The Best Places For Apple Picking in The Georgia Mountains

apples, fruits, orchard-1872997.jpg

This site is reader supported. When you buy through links on this site, we may receive a commission. Read More

Key Points

  • Apple picking season in Georgia runs from August to October. Depending on when you go, there will be different varieties of apples in season.
  • Numerous apples are available at these Orchards, including Granny Smith, Fuji, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Ambrosia, and Golden Delicious.
  • Enjoy orchard activities like corn mazes, petting zoos, and tractor rides, and apple-inspired treats like pies, jams, and ciders.

This guide to apple picking in the Georgia Mountains has everything you need for a delightful fall getaway with apples, donuts, and cider.

Ellijay, nicknamed “The Apple Capital of Georgia,” is filled with orchards, but there are other orchards dotted throughout Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, including in Lakemont, Blue Ridge, and Alto.

Best of all, this area is just a day trip away from Atlanta, and a great way to get out in nature and find the juiciest fruit right off the tree.

Below, we’ll look at some of the best orchards in Georgia and go over essential information to help you plan your apple-picking adventure.

Trip map created with Wanderlog, the best trip planner app on iOS and Android

When is the best time to go Apple Picking in the Georgia Mountains?

The best time for apple picking in the Georgia Mountains is usually during the fall, specifically from late August to October.

The exact time for apple picking varies slightly depending on the orchard and the varieties grown. Early-season varieties like Gala and Honeycrisp are usually ready to pick in late August or early September. Mid-season apples such as Fuji and Golden Delicious peak in September, while late-season varieties such as Rome Beauty and Granny Smith are often available in October.

Mercier Orchards

Where: Blue Ridge, Georgia

Located in Blue Ridge, Mercier Orchards is a family-owned apple-picking destination that has operated for over 75 years.

The orchard spans 300 acres and features more than 50 apple varieties, making it one of the largest apple orchards in the state.

Mercier Orchards offers U-Pick apples and tractor excursions through the orchard when there are no apple-picking events.

Types of Apples Grown

From Honey Crisp to Granny Smith, you can find more than 50 varieties to suit every taste. Here’s a rundown of what you’ll find here:

  • August: Detroit Red, Blondee, Gala, Jonathon, and Golden Supreme are the most popular.
  • September: Cameo, Mcintosh, Crimson Crisp, Ambrosia, Jona Prince, Empire, and Mutzu.
  • October: Arkansas Black, Candy Crisp, Braeburn, Gold Rush, Granny Smith, Fuji, and Pink Lady.

Other Activities & Attractions 

Enjoy a stroll on their trails, taste delicious baked items from their bakery, or sip a refreshingly crisp apple cider.

You can also visit their farm store, which sells a variety of locally produced fruit, handmade jams, and apple-related products.

Hillcrest Orchards

Where: Ellijay, Georgia

Located in the charming town of Ellijay, Hillcrest Orchards is a 100 acre, family-owned apple orchard that has been delighting tourists since 1946.

Best Time for Apple Picking

Hillcrest Orchards are open from September through early November, and their hours of operation are from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Types of Apple Grown

The orchard’s apple varieties include Arkansas Black, Golden Delicious, Mutsu, Rome Beauty, Granny Smith, Gold Rush, and Yates.

Other apple varieties, including Fuji, Cameo, Pink Lady, and Jonagold, are available at the Hillcrest market.

Other Activities and Attractions 

Hillcrest Orchards has everything from U-pick options and cow milking to swimming pig races and wagon rides! This is one of the best orchards in the area for activities.

Families will enjoy the farm museum, the corn maze, and delightful treats such as fresh-baked apple pies, caramel apples, and apple cider doughnuts.

The annual Apple Pickin’ Jubilee, a fall festival with apple picking, tractor rides, a petting zoo, and live entertainment, is one of Hillcrest Orchards’ most popular events.

Red Apple Barn

Where: Ellijay, Georgia

Set against the idyllic town of Ellijay, Red Apple Barn is a hidden gem among Georgia’s apple orchards. It was built in 1971 as a market for apples, but is still a popular Ellijay orchard.

Best Time for Apple Picking

Red Apple Barn is open for apple picking on weekends from September through November or until all the apples in the orchard have been picked.

So, if you want to enjoy the best apple-picking experience, come earlier in the season.

Types of Apples Grown

Red Apple Barn specializes in apple varieties that grow in the Georgia climate, allowing you to pick the ripest and most delicious fruits. Cameo, Fuji, Arkansas Black, Gala, Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Golden Supreme, Pink Lady, Granny Smith, and Stayman Winesap are some of the apple varieties available here.

Other Activities and Attractions

With your U-Pick Apples entry, you can also enjoy a tractor ride, two flowers, a wonderful apple cider donut, and apple cider. You will also have access to a picnic, family-friendly games like Cornhole, Horseshoes, and a playground for children.

Weekday farm tours are also offered and include a tractor ride that goes past the hayfield and includes a stop at the orchard to pick apples, a stroll through the flower garden and pumpkin patch, and then winds back to the barn, where you are greeted with complimentary treats.

