Apple Picking in North Carolina: The 10 Best NC Apple Orchards to Visit

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Most people know Western North Carolina for its beautiful national forests, beloved state parks, charming mountain towns, and scenic routes like the Blue Ridge Parkway and Forest Heritage Scenic Byway.

But what may surprise some visitors is the abundance of apple orchards you can find scattered across the state. In fact, North Carolina is the 7th largest apple-producing state in the nation!

The largest collection of apple orchards can be found in Henderson County, but there are also many other great places for apple picking in North Carolina.

Each one gives you the opportunity to pick the juiciest apples straight from the tree, as well as enjoying other fun farm activities and seeing the fall colors in NC as they reach their peak!

Some of these orchards also have farmer’s markets stocked full of delicious homemade goodies such as fresh-baked pies, jams and jellies, donuts, and cider!

To help you find the perfect place to explore, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best North Carolina Apple Orchards to visit, with options in Hendersonville, Spruce Pine, Flat Rock, Morganton, and more.

Each entry includes information about tours, farm attractions, the best time of year to visit, and some of the different varieties of apples you can look forward to picking there!

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

Apple Picking in North Carolina Guide

  1. Hendersonville NC Apple Orchards
  2. Flat Rock NC Apple Orchards
  3. Spruce Pine NC Apple Orchards
  4. Morganton NC Apple Orchards
  5. Reidsville NC Apple Orchards
  6. Ramseur NC Apple Orchards

 

Hendersonville NC Apple Orchards

Creasman Farms
Photo courtesy of Creasman Farms

1. Creasman Farms

280 Bent Arrow Ln • 828-685-7728

https://www.creasmanfarmsnc.com

History

The story of Creasman Farms begins with Clarence Creasman, who grew up on his grandparents’ farm growing vegetables and apples.

His love of agriculture inspired him to establish his own farm, and he passed both the farm and the passion for the business down to his son, Bobby.

Today Bobby and his wife Dawn run Creasman Farms. They teach their three daughters and son-in-law the ins and outs of the business, emphasizing the importance of valuing customers and treating them like family. 

Types of Apples Grown / Best Time to Visit

The U-Pick orchard is open on Sundays from 1 PM to 5 PM in September (after Labor Day) and October. 

The orchard grows over 40 varieties of heirloom and new apples, with almost half being available for U-Pick.

These include Honeycrisp, Gold Rush, Gala, Shenshu, Mutsu, York, Summer Rambo, Golden Delicious, Pink Lady, and Granny Smith.

Other varieties can be bought at their farmer’s markets on Wednesday or Saturday.

Tours & Activities / Attractions

Weekday school field trips to the U-Pick orchard are available by appointment only. 

Creasman Farms produce can also be found at farmer’s markets throughout the week, including at the Asheville River Arts District Farmers Market on Wednesdays and the Asheville City Market on Saturdays.

READ MORE: The 10 Best Things to Do in Hendersonville NC 

Grandads Apples
Photo courtesy of Grandad’s Apples ‘N Such

2. Grandad’s Apples ’N Such

2951 Chimney Rock Rd • 828-685-1685

https://grandadsapples.com

History

Grandad’s Apples ’N Such is another family-owned farm and apple orchard that has operated since 1994. 

The business is currently run by Pat, who is a fourth-generation apple farmer carrying on the tradition of farming the family’s 120 acres of land.

It truly is a family affair, with his wife Leslie managing the market along with their two daughters, Kaylin and Kayce, and their families.

Types of Apples Grown / Best Time To Visit

Due to a late freeze on the farm’s 2021 crop, there will be no U-Pick this season (which is subject to change). But the farm looks forward to opening back up to visitors in 2022.

Some apples you can look forward to grabbing when they do reopen include Ginger Gold, Gala, Swiss Gourmet, Honeycrisp, Ruben, Jonagold, Shuzuka, Cortland, Red Rome, Arkansas Black, Braeburn, Nittany, and Evercrisp.

