Looking for the best places for apple picking in the NC Mountains? Being North Carolinians, we know how fortunate we are to have the beach and the mountains, all in one state. One thing we love is that we have the best orchards for apple picking in the NC mountains.
Fall in North Carolina is an absolute delight! It’s that time of year when the North Carolina Mountains truly shine. With the vibrant foliage and crisp, cool temperatures, we can’t help but fall in love with autumn all over again.
But you know what makes this season even more special for us North Carolinians? We start looking for pumpkin patches and apple orchards to frolic in. Not kidding! It’s a tradition, y’all!
In the rolling hills of our beloved NC mountains, you’ll find some of the most charming apple orchards you could ever imagine. There is something special about apples grown alongside the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway.
If you haven’t taken a bite out of a North Carolina apple, well you are in for a treat! So, let’s chat about the cream of the crop when it comes to apple-picking spots in the North Carolina Mountains.
18 of the Best Orchards for Apple Picking in the NC Mountains
Apple picking, a timeless autumn adventure here in the North Carolina Mountains, is an absolute must-try. And honestly, who could resist? Surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of fall, with that crisp, refreshing mountain air, all while indulging in delicious apples – it’s the perfect combo!
In North Carolina, you need to be looking for farms with fresh apples that have a sign that says, “U-Pick Apples”. U-pick orchards are just that… YOU pick them. While many apple farms offer them already picked, picking your own is just a lot of fun!
So, let’s dig into the crème de la crème of apple-picking spots in good ol’ NC.
Mountain Fresh Orchards – Hendersonville, NC
Mountain Fresh Orchards, is a fantastic family-owned spot in the heart of Hendersonville, NC, right in the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina near Asheville.
They’ve got a fantastic roadside market that’s brimming with freshly picked NC apples, mountain cabbage, and all sorts of locally grown veggies when they’re in season. And if you’re thirsty, you’re in for a treat – they’ve got fresh-squeezed or pasteurized apple cider and other fruit ciders waiting for you.
Plus, you’ll find pumpkins, gourds, Indian corn, and all kinds of autumn decorations.
If your sweet tooth is calling, their bakery is the place to be. Think “hot” apple cider donuts, warm fried apple pies, mouthwatering apple fritters, and massive 10″ apple pies. And that’s just the beginning – they’ve got a treasure trove of homebaked goodies.
You can also stock up on apple and peach butter, honey, and a whole bunch of jellies, preserves, jams, pickles, and more tasty treats.
Bring the whole family along for a ride on the Apple Express train, weaving through the orchards for some good old-fashioned fun.
Grandad’s Apples – Hendersonville, NC
Grandad’s Apples in Hendersonville! It’s the ultimate family-friendly apple-picking spot. You won’t believe the variety – they’ve got more than 25 types of apples waiting for you.
But that’s not all. Grandad’s is like an autumn wonderland. They’ve got pumpkins, a corn maze for some adventurous fun, and wagon rides that’ll take you around their beautiful farm. And if you’re bringing the kiddos, they’ll be over the moon about the playground and mini-golf course.
Here’s the best part – no entrance fee! Plus, apple picking won’t break the bank. It’s a fantastic choice for those budget-conscious adventurers.
Don’t forget to stop by the Country Store in Grandad’s Barn.
Sky Top Orchard – Flat Rock, NC
Oh, you absolutely can’t miss out on Sky Top Orchard in Flat Rock. It’s the spot for breathtaking views of the North Carolina mountains.
Sky Top Orchard boasts a whopping 22 apple varieties during the fall season. Whether you want to pluck ’em yourself or snag some pre-picked apples, they’ve got you covered at their charming apple barn. And oh boy, the homemade goodies are a treat!
Their cider doughnuts? A warm, sugary slice of heaven. And don’t get me started on the hot apple cider. But you know what takes the cake (or should we say fritter)? Those apple fritters are so mouthwateringly good, that they’re worth the trip all by themselves!
Make yourself at home at their picnic tables and indulge in all the apple goodness. As if there wasn’t enough adventure at Sky Top, be sure to visit the bamboo forest. You can follow the path between the animal barn and the gem mine.
