September means time for apple picking in Georgia, and the place to go is Ellijay, the apple capitol of the state. Taking an afternoon to visit North Georgia and pick apples has become a family tradition for my boys and me.
Tips for Picking Apples in Georgia
There are lots of apple houses in north Georgia, but only a few that actually let you pick your own and generally they only allow picking on the weekends.
Apple picking in Georgia usually runs Aug. through Oct., but different apples are available at different times, so if you’re like me and want a specific type of apple, check our guide to the different varieties of apples and when they are available.
Many of the apple houses that offer picking also have a fall festival atmosphere with apple cannons, petting zoos, wagon rides and more. These activities are all at an extra cost. Many of the apple orchards charge a fee to enter the orchard. To get the most up-to-date pricing structure, contact the orchard before heading out.
The list below includes orchards that simply offer apple picking, as well as those that offer a complete fall fair. Did we miss your favorite? If so, tell us where you like to go apple picking in Georgia.
Where to go Apple Picking in Georgia
BJ Reece Apple House
9131 Highway 52 East,
Ellijay, GA 30536.
This is where we normally go. In addition to the apple picking experience, BJ Reece also offers a host of activities on the weekends including: pig races, apple cannons, a petting farm, wagon rides, pony rides, cow milking, a scavenger hunt through the corn field, a giant jumping pillow, cow trains, and racing zip lines! There is an extra fee for these activities and you can purchase them individually or as a package. There is also a nominal fee to enter the orchard and then you purchase the apples picked.
8660 Blue Ridge Drive,
Blue Ridge, GA
Mercier started picking certain varieties of apples in August, and will be open weekends through October pick. There is a tractor ride to the orchard and a nominal fee to enter, plus you much purchase whatever you pick. Mercier also has a hard cider tasting room, bakery and deli. Note: Mercier uses an inter-grated pest control system. The sprays they use are completely water soluble and rinse off with a .10” of rain or fresh water.
9696 Highway 52 East,
Ellijay, GA 30536
Phone: 706-273-3838 or 706-273-9494.
Hillcrest Orchard hosts the Apple Pickin Jubilee each weekend through October and you may only pick your own apples during Jubilee weekends. Admission includes fun activities like a giant jumping pillow, corny kid’s maze, pig races, live music and of course apple picking. Adults may be interested in the moonshine museum. Some activities require an additional charge, such as the petting farm and bungee jump.
Red Apple Barn
3379 Tails Creek Road,
Ellijay, GA 30540
Pick your own on the weekends. There is a tractor ride to and from the orchard, tour of the farm, pick an apple from the orchard, a cup cold cider and an apple cider doughnut for a fee, plus whatever apples you purchase.
5505 Highway 52 East
Ellijay, GA 30540
Phone: 706-273-3821 or 706-273-2639
On the weekends in September, take a wagon ride to the orchards and pick your own apples. This orchard seems to be a bit calmer, without the festival type atmosphere. Call ahead to see what’s available to pick.
Where to Eat on a trip to North Georgia
Running around the apple orchard can make you hungry, even if you’re sampling while you pick. Our tradition includes a stop at Col. Poole’s BBQ and Pig Hill of Fame. My sons love the BBQ and I love the corny puns like the parking space sign “Pork Here”. Col. Poole’s also has the Pig Hill of Fame. Patrons purchase pig signs made out of plastic sign material to place on the hill. We still haven’t found our sign yet, but we’ll keep looking. Take a look at the video below for a taste of what to expect at Col. Pooles.