U-Pick Apple Orchards

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It doesn’t seem right to post this apple picking post in August! But while apples are considered a fall fruit, the season actually begins in late August here in North Georgia. (And Mercier is open now!) So while the temperatures will stay hot for a bit longer and fall is still officially several weeks away, let’s start planning for the apple harvest.

Ellijay is home to several apple orchards, many of which offer additional attractions like petting farms, jump pillows, farm tours and more, so you can spend a full day at the orchards with the family. Most of these orchards are about 1 and a half hours from Smyrna.

{I’ve done my best to verify days and hours, but some U-Pick orchards open and close according to weather, ripeness, and general availability of produce. Always call ahead to ensure they are open before making the drive all the way to Ellijay!}

 

B.J. Reece Apple House
9131 Highway 52 E
Ellijay, GA 30536
(706) 276-3048
Hours: August 29  – November 1: 9am-6pm every day including Sunday.  They sell the last tickets at 5pm each day. You can see what varieties are available for picking each week here.

B.J. Reece is a family-owned and operated orchard in Ellijay. In addition to apple picking, they offer a variety of additional farm fun activities for one price: petting farm, wagon rides, apple cannons, a corn field scavenger hunt, a giant jumping pillow, pig racing and a cow train (barrel train).  For an additional fee, they also have pony rides and two 1000 ft. racing ziplines. Enjoy dessert from their bakery before heading home. 

 

Hillcrest Orchards
9696 Highway 52 E
Ellijay, GA 30536
(706) 273-3838
Hours: Open Daily starting August 29. 9:00am – 6:00pm (Sep. & Oct.) 9:00am – 5:00pm (Nov.)
The Petting Farm is open daily starting September 5
The “Apple Pickin’ Jubilee” begins every weekend on September 12

Hillcrest knows how to celebrate fall. They’ve turned every weekend from mid-September through October into an Apple Pickin’ Jubilee ($10 to enter). Besides picking your own apples, there is a petting farm, giant jump pillows, Hillbilly Mini Golf, nature trails, pig races, mule drawn waggon rides, live entertainment, a children’s play area with a giant slide down a hill, a bakery & farm market, and more. Parking is free and their apple variety is extensive.

 

Mercier Orchards
8660 Blue Ridge Drive
Blue Ridge, GA 30513
706-632-3411
Hours: U-Pick hours are Saturdays and Sundays 10am – 4pm through October. U-Pick is weather permitting, so always call ahead!
Additional information is posted on their Facebook page.

This enormous apple orchard has been open on weekends for U-Picking since July! New pricing is $3 to enter (free for 2 and under) plus whatever size bag you fill. Half peck, peck and 1/2 bushel sizes available. Besides apple picking, have fun with their apple cannon, tractor tours and other special events throughout the season. They also have an incredible bakery and market that is a must see.

 

R&A Orchards
5505 Highway 52 E
Ellijay, GA 30536
(706) 273-3821
Hours: U-Pick is available during weekends in September, but info for this season hasn’t been posted yet. They will post U-Pick hours, market hours, and apple varieties available that weekend on their Facebook page, so please check there before going! 

R&A Orchards has about 60 acres of apples trees and 10 acres of peaches and nectarines. Farm tours are available during weekends in September.

 

Red Apple Barn
3379 Tailscreek Road
Ellijay, Georgia 30540
(706) 635-5898
Hours: U-Pick hours begin August 29 and will continue all weekends through October.  Hours are Saturdays 10:30- 5pm, Sundays 1pm – 4pm. Check their Facebook page for availability. 

Apples, pumpkins and wildflowers are available for picking in September, or while supply lasts. You can also enjoy a wagon ride, tour of the farm, cornhole, horseshoes, and of course, cold apple cider.  Pack a picnic lunch – they have tables available along a creek. It’s $5 for a tractor ride and tour, plus whatever you pick. Children under 3 are free.

 

North Georgia Apple Festival, October 10th & 11th and 17th & 18th at the Ellijay Lions Club Fairgrounds. The Ellijay Lions Club, the Gilmer County Chamber of Commerce, the cities of Ellijay and East Ellijay, and Gilmer County invite everyone to come and enjoy the 44th year of the Georgia Apple Festival. There are over 300 vendors with handmade, hand-crafted items, as well as many on-site demonstrations of how selected types of crafts are made. This year promises many new crafts as well as favorites from past festivals. There is a parade and antique car show each year. The antique car show is held at the Civic Center on October 10th. The parade is on October 17th and begins at 10 AM in historic downtown Ellijay.

 

 

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Alicia

A New Orleans girl turned Georgia peach and stay at home mom to 2 daughters. Before taking the leap into full time mothering, I worked at at an Atlanta-based advertising agency. I have lived in Smyrna for almost 10 years and am still not sure how I managed to find a job more chaotic and unpredictable than advertising.

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