Apple Picking in Georgia: The 14 Best GA Apple Orchards to Visit (2023)

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[Updated July 13, 2023]

When autumn starts to roll around, there are plenty of fun annual traditions to look forward to such as Apple Picking in Georgia.

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

With an easy day trip from Atlanta GA, you can explore local apple orchards to find the juiciest fruit (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.

Apple orchards in Ellijay, Georgia are perhaps the most famous, leading the town 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 14 best 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 you can choose while Apple Picking in Georgia.

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

Apple Picking in Georgia / North GA Apple Orchards Guide

  1. Aaron Family Orchards (Ellijay)
  2. B.J. Reece Orchards (Ellijay)
  3. Hillcrest Orchards and Farms (Ellijay)
  4. Mack Aaron’s Apple House (Ellijay)
  5. Panorama Orchards & Farm Market (Ellijay)
  6. Penland’s Apple House (Ellijay)
  7. R&A Orchards (Ellijay)
  8. Red Apple Barn (Ellijay)
  9. Mercier Orchards (Blue Ridge)
  10. Jaemor Farms (Alto)
  11. The Folk Collaborative (McCaysville)
  12. Payne’s Apple Orchard (Epworth)
  13. Hillside Orchard Farms (Lakemont)
  14. Bryson’s Apple Orchard (Mountain Rest SC)

READ MORE: The 25 Best Places to Visit in Georgia (State)

Ellijay GA Apple Orchards

Aaron Family Orchards - Georgia apple orchards
Photo courtesy of Aaron Family Orchards

1. Aaron Family Orchards

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

Official Website

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 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 this Ellijay apple 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 16 Best Things to Do in Ellijay GA & Gilmer County

BJ Reece Apple Orchards in Ellijay GA
Photo courtesy BJ Reece Orchards

2. B.J. Reece Orchards

9131 Highway 52 East. • Ellijay GA • 706-276-3048

Official Website

History

B.J. Reece Orchards is a family-owned and operated apple orchard in Ellijay GA that has been rated as one of the best destinations for fun North Georgia getaways for apple picking.

Nestled among the scenic beauty of the 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 75 acres to roam on the B.J. Reece orchard, featuring 60 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 15 Best Cabin Rentals in Ellijay GA

Hillcrest Orchards - apple picking in GA
Photo courtesy of Hillcrest Orchards

3. Hillcrest Orchards and Farms

9696 Hwy 52E. • Ellijay GA • 706-273-3838 

Official Website

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 Amicalola Falls or other waterfalls near Blue Ridge GA.

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: Top 20 Things to Do in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia

Mack Arron's Apple House - Ellijay apple orchard
Mack Arron’s Apple House via Facebook

4. Mack Aaron’s Apple House

8955 Highway 52 East • Ellijay GA • 706-273-3600

Official Website

History

Mack Aaron’s Apple House is run by a family whose apple-growing heritage dates back to 1944.

Opened for business in 1978, this Ellijay apple orchard takes pride in both their large variety of apples and the people who grow them.

In 2008, Mack and Joyce Aaron passed down the business to their son, Bill Aaron, and his wife, Gina. The couple continues the family tradition today.

Types of Apples Grown/Best Times to Visit

With a guarantee of at least 11 different types of apples to choose from at any given time, visitors to this North Georgia apple farm are promised a treat of trying something new!

The best time for apple picking in GA starts in August and runs through November, with 17 different types of apples harvested over those four months.

The varieties available depends on the month you decide to go, but options include Red Delicious, September Wonder, Pink Lady, Gala, Mutsu, and many more.

Mack Aaron’s Apple House is open every day in harvest season from 9 AM to 6 PM.

Tours & Activities/Attractions

Along with their apples, Mack Aaron’s Apple House also offers a variety of homemade baked goods, fresh peaches (from July through Labor Day), and an array of jams, ciders, and other goods in their traditional country store.

READ MORE: Hiking & Camping at Fort Mountain State Park Near Ellijay GA

Panorama Farm Market
Photo courtesy of Panorama Orchards and Farm Market

5. Panorama Orchards & Farm Market

63 Talona Spur • Ellijay GA •706-276-3813

Official Website

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 Georgia 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, Detroit 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 20 Best Pumpkin Patches in North Georgia to Visit

Penlands Apple House U-Pick Apples - apple orchards Georgia
Penland’s Apple House via Facebook

6. Penland’s Apple House

41 Talona Spur Rd • Ellijay GA • 706- 635-5110

Official Website

History

Since 1936, Penland’s Apple House has been providing a special place for families to come and create memories.

