally best to come earlier in the season if you want the best apple-picking experience.

Some varieties of apples that can be found here include Arkansas Black, Cameo, Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, Golden Supreme, Jonagold, Granny Smith, Pink Lady, and Stayman Winesap. 

Tours & Activities/Attractions 

With your admission for U-Pick Apples, you also get a tractor ride to and from the orchard, two flowers, a delicious apple cider doughnut, and a cup of apple cider.

You’ll also get access to family-friendly games, and the picnic and playground area for kids. 

Weekday Farm Tours are also available that will take you on a tractor ride by the Hayfield, to the Orchard to pick an apple, through the Pumpkin Patch and Flower Garden, and then back to the barn for some complimentary treats!

READ MORE: The 15 Best Blue Ridge Georgia Cabins to Rent

R&A Orchards in Ellijay GA
Photo courtesy R&A Orchards

3. R&A Orchards

5505 Hwy. 52E. • 706-273-3821

https://www.randaorchards.com

History

The family tradition of R&A Orchards dates back to 1947, when Leonard and Della Payne planted the first trees in their Gilmer County orchard.

Their daughter Ann and her husband Roger (a.k.a. R&A) continued planting trees, and in 1972 R & A Orchards opened its Roadside Market.

The business was later passed down to Roger and Ann’s daughter Rhonda and son Andy. 

Today Andy and his wife Jennifer run the business with their four children. They operate on the belief that the biggest factor in the Ellijay orchard’s success is plain and simple hard work.

Types of Apples Grown / Best Time to Visit

The apple season at R&A Orchards typically runs from August to early December, with different types of apples ripening at different times.

U-pick apples are available every weekend in September, when you can harvest ripe Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Stayman Winesap, Mutsu, and Rome Beauty apples.

Other varieties, including Detroid Red, Ginger Golden, Gala, Jonah Gold, Granny Smith, Fuji, Arkansas Black, and Yates, can be bought in their roadside market throughout the season.

Tours & Activities / Attractions

Tours of R&A Orchards are available by appointment for families and school groups every weekend in September. 

While you’re there, be sure to stop at the shop. There you can pick up a ton of tasty goodies, like apple butter, apple cider, dried apples, condiments, and more.

READ MORE: The Top 10 Treehouse Rentals in the Georgia Mountains

BJ Reece Orchards in Ellijay GA
Photo courtesy BJ Reece Orchards

4. B.J. Reece Orchards

9131 Highway 52 East. • 706-276-3048

https://www.reeceorchards.com

History

B.J. Reece Orchards is a family-owned and operated apple orchard in Ellijay GA that has been rated as one of Georgia’s top “fun getaway” destinations.

Nestled among the scenic beauty of the North Georgia mountains, the farm is as beautiful as it is fun, with tons of activities that are made even better by the family-friendly atmosphere.

Types of Apples Grown / Best Time to Visit

There are 120 acres of Reece orchards featuring 30 different varieties of apples.

These include Ginger Gold, Gala, Empire, Blondies, Crimson Crisp, Red Delicious, Mutsu, Rome Beauty, Cameo, Winecrisp, Shizuka, Candy Crisp, Gold Rush, Yates, and Fuji, among others.

Their u-pick season starts just before Labor Day weekend and continues through the end of October.

Sometimes their orchards are picked clean well before the end of the season. So if you want to guarantee some fresh apples, get there early!

Tours & Activities / Attractions

Group reservations are available where you can purchase activity bundles that include fun things like a visit to the petting farm, a cow milking demonstration, and a wagon ride through the farm.

READ MORE: The 13 Best Restaurants in Blue Ridge GA

Panorama Farm Market
Photo courtesy of Panorama Orchards and Farm Market

5. Panorama Orchards & Farm Market

63 Talona Spur • 706-276-3813

https://panoramaorchards.com

History

The Stembridge family originally started growing apples in a bustling rural community known as Ella Gap.

The family partnership eventually developed into separate orchard operations, with one being the Blue Ridge Mountain Orchards. 

When the business became a partnership between Joel Stembridge and his son Gene in 1965, the name was changed to Panorama Orchards.

It has since evolved into the beloved apple orchard and farm market we know today.

Types of Apples Grown / Best Time to Visit

While you-pick options aren’t available here, there are more than 20 different varieties of apples offered at the Panorama Farm Market for purchase. 

Some of the main varieties are available at the beginning of the season (August to October), like Ginger Gold, Detroid Red, Gala, Blonde, and September Wonder.