Millstone Creek Orchards – Ramseur, NC
Millstone Creek Orchards is all about family, and they take pride in sharing their passion with the community. Their mission? Helping guests connect with the beauty of Mother Nature.
Their 18 acres burst with farm-fresh treasures – blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, grapes, apples, pumpkins, and pecans, all ripe for the picking.
But here’s the real treat: every weekend this September and October, they’re cranking up the tunes with a live music series that’ll get you grooving. From country to pop, jazz, and classic rock, local musicians will serenade you with a medley of melodies. It’s an experience you won’t want to miss!
Be sure to try one of their apple cider slushies! You’ll be thanking us later!
Barber Orchard – Waynesville, NC
If you haven’t heard about Barber Orchard in charming Waynesville, NC, well, now you have. Add it to your visit list this Fall!
This place is a real gem! They’ve got their very own cider mill, where they whip up some of the freshest apple cider right on the farm. And when it comes to apples, the choices are endless. You’ll find a wide range of apple varieties just waiting to be picked.
Now, here’s the sweet part – you can grab those mouthwatering apple cider donuts and caramel apples right there on the spot. Talk about a delicious day out in the mountains!
Twisted Apple Orchard – Hendersonville, NC
Guess what, folks? Twisted Apple Orchard is the one and only organic apple orchard in all of Henderson County that welcomes everyone with open arms.
Here’s what’s on the menu: they’ve got we-pick apples ripe for the taking, seasonal fruits that’ll make your taste buds dance, and organic baked goodies that are simply divine. There is a treasure trove of jellies, seasonal decorations to spruce up your home, and a whole bunch of delightful gift items.
And when can you pay them a visit? Twisted Apple Orchard rolls out the welcome mat from late August until mid-November, so you’ve got plenty of time to savor all the goodness they have to offer.
Owenby’s Apple House & Orchards – Hendersonville, NC
Make a pit stop at The Apple House, a charming family-owned and operated roadside farm market. Here, visitors can find an array of delightful North Carolina apples and freestone peaches in season.
The market offers an enticing variety of products, including fresh apple cider, blackberry cider, and hot-boiled peanuts for those looking for a savory snack.
For those with a taste for spreads, The Apple House has a delectable selection of apple butter, fruit butter, jams, jellies, and preserves. And if you’re in the market for unique, handmade wood crafts, they’ve got that covered too.
For health-conscious shoppers, there are several varieties of sugar-free fruit butters, jams, and preserves available. Plus, the market stocks cold soft drinks for a refreshing sip and offers propane for your convenience.
Miss Angels Farm & Orchard – Mount Airy, NC
You won’t want to miss Miss Angel’s Farm in Surry County – it’s not just any farm; it’s the first pick-your-own peach and pumpkin farm around! But, of course, apples are the star of the show here.
Spend a leisurely afternoon apple picking and indulging in their mouthwatering, farm-fresh treats. And if that’s not enough, they’ve got more goodies in store, like blackberries, blueberries, and corn, all in season.
But the fun doesn’t stop there. Get ready for hay rides, navigate through a corn maze, hop on a train ride, bounce around in the house of fun, get your face painted, and let the little ones enjoy the playhouse. It’s a whole day of excitement at Miss Angel’s Farm.
Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard – Hendersonville, NC
Don’t forget to add Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard in Hendersonville, NC, to your must-visit list!
The view from the top of Chadwick Mountain, where this orchard is, is nothing short of breathtaking – truly one of the most beautiful sights you’ll ever lay your eyes on. There is a picnic area for you to really settle in and enjoy the surroundings.
Now, let’s talk apples. They’ve got a fantastic selection of 22 different apple varieties to choose from. But that’s not all – they offer fresh hayrides and vineyard tours, so you can make the most of your visit.
And guess what? There’s even a small winery on the farm where you can savor some delightful wine during a tasting session. Talk about the complete package!
Apple Hill Orchard – Morganton, NC
Tucked away in the picturesque South Mountains of Western North Carolina, you’ll find Apple Hill Orchard, a hidden gem just south of Morganton, NC.
