2022 ESSENTIAL APPLE PICKING GEORGIA GUIDE

One of our favorite fall traditions is to make a trip to north Georgia mountains to go apple picking. We love walking through the orchards, picking apples, enjoying the cooler weather and watching the kids play, before grabbing some apple pastries and heading home with our haul. There’s truly no better way to start the fall season.

Georgia has some wonderful U-pick apple orchards less than two hours from Atlanta. Some of the orchards sell apple products and baked goods, some have farm games and activities, some host special events — but they all have plenty of apples, ready to be picked.

No matter what you’re looking for, we’ve got the scoop! Want the best apple picking Georgia has to offer? Here’s everything you need to know about this fun fall activity.

WHEN TO GO APPLE PICKING IN GEORGIA

2022 ESSENTIAL APPLE PICKING GEORGIA GUIDE

John W. Clayton is credited with introducing the first apples to Gilmer County in 1903. Over a hundred years later, this north Georgia area produces more than 250,000 bushels of apples annually in over 30 varieties. If you’re looking to go apple picking, Ellijay, Georgia is the place to go.

Wondering when is the best time to go apple picking? Georgia ‘s season runs late August through October, however not all varieties are available at the same time. We have a handy guide to the types of apples in Georgia and when to pick them.

APPLE ORCHARDS WITH FAMILY FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES

TYPES OF APPLES IN GEORGIA & THE BEST TIME TO PICK THEM

HILLCREST ORCHARDS AND FARMS

9696 Hwy. 52 E. | Ellijay | 706-273-3838

Hillcrest Orchards and Farm is family-owned and operated, and filled with fun for the everyone. Pick your own apples during the Apple Pickin’ Jubilee each weekend, starting on September 3, 2022. It will run on Saturdays and Sundays until the apples are gone. Hillcrest’s weekends offer the type of apple picking Georgia residents love.

The Apple Pickin’ Jubilee weekends include pig races, cow milking, and of course, apple picking.

For the adults, there is live country and bluegrass music, as well as clogging on the stage. Pick up some fresh produce with your apples at the farm market. They also have other food and goodies for sale.

Although they only do U-pick on the weekends, the weekdays still have a lot going on in the fall. If you’re in the area, the slide on the side of the hill is worth the stop alone, not to mention the farm animals! Grab a bag of apples and juice in an apple cup.

BJ REECE ORCHARDS

9131 Georgia 52 East | Ellijay| 706-276-3048

Beginning August 27, 2022 and lasting through October 30, U-Pick will be available every day at BJ Reece Orchards. They are the only orchards that offer U-Pick during the week. They also have their petting farm open during the week as well.

On the weekends they offer other great activities such as zipline, cow milking, corn maze, pig races, apple cannons, wagon rides and much more. Leashed dogs are welcome in the orchards, but not the apple house.

This has been our go-to apple house for years. If you aren’t sure what kind of apple you’d like, taste them in the apple house, where you can also watch them make the fried apple pies.

JUST THE APPLES: U-PICK ORCHARDS WITHOUT THE FANFARE

2022 ESSENTIAL APPLE PICKING GEORGIA GUIDE

R&A ORCHARDS

5505 GA-52 | Ellijay | 706-273-3821

At R&A Orchards, enjoy a tractor tour and apple picking starting Labor Day Weekend. They offer farm tours and U-pick apples every weekend in September.

This is the best U-Pick location if you don’t want the fuss of lots of activities and simply want to pick apples. The website has a great tool for determining approx. harvest dates of your favorite varieties too. Other fruit and vegetables are available in their market.

Plan to eat lunch here. They have a delicious restaurant with daily specials, hamburgers, BBQ and other sandwiches. And do yourself a huge favor – get the apple cider doughnuts. You won’t be disappointed.

RED APPLE BARN

3379 Tails Creek Rd | Ellijay | 706-635-5898

U-pick in 2022 will begin at Red Apple Barn on August 27, and all weekends through November, or until all the apples are picked. They also have a pumpkin patch! You’ll also find tire swings, corn hole, horseshoes, a playground, and farm animals to see.