Penland’s has been family owned and operated ever since it was purchased and developed by apple farmer Samuel Huey Penland.

After being passed down through 5 generations and expanded considerably, the North GA apple orchard is now proudly run by John and Lee Penland.

Types of Apples Grown / Best Time to Visit

Penland’s Apple House is open daily from 9 AM-6 PM. They grow more than 20 different varieties of apples, including Honey Crisp, Fuji, Jonagold, Sun Crisp, Granny Smith, Pink Lady, and Red Delicious, to name a few. They do not offer u-pick.

Tours & Activities/Attractions

Along with being one of the best apple orchards in Ellijay, Penland’s Apple House also prides themselves on their garden-fresh vegetables and peaches.

They also have a second location for visitors to enjoy, which is located in Ellijay on Hwy 282.

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

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

7. R&A Orchards

5505 Hwy. 52E. • Ellijay GA • 706-273-3821

Official Website

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 on the weekends in September and October; you can harvest ripe Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Stayman Winesap, Mutsu, and Rome Beauty apples.

Other varieties, including Detroit 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 during the Georgia apple-picking season. 

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 15 Treehouse Rentals in the Georgia Mountains

Red Apple Barn - apple orchards in GA
Photo courtesy of Red Apple Barn

8. Red Apple Barn

3379 Tailscreek Road • Ellijay GA • 706-635-5898

Official Website

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 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 in Georgia at the Red Apple Barn is available starting the last weekend of August and every weekend after through 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 $10 admission for U-Pick Apples, you also get a tractor ride to and from the orchard, three 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 (by appointment only) 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

 

Blue Ridge GA Apple Orchards

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

9. Mercier Orchards

8660 Blue Ridge Dr. • Blue Ridge GA • 706-632-3411

Official Website

History

Mercier Orchards is a 4th generation family & veteran owned farm located in Blue Ridge GA that has produced bountiful harvests for 80 years.

Located on 300 acres of farmland 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.

Mercier Orchards offers Apple U-Pick and fun family-friendly tractor tours through the orchard when they are not having U-Pick events.

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 explain how to best pick the fruit, and they will give you 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 tours are available for just $5, with children two 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, GA.

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

 

Alto GA Apple Orchards

Jaemor Farms Fried Apple Pies - North Georgia apple orchard
Fried Apple Pies, photo courtesy Jaemor Farms

10. Jaemor Farms

5340 Cornelia Hwy • Alto GA • 770-869-3999

Official Website

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).

Unfortunately, their U-pick apple orchards will not be open for 2023. However, be sure not to miss Jaemor Farms annual harvest celebration starting on September 9!

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 $25 “Night Out on the Farm” event, wherein only 18+ can attend. Whether a date night or a girl’s night out, food trucks, great music, and other fun activities make for a perfect night.

READ MORE: The 40 Best North Georgia Cabins to Rent

 

McCaysville GA Apple Orchards

Deep Roots Orchard - apple picking in GA
Photo courtesy of Deep Roots Orchard

11. The Folk Collaborative @ Deep Roots Orchard

2984 Mobile Road. • McCaysville GA • 706-492-7753

Official Website

History

Located in the heart of the southern Appalachian Mountains on a picturesque hillside below a quaint country church, The Folk Collaborative @ Deep Roots Orchard 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 Folk Collaborative @ Deep Roots Orchard offers u-pick apples as soon as availability allows, usually around the first of August. Hours are Wed-Sat 10-6 and Sunday 11-4.

Orchard access is $5/person plus the cost of apples that are picked.

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 The Folk Collaborative @ Deep Roots Orchard, including tractor rides, farm tours, picnics and yoga workshops.

Cost is $6 for a tractor ride and $10 for a farm tour. Yoga workshops cost vary by type.

Make reservations on their website for the “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 Coolest Covered Bridges in Georgia

 

Epworth GA Apple Orchards

Payne's Apple Orchard in Georgia - North Georgia apple orchard
Payne’s Apple Orchard via Facebook

12. Payne’s Apple Orchard

326 Tankersley Ln • Epworth GA • 706-633-7185

Official Website

History

The family-owned Payne’s Apple Orchard is located in the small town of Epworth, GA, about halfway between Blue Ridge and McCaysville. 