Their family’s apple-growing roots run deep in this spot, dating all the way back to 1955, and the orchard itself has a rich history, stretching back to 1930. Though the orchard has seen its fair share of changes over the years, there’s one thing that’s stood the test of time – their genuine joy in welcoming visitors every fall.
You can enjoy a diverse selection of apple varieties, so you can pick your favorites straight from the trees. Their general store is stocked with delightful goodies, including apple and peach butter, honey, a variety of jellies, preserves, jams, pickles, relishes, chow chow, salsa, syrups, and more.
Justus Orchard – Hendersonville, NC
The Justus Family is throwing the door wide open and inviting everyone to join in the fun of picking your own NC Apples. and spending a day in the gorgeous Western North Carolina Mountains. It’s an experience that’s perfect for all ages.
Get ready for a jam-packed day of farm activities. There’s apple-picking, a chill hangout by the pond where you can meet some ducks, visits with friendly farm animals, a super-fun ride on the Cow Train through the orchard, bouncy excitement on the jumping pad, and a trip to the Apple House for pre-picked Apples, local honey, jams, jellies, and homemade treats.
And when those tummies start rumbling, the bakery is the place to be. Devour their famous homemade Fried Apple Pies, indulge in Apple Cider Donuts, and cool down with Apple Cider, Cider Slushies, or a scoop of ice cream. Be sure to check their hours of operation. Their open season usually runs through early November.
Jeter Mountain Farm Apple Orchard – Hendersonville, NC
Meet Jeter Mountain Farm, a labor of love, and a family affair. Sitting on nearly 400 acres of land in the breathtaking Blue Ridge Mountains, their u-pick apple orchard journey began in 2014.
From planting those very first trees to tending to their fruitful growth – the folks at Jeter Mountain Farm Apple Orchard poured their hearts and sweat into crafting a farm that’s bursting with opportunities for your family to create cherished traditions and unforgettable memories.
Here’s the scoop: there’s something here for everyone, no matter your age or fancy. Whether you’re savoring hard cider in the Cider Barn, sipping coffee from the Coffee House while the kiddos go wild in the indoor play area, or feasting on our mouthwatering in-house smoked BBQ while tapping your toes to live Bluegrass – they’ve got a lineup of activities that’ll make your visit to the farm simply unforgettable.
Perry Lowe Orchards – Moravian Falls, NC
Let us introduce you to Perry Lowe Orchard, in beautiful Moravian Falls, NC.
These folks don’t just like apples; they’re practically apple aficionados! They’ve got all the juicy apple facts you need. From the top-notch eating apples to the perfect ones for cooking up a storm, and even the ones that’ll last the longest in storage – they’ve got it all figured out.
But here’s the cherry on top (or should we say apple on top?): they sell apples, apple cider, and fresh produce. And when fall rolls around, they turn up the fun with U-Pick tours that are perfect for schools, families, churches, groups, and anyone else looking for a good time.
Oh, and if you need apples or apple cider in bulk, they’ve got you covered there too!
Coston Farm & Apple House – Hendersonville, NC
Coston Farms promises a truly unforgettable pick-your-own-apples adventure set against the stunning backdrop of the North Carolina mountains. And here’s the sweet deal – they deliver delicious apples year after year!
Hop aboard for a scenic wagon ride through their charming orchard. It’s a relaxing way to soak in the beauty of the surroundings.
From pumpkins to fresh cider, and oh-so-tempting baked treats, you’re in for a treat. Plus, you can snag some delightful gift items, preserves, and more in their gift shop.
Coston Farms opens its doors from September through mid-December, so you’ve got plenty of time to enjoy the fall and early winter vibes.
The Orchard at Altapass – Spruce Pine, NC
The Altapass Orchard truly comes alive, especially during the fall U-Picking season. This orchard is a historic orchard in Spruce Pine, NC. It’s an official non-profit 501 (c)(3) heirloom apple orchard.
If you’re wondering when your favorite apples will be ripe for the picking, they’ve got you covered. You can visit their website to get a rough idea of the ripening times. Keep in mind, though, that Mother Nature calls the shots, and these timings are the best guesses.