Tours & Activities / Attractions

On weekends– beginning Labor Day weekend and continuing throughout the autumn– there are several fun family-friendly activities you can enjoy, including a corn maze, cow train, and apple cannon.

You can also check out the Barn and Country Store & Bakery to browse apple-themed gifts and apple-based goodies, including pies, hot cider, and apple cider slushies!

READ MORE: Exploring the Sierra Nevada Brewery in Mills River NC (near Hendersonville)

Stepp's Hillcrest Orchard
Photo courtesy of Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard

3. Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard

170 Stepp Orchard Drive • 828-685-9083

https://steppapples.com

History

The late JH (“Pa”) Stepp was a leader in the North Carolina apple industry, and grew apples in Henderson County for over seven decades.

He passed that passion down to his son Mike, who now continues the tradition of apple growing with his family.

For nearly 50 years now, the Stepp Family has invited guests to visit their 70-acre farm to pick apples and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains.

Types of Apples Grown / Best Time To Visit

The orchard has 21 varieties of apples you can choose from at the U-Pick orchard.

If you want varieties like Ginger Gold, Gala, Honey Crisp, Jonagold Mutsu, Red Delicious Cameo, and Blushing Gold, the best time to visit is in August and September. 

For varieties like Crimson Crisp, York, Arkansas Black, Pink Lady, and Granny Smith, you should head to Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard in October. 

Tours & Activities / Attractions

Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard has a ton of fun activities to enjoy while you’re at the farm.

During the weekends you can take a wagon ride through the orchard, try making your way through the 5-acre corn maze, and even try hitting a target with the apple cannon.

There’s also a covered picnic area if you want to bring your lunch, or you can sit and snack on some goodies from their bakery (try the apple cider donuts).

READ MORE: The Best Things to Do in DuPont State Forest, NC

Coston Farm NC
Photo courtesy of Coston Farm

4. Coston Farm & Apple House

3748 Chimney Rock Road • 828-685-8352

https://www.costonfarm.com/pick-your-own-apples/

History

Coston Farm & Apple House provides families with a fun farm experience, complete with apples, pumpkins, corn, and plenty of opportunities to make magical memories. 

David Coston has managed the Apple House and orchard for over 40 years, with help from his wife Lola (who manages the Gift Shop and Pick-Your-Own Apple Orchard businesses).

They also have four children who, along with their spouses, help out on the farm from time to time.

Types of Apples Grown / Best Time To Visit

If you want to get some delicious apples by the bag, box, or truckload, you can visit the Coston Farm U-Pick Orchard from August throughout October.

Some of their most popular varieties include Golden Delicious, Cameo, Granny Smith, Fuji, Rome Beauty, Mutsu, Stayman, Cortland, Early Fuji, Arkansas Black, and Jonagold.

Tours & Activities / Attractions

After picking your apples from the orchard, you can head over to the Apple House Gift Shop to browse a variety of autumn decorations and unique gifts.

Or you can visit their Bakery, which is filled with homemade baked goods and sweets. 

There’s also a covered picnic area where you can enjoy a lunch or snack, plus a playground that’s great for kids!

READ MORE: The Top 10 Waterfalls Near Brevard NC (Transylvania County)

Justus Orchard Apples
Photo courtesy of Justus Orchard

5. Justus Orchard

187 Garren Rd. • 828-974-1232

https://justusorchard.com

History

With a business now in its 6th generation, the Justus family has been growing apples for over 100 years. 

It all started with Pete Justus and his father, who began to grow apples at Justus Orchard in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Since then, the apple tradition has been passed down through the family.

Justus Orchard is now run by Don and Margo Justus along with their two sons, Chris and Cory, whose goal is to keep farming and always provide a way to share their way of life with the public.