B.J. Reece Orchards

Where: Ellijay, Georgia

B.J. Reece Orchards is a popular family-owned and operated apple orchard and one of the best places for apple picking in the Georgia Mountains. It offers stunning views of the mountains, a market and bakery, and plenty of activities for the kids.

Best Time for Apple Picking

Their u-pick season begins soon before Labor Day weekend and continues throughout October. But sometimes their orchards are completely picked before the season ends, so if you want to pick some fresh apples, come early!

Types of Apples Grown

Reece Orchards spans 120 acres and features 30 different apple varieties. Gala, Empire, Ginger Gold, Blondies, Red Delicious, Crimson Crisp, Rome Beauty, Mutsu, Winecrisp, Cameo, Shizuka, Yates, Gold Rush, Candy Crisp, and Fuji are a few examples.

Other Activities and Attractions

In addition to apple picking, B.J. Reece Orchards offers a range of activities, including wagon rides, apple cannons, scavenger hunts, a petting farm, jumping pillows, cow milking, pony rides, and more. Enjoy a picnic amidst the lovely surroundings or visit their corn maze.

The orchard also hosts seasonal events like pumpkin picking and harvest festivals. It’s famous for its fried apple pies, so save room for a sweet treat.

R&A Orchards

Where: Ellijay Georgia

R&A Orchards, located in Ellijay, Georgia has been growing apples for over 70 years. The orchard is blanketed with about 60 acres of apple trees and 10 acres of nectarines and peaches.

Best Time To Go

The apple season in the orchard typically lasts from early August to early December, with different apple varieties maturing at different times.

Types of Apples Grown

This charming orchard offers a diverse range of apple varieties, including traditional favorites and unique variants. Whether you are looking for a crisp and tart apple or a sweet and juicy one, R&A Orchards is sure to have something for you.

Every weekend in September, you can pick ripe Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Mutsu, Rome Beauty, and Stayman Winesap apples.

Moreover, you can purchase other varieties, including Fuji, Ginger Golden, Gala, Detroit Red, Granny Smith, Jonah Gold, Yates, and Arkansas Black, at their roadside market.

Other Activities and Attractions

In addition to apple picking, R&A Orchards offers wagon rides, a petting zoo, and a farm market where you can find a range of fresh products, jams, and handmade treats.

Don’t forget to try their apple cider slushies, a refreshing treat that perfectly captures the essence of the orchard. Families and school groups can plan tours of R&A Orchards on weekends in September. 

Jaemor Farms

Where: Alto, Georgia

Jaemor Farms is situated in the foothills of the Georgia mountains in Alto, about an hour north of Athens. Founded in 1912, Jaemor Farms is a sixth-generation family-owned business.

Best Time to Go

Jaemor Farms grows apples in three seasons: early (July to August), mid (late August to late September), and late (October to December). Note that their U-pick apple orchards are only available on selective days, so check their website for updates.

Types of Apples Grown

With over 150 acres of apple trees, Jaemor Farms offers a plentiful harvest of apples, ranging from classic varieties to unique options like Pink Lady and Cameo.

Golden Delicious, Gala, Honeycrisp, Red Delicious, Fuji, Jonagold, Arkansas Black, Ginger Gold, Red Rome, Mutsu, and MacIntosh are just a few of the east coast apple varieties.

Other Activities and Attractions

Jaemor Farms hosts field trips, educational tours, and other fun activities like an annual fall pumpkin festival and corn maze.

They also host a date night on the farm, where you and your lover can enjoy a lovely dinner, wonderful music, and other enjoyable activities on the farm.

Hillside Orchard Farms

Where: Lakemont, Georgia

Hillside Orchard Farms is a delightful apple-picking destination set against the North Georgia Mountains that offers a true taste of Southern hospitality. They are in Lakemont, in northeast Georgia close to both the Tennessee and South Carolina state line.

The farm, which has been in operation for over 30 years and is currently run by three generations, offers guests an amazing farm experience.

Best Time To Go

Hillside Orchard Farms offers apple-picking adventures from their orchards throughout September.

Types of Apples Grown

This 100-acre farm features over a dozen apple varieties, offering a diverse option for visitors. The most common apple varieties include Enterprise, Arkansas Blacks, Stayman, Pink Lady, and Gold Rush.

Other Activities and Attractions

In addition to picking apples, you can also take a trip on the farm train and hayrides and visit the farm museum, greenhouse, barnyard, and playground.

The farm is located only a few miles away from family-friendly attractions like Goats On The Roof, Minnehaha Falls, and Panther Falls/Angels Falls.

The Bottom Line

From the sprawling orchards of Mercier Orchards and Hillcrest Orchards to the hidden gems of Red Apple Barn and Hillside Orchard Farms, every place offers a unique experience for you and your family.

If you are headed to the mountains of North Georgia, be sure to check all the amazing wineries while you’re there too.