This apple house is not located on Hwy 52, aka Apple Alley, so it’s a great place to visit during the peak apple picking weekends, because traffic is not as heavy on 282 where they are located.

Make sure to get some apple cider and apple cider doughnuts from their market while you’re there!

MERCIER ORCHARDS

8660 Blue Ridge Dr | Blue Ridge | 706-632-3411

Mercier Orchards is a family business in its 4th generation, celebrating over 70 years of Georgia grown apples. You’ll experience U-pick apple opportunities, a bakery and deli, the Market Store, and a Farm Winery. Don’t miss the Georgia Grown Hard Cider.

U-Pick usually starts in August, including the popular Honey Crisp variety. Their U-Pick dates have not yet been released for 2022.

Note: For those looking for organics, Mercier isn’t an organic orchard, but it does uses all-natural products on their fruits, even encouraging a bite in the field.

NO PICK, BUT LOTS OF PECKS

2022 ESSENTIAL APPLE PICKING GEORGIA GUIDE

JAEMOR FARMS

5340 Cornelia Hwy | Alto | 770-869-3999

Jaemor Farms has been family run since 1912, you can find a myriad fruit here. Apples start in August, and other fruits include watermelons, pumpkins, peaches and more.

Jaemor has sometimes held U-pick apple weekends on select days, and they recommend checking Facebook for the most up-to-date info on that.  What we can guarantee they have is lots of delicious varieties of apples for sale at their farm and market in the fall. We also love the cooking classes, and farm-to-table dinners.

PANORAMA ORCHARDS & FARM MARKET

63 Talona Mountain Rd | Ellijay | 706-276-3813

Established in the 1920s, Panorama Orchards & Farm Market offers more than 20 varieties of apples. U-pick is not available, but this house has easy access to Hwy 515, making it a great quick stop to grab local apples and other favorite fall treats.

Stop in for fresh picked apples and homemade baked goods. Kids will love the ice cream area with an old fashioned soda fountain. Apples should be in season starting in August.

AARON’S APPLE HOUSE

8350 Hwy 52 | East Ellijay | 706-273-3180

Aaron Family Orchards is another fabulous apple house that is perfect to pick up locally grown apples, fresh eggs, and other delicious treats. Try their cider and pies! Be sure to see the goats!

PENLAND’S APPLE HOUSE

41 Talona Mountain Rd | Ellijay | 706-635-5110

Penland’s Apple House is all about convenience. They offer two locations, one located with easy access from Hwy 515 near Panorama Farm Market, and the second located on Hwy 282 near Red Apple Barn. Both locations offer locally grown apples and other apple treats.

You’ll find their apples beginning in August.

MORE INFORMATION ON FALL FUN IN GEORGIA

WHERE TO STAY WHILE YOU’RE APPLE PICKING

FAVORITE ELLIJAY HOTEL OPTIONS

Best Tried and True Hotel: Our favorite tried and true hotel in Ellijay is The Comfort Inn & Suites East Ellijay. Guests can enjoy the indoor heated pool and fitness center here.

Best for History Buffs: Bordering Georgia’s Rich Mountain Wilderness, this Budget Inn Top of Ellijay features a basketball court and free property-wide Wi-Fi. Guests can also explore American history 1 mile away at the Civil War Museum and Library.

Best In Downtown: The Ellijay Inn is in downtown Ellijay, a 30 minute drive from Amicalola Falls State Park. This motel offers guests free Wi-Fi and cable TV in each room.

CAMPGROUNDS NEAR ELLIJAY

About 40 miles away from Ellijay, you’ll find Bald Mountain Camping Resort in Hiawassee. This camping resort has been referred to as a “Little Slice of Heaven in the Mountains of Georgia!” 

Enjoy full hook-up RV sites and cabin rentals with a wide range of activities for the entire family.

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