Types of Apples Grown / Best Time To Visit

Justus Orchards grows a variety of different apples that are available for U-Pick or We-Pick (where you can buy apples pre-picked).

Some of the many varieties available include Gala, Honeycrisp, Summerset, September Wonder, Golden Delicious, Ambrosia, Mutsu, Cameo, Rome, Evercrisp, and Fuji.

There is an apple ripening schedule on their website. So you can find out when the apples you most want to pick are ripe in order to help you decide the best time to visit!

Tours & Activities / Attractions

Educational farm and orchard tours are available for families and groups. While there, you can enjoy a complimentary cup of apple cider as you’re guided around the area. 

U-pick blackberries are also available at Justus Orchards, as well as an assortment of pre-picked pumpkins during mid-September through October. 

While you’re at the farm, be sure to check out the Apple House Bakery, where you can buy treats that are homemade using fruit grown right on the farm.

READ MORE: The 25 Best Things to Do in Asheville NC

 

Flat Rock NC Apple Orchards

SkyTop Orchard NC
Photo courtesy of Sky Top Orchard

7. Sky Top Orchard

3403 Greenville Highway • 828-692-7930

http://www.skytoporchard.com

History

In the late 1960s, Everette Butler purchased a home in Flat Rock with land that had a few apple trees on it. 

He didn’t actually buy the land intending to operate an orchard. But after a while, he was inspired and began researching the idea of farming apples.

By 1968 the land was full of apple trees, and he began selling his harvest to local supermarkets. 

Everette’s son David and his wife, Lindsey, now run the farm. They have converted the Sky Top Orchard to U-Pick in order to make visiting a day full of fun and memory-making.

Types of Apples Grown / Best Time to Visit

The U-Pick orchard typically runs from opening day (TBD) to the end of October, but can stay open a little longer depending on weather and supply/demand. 

For apple varieties like Ginger Gold, Early Macs, Candy Crisp, and Gala, you’ll want to make your way to the orchards earlier in the season (August to early September).

For late-fruiting varieties like Cortland, Red Delicious, Fuji, Pink Lady, Arkansas Black, and Rome, you’ll want to visit from mid-September to October.

Tours & Activities / Attractions

Along with enjoying the panoramic views of the North Carolina mountains, your time at Sky Top can include a stroll by the ponds to feed ducks.

You can also visit the barnyard to meet the sheep, goats, peacocks, and other cute animals; explore the bamboo forest; or take a tractor-pulled hayride across the property.

READ MORE: The 20 Best Western NC Small Towns To Visit (and Live In!)

 

Spruce Pine NC Apple Orchards

The Historic Orchard at Altapass
Photo courtesy of the Historic Orchard at Altapass

6.  The Historic Orchard at Altapass

1025 Orchard Road • 888-765-9531

https://www.altapassorchard.org

History

The Historic Orchard at Altapass is one of the most popular locations on the Blue Ridge Parkway (near Little Switzerland) and one of the most beloved apple orchards in North Carolina.

The orchard (which has been operating for over a quarter-century) works to preserve the area’s regional traditions, Appalachian Culture, and land by growing the best heirloom apples with the least amount of chemicals possible.

They also host live Blue Ridge music performances and offer a variety of educational activities.

Types of Apples Grown / Best Time To Visit

The Historic Orchard at Altapass has apples ready to be picked from early August through October. 

Some of the many different varieties you can choose from include Aunt Rachel, Early Blaze, Florina, Gala, Ginger Gold, Golden Delicious, Grimes Golden, Jonagold, Lodi, McIntosh, King Luscious, Roxbury Russet, Sheep Nose, and Summer Rambo.

Tours & Activities / Attractions

Apples aside, there are plenty of other fun activities to enjoy at the Altapass Orchard.

These include birdwatching on the deck, walking along the nature trails, and enjoying festivities during special American celebrations such as Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day.

There’s also a general store here you can visit to pick up locally-made honey, pickled veggies, jams and jellies, salsas, dips, and more.