Speaking of Mother Nature, make your way through the butterfly garden. And while you’re there, be sure to take advantage of the beauty of nature. Take a stroll along the 2.5-mile loop of nature trails. It’s generally an easy route and should take a little less than an hour to complete.
Best of all, it’s a peaceful and uncrowded spot for hiking and walking. If you’re still not sure about the best time to visit, don’t hesitate to drop them an email. They’re more than happy to help you plan your trip!
Carrigan Farms – Mooresville, NC
For those seeking an authentic apple-picking escapade, Carrigan Farms is the go-to destination. They’ve been offering the genuine pick-your-own experience every September since 1975. They offer tractor-drawn hayrides through the apple orchard, making for a truly authentic apple-picking journey.
The apple trees are on dwarf rootstock, meaning they’re short and sweet, so you won’t need any ladders to pluck those apples.
Apple picking at Carrigan Farms is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it kind of season, so be sure to mark those calendars and plan your visit early. They recommend the very best selection and prime picking conditions are usually found at the start of the season- September.
Creasman Farms – Hendersonville, NC
At Creasman Farms in Hendersonville, NC, it’s all about serving up the freshest, most delicious fruits and vegetables. Their commitment extends to local tailgate markets, their own farm, and even local eateries and bakeries.
They take pride in their role as a working farm, and as they step into the next generation, they cherish their customers as part of the extended family.
For those eager to pluck their own apples, the U Pick Orchard is a Sunday-only affair, open from 1 to 5 pm during September (starting after Labor Day) and October. If you can’t wait for Sunday, you can still get your hands on their fresh apples. Just swing by the local farmers markets on Wednesdays or Saturdays to satisfy your apple cravings.
With over 40 varieties of both heirloom and new apples, Creasman Farms takes pride in offering an apple for every taste bud. They live by the values of Farm, Food, Family, and Community, ensuring that every interaction is rooted in a sense of kinship and a shared love for all things farm-fresh.
Creasman Farms recommends you follow their Facebook page to stay in the loop of where they will be, and all of their events.
Saylor Orchard – Baskersville, NC
At Saylor Orchard, they’ve introduced two fantastic apple varieties into the world. This makes a visit to their orchard, very cool.
The Saylor Sunrise is a true apple sensation. It boasts a unique fruit punch flavor that’s captured the hearts of many, making it a top seller at the orchard.
The Summer Cortland apple is a delightful discovery, a chance seedling found right in their nursery. It’s a large apple with snow-white flesh, much like the fall Cortland, except for its early arrival – ready to pick three months earlier, in mid-July.
Customers can’t stop singing its praises, especially when it comes to making apple sauce and apple butter.
Saylor Orchard fans can’t get enough of their Honeycrisp apples. These gems are sure to satisfy those sweet cravings.
Keep in mind that their seasonal opening varies, so it’s a good idea to check in with them before planning your visit. It’s all about savoring the finest apple flavors at Saylor Orchard!
Looking for an Apple Harvest Festival in NC?
Apple festivals are a plenty in North Carolina. They usually begin in early September and go through late October. An apple harvest festival is the perfect place to try out different apple goodies or familiarize yourself with a culture. Much how we always recommend visiting a farmer’s market in an area you are visiting.
Hendersonville, NC: You may have noticed that a lot of the orchards on our list are in Hendersonville, NC. This place is the undisputed “Apple Capital of North Carolina.” They roll out the red carpet for the annual North Carolina Apple Festival over Labor Day weekend. It’s a full-blown apple extravaganza with a lively parade, artsy crafts, live tunes, and, naturally, heaps of mouthwatering apple delights.
Hendersonville is a great stop on the way to Chimney Rock State Park. After you pick apples or celebrate all things NC apples, you can extend your NC Mountain visit!
Lincolnton, NC: If you’re looking for more apple fun, head to the Lincolnton Apple Festival in late September. Here, you’ll find apple recipe showdowns, live entertainment that’ll get your toes tapping, and a treasure trove of apple-themed treats.
Waynesville, NC: Early October is the perfect time to swing by the Apple Harvest Festival in Waynesville. It’s a hub for arts, crafts, and live melodies, all wrapped up in the aroma of freshly picked apples.