Other varieties are available towards the end of the season (September to December), including Granny Smith, Mutsu, Stayman Winesap, and Cameo.

Tours & Activities / Attractions

During your visit to this North Georgia apple orchard, make sure you browse their market for tasty treats such as fried pies, fresh cider, applesauce bread, apple brandy cake, and baked apple pie. All are made from scratch in the market kitchens, using fresh fruit from the orchard.

READ MORE: The 10 Best Waterfalls Near Blue Ridge GA

Aaron Family Orchards
Photo courtesy of Aaron Family Orchards

6. Aaron Family Orchards

8350 Hwy 52E • 706-273-3180 (Aug-Dec)  or 706-273-8456 (Jan-July)

http://aaronfamilyorchards.com/index.html

History

Prior to the US entering WWII, Shafter Aaron needed to find a way to bring in extra income to support his family.

In 1938, he started construction on what would become known as “Aaron’s Apple House,” focusing on the wholesale and retail sale of agricultural products. 

The business has grown and been passed down from generation to generation, including Shafter’s sons (Jack and Mack), then Jack’s children (Diane and Alan).

Today, the Aaron Family Orchards are owned and operated by Shafter’s grandson, Alan Aaron.

Types of Apples Grown / Best Time to Visit

While you can’t pick them yourself straight from the tree, Aaron Family Orchards has a variety of freshly picked apples in bins for customers to enjoy.

Some of the different types on offer here include Gala, Detroit Red, Ozark Gold, Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp, Cameo, Pink Lady, Stayman Winesap, Granny Smith, and of course the ever-popular Red Delicious.

Tours & Activities/Attractions 

While you’re at the orchard, you can explore the beautiful farm and browse goodies in the store, including a variety of yummy jams, jellies, and ciders. They also offer custom gift baskets starting at $25, which makes a great Christmas gift for foodies. 

READ MORE: The 10 Best Wineries in the North Georgia Mountains

 

Blue Ridge GA Apple Orchards

Apple U-Pick at Mercier Orchards
Apple U-Pick at Mercier Orchards

7. Mercier Orchards

8660 Blue Ridge Dr. • 706-632-3411

https://mercier-orchards.com

History

Now in its 4th generation, the Blue Ridge-based Mercier Orchards is a family-owned and operated apple orchard that has produced bountiful harvests for more than 75 years.

Located on 300 acres of pastoral land surrounded by mountains, it’s easily one of the most beautiful apple orchards in the state. It’s also arguably the most popular place for apple picking in Georgia.

Unfortunately, due to a staff shortage and a harsh freeze in April 2021, Mercier Orchards will not be offering Apple U-Pick this year.

Types of Apples Grown / Best Time to Visit

Their apples are in season from August through October, making late summer and early autumn the perfect time to pick your own.

Your admission for “U-Pick” events includes a ride on a tractor through the farm. Your guides will give you instructions on how to pick the fruit, and ample time in the orchard to pick your fresh apples.

In August, the most popular apples are Blondee, Detroit Red, Gala, Golden Supreme, and Jonathon. In September, you’ll find Ambrosia, Cameo, Crimson Crisp, Empire, Jona Prince, Mcintosh, and Mutzu.

You can even find some varieties in October, such as Arkansas Black, Braeburn, Candy Crisp, Fuji, Granny Smith, Gold Rush, and Pink Lady.

Tours & Activities / Attractions

Mercier Orchards tour are available for just $5, with children 2 and under enjoying the ride for free.

Their café, which serves up a hearty breakfast and lunch as well as a variety of mouth-watering bakery items and hard-pressed beverages, is widely considered to be one of the best restaurants in Blue Ridge.

READ MORE: The Best Things to Do in Blue Ridge, GA

 

Alto GA Apple Orchards

Jaemor Farms Fried Apple Pies
Fried Apple Pies, photo courtesy Jaemor Farms

8. Jaemor Farms

5340 Cornelia Hwy • 770-869-3999

https://www.jaemorfarms.com

History

Established in 1912 (and located less than 5 miles from Alto’s Schoolbus Graveyard), Jaemor Farms is a family-owned business now in its 6th generation.

The Echols family has been growing a variety of fruits for more than 100 years now. They strive to practice sustainable agriculture, as they recognize the importance of high quality and fresh produce. 

More than just a business, Jaemor Farm offers a memorable outdoor experience the whole family can enjoy.