READ MORE: The 10 Best Things to Do in Burnsville NC

 

Morganton NC Apple Orchards

Apple Hill Orchard & Cider Mill
Photo courtesy of Apple Hill Orchard & Cider Mill

8. Apple Hill Orchard & Cider Mill

2075 Pleasant Hill Ave. • 828-437-1224

https://www.applehillorchard.com

History

Tucked away in the mountains of Western North Carolina, the family-owned Apple Hill Orchard & Cider Mill welcomes thousands of visitors each fall to join in on the harvest.

The family-owned business began long ago with Spencer Prewitt, who grew apples and loaded them on a horse-drawn wagon to sell along his travels.

Today, the orchard is still in the Prewitt family and has welcomed its 5th generation of apple growers to the farm.

Types of Apples Grown / Best Time to Visit

There are 22 different varieties of apples that ripen on the orchard from mid-August through October.

These include Gala, Honeycrisp, Jonagold, Early Fuji, Golden Delicious, Empire, Red Delicious, Cameo, Red Rome, Granny Smith, and Pink Lady, among many others.

Tours & Activities / Attractions

During the weekdays of September and October, guided tours are available by reservation. This is a great way to learn more about how the apples are grown, harvested, and processed. 

Ticketed wagon tours are also offered on Saturdays on a first-come basis.

READ MORE: The 15 Best Blue Ridge Parkway Hikes for NC Day Trips

 

Reidsville NC Apple Orchards

Devil Dog Orchard
Photo courtesy of Devil Dog Orchard

9. Devil Dog Orchard

771 NC-150 • 336-491-0382

http://www.devildogorchard.com

History

After spending 28 years in the Marine Corps and another 8 years working for a company, Larry Huffman yearned to live the country life. So he purchased this farm in tiny Reidsville NC in 2012.

Now his 57 acres are filled with hardwoods, tall pines, and a beautiful apple orchard that is open for visitors. 

At Devil Dog Orchard, the focus is on families and inviting guests to come enjoy being outside and having fun in nature.

Types of Apples Grown / Best Time to Visit

Apples are available to be picked beginning in late August running through the end of September.

To see what apples are ripe and ready to be picked, you can check out their website once the season begins!

Tours & Activities / Attractions 

Devil Dog Orchard welcomes group visits and hosts farm parties where groups can see an antique cider mill demonstration, enjoy an apple cider tasting, and even pick a small bag of apples.

There are also hayrides and nature trails you can enjoy around the pond.

READ MORE: The Best Things to Do in Elkin NC (Blue Ridge Parkway MM 229)

 

Ramseur NC Apple Orchards

Millstone Creek Orchards
Photo courtesy of Millstone Creek Orchards

10. Millstone Creek Orchards

506 Parks Crossroads Church Rd. • 336-824-5263

https://www.millstonecreekorchards.com

History

This family-owned and operated orchard’s story starts in 2001, when Byrd and Diane Isom plated their first rows of apple trees along Parks Crossroad Church Rd.

Byrd initially wanted to simply sell apples out of the back of his pickup truck, but in 2004 the orchard opened itself to the public.

Ever since then, Millstone Creek Orchards has been welcoming visitors to enjoy the wonders of Mother Nature and enjoying the fruits of their labor.

Types of Apples Grown / Best Time to Visit

U-Pick apples are available from late August through September. 

The varieties you can pick include Honeycrisp, Cortland, Gala, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Red Fuji, Pink Lady, Arkansas Black, and Goldrush.

Tours & Activities / Attractions

Along with apples, Millstone Creek Orchards also offers U-Pick blackberries, blueberries, peaches, grapes, sunflowers and zinnias, pumpkins and gourds, and pecans.

Group tours are also available where you can learn all about agriculture and the work that is done at the orchard to produce such delicious fruit. -by Christina Maggitas; lead image via Canva

 

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.