Second-generation owner Clifford Payne runs the business, which was founded back in 1990.

Even the land itself has special meaning to the Paynes, as it was passed down by Clifford’s mother and has been in the family for decades.

Types of Apples Grown/Best Time to Visit

Payne’s Apple Orchard specializes in growing some of the older types of apples, such as Grimes Golden, Yates, and Arkansas Black, to name a few.

Their apple season starts in September and runs through November.

The orchard runs on an honor system, with a money box located inside their shed and the fresh, hand-picked apples ready in a to-go bag.

Tours & Activities/Attractions

Payne’s Apple Orchard focuses on offering their customers quality-grown products, which is why they have chosen to keep operations simple.

There are no tours of the orchard or other activities currently available.

Along with apples, they offer their visitors freshly harvested raw honey from beehives located on their land.

READ MORE: The 10 Best Kayaking Rivers in Georgia

 

Lakemont GA Apple Orchards

Hillside Orchard Farms Train - Georgia apple picking
The Hillside Orchard Farms Train, photo courtesy Hillside Orchard

13. Hillside Orchard Farms

18 Sorghum Mill Drive • Lakemont GA • 706-782-2776

Official Website

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, 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.  

READ MORE: The Best Places to Go White Water Rafting in GA

Bryson's Apple Orchard
Bryson’s Apple Orchard via Facebook

14. Bryson’s Apple Orchard

1011 Chattooga Ridge Rd • Mountain Rest SC • 864-647-9427 

Official Website

History

Bryson’s Apple Orchard is located 11.6 miles east of Clayton, GA, just across the border in South Carolina.

The first apple trees were planted on the Bryson family’s farm in the late 1960s. After years of new growth, they became one of the largest apple producers in the area.

The later introduced peach trees to their orchard, which orchard continues to grow every year.

Types of Apples Grown/Best Time to Visit

Bryson’s Apple Orchard is open for their u-pick apple season starting August 15 and running through October.

They offer a wide variety of apples for visitors to choose from, including Sunshine, Fiji, Ozark Golden, Rome Beauty, and Gala, to name a few. 

Tours & Activities/Attractions

After you’re finished picking your delicious apples, Bryson’s has the perfect spot to enjoy them, with picnic tables located around their orchard.

They also offer lots of other delicious options to add to your picnic, like fresh honey and peaches, locally grown vegetables, and numerous jams and jellies. 

READ MORE: The 15 Best Campgrounds in Georgia to Visit

The Best Hendersonville Apple Orchards for Apple Picking, Hayrides and more

Apples in Georgia FAQ

1. What is the best month to go apple picking in Georgia?

Georgia apple picking starts in late July and goes through November. But the best month for visiting apple orchards depends on the varieties you prefer. The most popular apples in Georgia tend to ripen in September and October. Not all Georgia apple orchards have U-Pick options, but most have apple desserts, apple-themed products, hayrides, and other fun things to do in Georgia for fall.

 

2. What apples are in season in Georgia?

In August, popular apples like Honey Crisp, Ozark Gold, Red Delicious, and Rome Beauty ripen. Tons of varieties get ripe in September, such as Golden Delicious, Mutzu Crispin, Jonagold, and Stayman Winesap. You’ll find apples like Arkansas Black, Fuji, and Granny Smith in October. Most of the Georgia apple orchards will post the available apples on their website of Facebook page to help you plan accordingly. 

 

3. How much is apple picking in Georgia?

Every Georgia apple orchard that offers U-Pick has different prices. But the base price for apple picking in Georgia is usually very affordable, between $5 to $15. The apples you pick are usually priced by the fractions of a peck: one peck, which is 10-12 pounds of apples, typically runs at about $20. So it’s generally a bit cheaper than buying apples at the store. But you also get the apple-picking experience, and memories that last a lifetime! –by Christina Maggitas, with additional reporting by Molly Frazier & Chloe Burgette

 

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 visiting the Great Smoky 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 in North Georgia. She has a passion for writing and storytelling, with the hopes of inspiring others to enjoy the great outdoors. Christina studied Journalism and Emerging Media at Kennesaw State University, and now works as the Travel Editor for US News & World Report.