Types of Apples Grown / Best Time to Visit

Jaemor Farms produces apples during the early season (July to August), mid-season (late August to late September), and late season (October through December).

Note that visits to their you-pick apple orchards are only available on select days. Updates on specific dates can be found on the Jaemor Farms Facebook page

They specialize in east coast apples, including Gala, Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp, Red Delicious, Fuji, Ginger Gold, Arkansas Black, Mutsu, Red Rome, Cameo, Jonagold, and McIntosh among others.

Tours & Activities / Attractions

Jaemor Farms hosts educational tours and field trips as well as other fun events, including an annual fall corn maze and pumpkin patch.

They also host a “date night on the farm” event, wherein you and your partner get to enjoy a romantic dinner, great music, and other fun activities on the farm.

READ MORE: Unicoi State Park & Lodge: Camping & Hiking Near Helen, GA

 

McCaysville GA Apple Orchards

Deep Roots Orchard
Photo courtesy of Deep Roots Orchard

9. Deep Roots Orchard

2984 Mobile Road. • 706-492-7753

https://www.rootsorchard.com

History

Located in the heart of southern Appalachia on a picturesque hillside below a quaint country church, Deep Roots Orchards is one of the most unique apple orchards in Georgia.

The old-fashioned orchard is family-owned and operated, and invites guests to slow down, enjoy the fresh fruit and beautiful scenery, and make some lifelong memories.

Types of Apples Grown / Best Time to Visit

The apples ripen to their peak as summer fades into fall, making this the best time to visit Deep Roots. Access to the orchards is $5, and U-pick is an additional $2 plus the cost of the apples.

Tours & Activities / Attractions

To learn more about the history of the land, take a wagon ride through the fields all the way to the top of the orchard.

There are also a variety of other events at Deep Roots Orchard, including farmer’s markets, movie nights, in-studio yoga sessions, u-pick flower days, and family picnics.

Check out their “Fire on the Mountain” event, where you can join friends around a roaring campfire and roast hotdogs, make s’mores, and enjoy the beauty of the great outdoors! 

READ MORE: The 15 Best North Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites

 

Lakemont GA Apple Orchards

Hillside Orchard Farms Train
The Hillside Orchard Farms Train, photo courtesy Hillside Orchard

10. Hillside Orchard Farms

18 Sorghum Mill Drive • 706-782-2776

https://www.hillsideorchard.com

History

Growing up in rural northeast Georgia (near the mountain town of Clayton), farming was a way of life for Robert and Patsy Mitcham.

In 1983, those experiences inspired them to start Hillside Orchard Farms in Lakemont, just a few miles away from family-friendly attractions like Minnehaha FallsPanther Falls/Angels Falls, and Goats On The Roof.

Now, three generations run the farm, which has operated for over 30 years by providing an awesome farm experience for visitors and more than 700 locally made products in their country store.

Types of Apples Grown / Best Time to Visit

Hillside Orchard Farms offers pick-your-own apples from their orchards throughout the month of September.

Enterprise, Staymans, Pink Ladies, Gold Rush, and Arkansas Blacks are the primary varieties of apples available, but more are being added every year. 

Tours & Activities / Attractions

Other than picking your own apples, there are lots of things you can do on the family farm, including taking a trip on the farm train, hayrides, and visiting the playground, greenhouse, and barnyard. 

An annual corn maze is also offered at the Hillside Orchard, as well as a Fall Farm Day, where seasonal sales are available throughout the store and farm bakery.  –by Christina Maggitas

Leave No Trace logo

We encourage anyone who loves the Blue Ridge region to learn about the Leave No Trace principles of responsible environmental stewardship. 

Stay on marked trails, take only pictures, pack out your trash, and be considerate of others who share the trails and parks you explore. 

Remember that waterfalls and rocky summits can be dangerous. Never try to climb waterfalls or get close to a ledge to get a selfie.

When you're exploring the wilderness, it's better to be safe than to be a statistic!

Growing up in rural south Georgia, Christina Maggitas developed a love for nature at a young age and spent the majority of her formative years outdoors. Since first visiting the Great Smokey Mountains with her family as a child, she has always admired the beauty of the Blue Ridge region and spends as much time as she can hiking north Georgia. She has a passion for writing and storytelling with the hopes of inspiring others to enjoy the great outdoors. Currently, Christina is a senior at Kennesaw State University where she is studying Journalism and Emerging Media.