Apple Picking at Red Apple Barn
Apple Picking at Red Apple Barn in Ellijay

Places in North Georgia to Pick Apples

Among the many reasons to visit North Georgia in the fall, are orchards and markets full of apples ripe for the picking.

Most of the apple crops grown in Georgia are grown in the North Georgia mountains, with Ellijay, located in Gilmer County, known as the Apple Capital of Georgia. Luckily, it's just a short drive to Ellijay to pick your own fresh locally grown apples, which are more affordable and healthier than apples shipped across the country.

The apple's versatility can be seen in all of the ways it can be prepared. Dried apples will make a sweet addition to your snack mix, and when cooked with Vidalia onions, apples become a savory sauce to serve with dinner. Fresh apples can be pressed into sweet (or hard) cider, and they are lovely in fried pies, stewed in cobblers and even baked whole, stuffed with pecans and dried peaches.

A drive to North Georgia offers breathtaking views, roadside stands selling fresh-picked apples, apple cider, apple butter and pies; and several orchards offering pick-your-own options. From late August to mid-December, Georgia orchards boast some of the freshest, tastiest apples in the country.

Here are a few of the orchards and markets offering the best apples North Georgia has to offer.

Hillside Orchard Country Store, Lakemont, Georgia

Shop the more than 500 varieties of jams, jellies, relishes and sauces at Hillside Orchard Country Store, Lakemont, Georgia.

Hillside Orchard Farms in Lakemont

Hillside Orchard Farms is a working farm, country store and processing facility that features more than 500 varieties of jams and jellies, fruit relishes and sauces. It also has fresh apples, apple ciders, fried pies and many other apple products. Call ahead for special events.

Mother and child at Hillcrest Orchards in Ellijay, Georgia

Mother and child at Hillcrest Orchards in Ellijay, Georgia. Photo by @prescillavee

Hillcrest Orchards and Farms in Ellijay

Hillcrest Orchards and Farms has been growing apples and fun since 1946. The annual Apple Pickin' Jubilee is held on the weekends during September and October, and features cloggers and live music, as well as carnival-style foods. Apple picking is offered daily through this period, as well. Not only do they have u-pick apples, but they also have pig racing with swimming pigs, an apple tree maze, cow train rides, multiple playgrounds, a jumping pillow, pedal cart rides, and wagon rides through the orchard. Buy fresh produce and goodies from the market, and swing by the grill for lunch while you’re there. Don’t forget to stop by the bakery for their famous fresh apple fritters!

Apples at R & A Orchards in Ellijay

Apples at R & A Orchards in Ellijay, Georgia

R & A Orchards in Ellijay

With an apple harvest running from August through March, R & A Orchards can offer more than 20 varieties of apples, gallons of cider and 12 different fried pies. Farm tours and wagon rides are offered every weekend in September. You can also bring a basket to pick your own apples to take home and enjoy later.

Apple picking at Red Apple Barn in Ellijay

Apple picking at Red Apple Barn in Ellijay, Georgia

Red Apple Barn in Ellijay

You can find all things apple at the Red Apple Barn at Little Bend Orchard, from fresh-picked apples, ciders, dried apples, apple pies, apple fritters and breads, jams, jellies and even candy apples — for those of you with a sweet tooth. Farm tours are available all season, and you can pick your own apples on the weekends during the apple harvest.

Published: August 2019
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