Banner Elk, NC: October brings the quirky and charming Woolly Worm Festival to Banner Elk. While it’s not solely about apples, it’s a blast! Expect crafts, tasty grub, and even worm races. Yep, you read that right – worm races!
North Carolina State Fair: Don’t forget about the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh, usually in October. While it’s not all about apples, you’ll often find apple-related fun and vendors there.
Remember, festival details can change from year to year, so be sure to keep an eye on event websites and local listings as autumn approaches for the latest scoop. These festivals are sure to amp up your Apple Adventures!
The Best Time to Go Apple Picking
When’s the prime time for apple picking, you ask? Well, in the lovely North Carolina mountains, the apple-picking season kicks off in late August, dancing its way through until October.
But here’s the sweet spot: from the second week of September right through to the end of the month. During these days, the weather is just perfect, and the apples?
Oh, they’re ripe and ready for your picking pleasure. If you are making your rounds, apple picking, after September, the orchards often have their other apple-themed products like fritters, pies, and all things apple!
Most of the mountain orchards swing their gates open at a comfy 10 AM and call it a day at 5 PM. Just a little tip: it’s always smart to double-check those opening times before you set out on your apple-picking adventure!
Know Before You Go NC Mountain, Apple Picking
Alright, let’s talk essentials for your apple orchard adventure:
Dress Comfortably: First things first, comfy attire is key. Opt for clothes that let you move freely, especially if you plan on hiking and strolling through the orchard. And don’t forget those trusty closed-toe shoes for a comfortable trek.
Sun Protection: Since the sun can be quite the showstopper, pack some sunscreen to keep those rays at bay. A hat and sunglasses? Definitely your best friends for added protection.
Capture Memories: You won’t want to miss a moment of this apple-filled fun, so don’t leave your camera behind. Snap away and capture all those sweet memories.
Cooler Time: Here’s a pro tip – bring along a cooler. It’ll come in handy for storing your apple haul at the end of your fruitful day.
Pick or not to pick: Not every family-owned farm is a U-pick farm. If you are looking for a family farm with delicious NC apples, then there are plenty to choose from. Just know, that if you want to grab your own from the apple trees, check to make sure they allow it before assuming they do.
With these essentials in tow, you’ll be all set for an unforgettable apple-picking adventure!
What to do with your NC Mountain Apples?
Once those apples are in your basket, get ready for the fun part – the endless apple possibilities!
You can whip up a scrumptious apple pie, squeeze out some homemade apple cider, or make a batch of comforting applesauce. And let’s not forget the simple joy of munching on these beauties as a healthy snack.
But hold onto your hats, because as you read, some orchards take it up a notch with pre-made treats. Think apple doughnuts that’ll melt in your mouth, icy-cold apple cider slushies to beat the heat, and luscious caramel apples that are pure indulgence.
You can get creative and try making your own versions of these delish items!
So, whether you’re in the mood for some cozy baking or craving an instant apple fix, those freshly picked apples have got you covered.
Enjoy Apple Picking in the NC Mountains
Apple-picking season in the NC mountains is an absolute must for savoring a stunning fall day. With North Carolina having the best apple orchards, it’s a great place to visit. North Carolina Apple Orchards offer awe-inspiring vistas and a ton of activities.
Just remember to come geared up, camera in hand, and let your creativity flow with those freshly picked apples. Whether you’re baking, sipping cider, or just munching away, it’s your apple adventure, your way.
So, toss those bags over your shoulder, round up your nearest and dearest, and set your course for the mountains. It’s time to dive into a day of apple-picking fun!
FAQs | Frequently Asked Questions
Gross Farms in Sanford, NC, and Kersey Valley Maize Adventure in Archdale, NC both have a 10-acre maze. So, they tied for 1st place!
Fortunately, there are plenty of different varieties of apples in NC. Golden delicious, pink lady, red delicious, honey crisp, granny smith, gala, and just so many others. You are sure to have different varieties of apples to choose from in the apple season.
Interestingly enough, not just one orchard has an apple cannon. Grandad’s Apples ‘N Such and Sky Top Orchard both have one.