Discover the Best Apple Picking Orchards in North Carolina (2023)

Christine Johnson

By Christine Johnson

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As the seventh-largest apple-producing state in the country, North Carolina provides an enjoyable apple-picking experience amidst its breathtaking scenery and varied orchards. Let’s explore the best orchards in North Carolina where you can enjoy this cherished fall custom during apple picking season. 

A branch with three apples on it.
Olaf Unger/Bigstock

1. Sky Top Orchard

Address: 1193 Pinnacle Mountain Rd, Flat Rock, NC 28731

For fans of apples, Zirconia’s Sky Top Orchard, which is tucked away next to Flat Rock, is a hidden gem. This orchard, which spans 100 acres of lovely farmland, provides more than simply apple picking. Enjoy stunning vistas of the mountains as you pick juicy apples. It’s the perfect location for creating priceless memories while taking in the cool fall air.

Sky Top Orchard offers some of the most delicious apple cider doughnuts you’ve ever had as an added bonus. There are pleasant farm animals to meet and a beautiful bamboo forest to explore, adding to the orchard’s allure. 

2. Carrigan Farms

Address: 1261 Oakridge Farm Hwy, Mooresville, NC 28115

Carrigan Farms in Mooresville is a tribute to North Carolina’s farming tradition, with a long history spanning five generations. Not only is this orchard renowned for its superb apple harvesting but also for its handy location. Carrigan Farms provides convenient access to a classic apple-picking experience for city dwellers and is close to Charlotte, Concord, and Statesville.

Carrigan Farms, however, is more than just an orchard. The picturesque environment is further enhanced by the presence of a gorgeous private quarry. This orchard morphs into a flexible venue outside of apple season, providing swimming outings, weddings, and other occasions. Visitors can also take advantage of a wide variety of U-Pick crops, such as strawberries, sunflowers, asparagus, and pumpkins.

3. Jeter Mountain Farm Apple Orchard

Address: 1126 Jeter Mountain Rd, Hendersonville, NC 28739

The Jeter Mountain Farm Apple Orchard has a rich agricultural history as well as a distinctive apple-picking experience. It is tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains’ embrace. The 411-acre farm is now owned by the Hunsader family, which has a long history in agriculture.

Their progression from dairy farming in Alaska, Wisconsin, to the purchase of Jeter Mountain Farm in 2005 is evidence of their steadfast dedication to the industry. In addition to peaches, raspberries, pumpkins, and other fruits and vegetables, this orchard now has over 25 different kinds of apples since it began offering u-pick seasons in 2020.

A lovely wagon will take you to the apple orchard at Jeter Mountain Farm when you arrive so you may choose your favorite types. The orchard also has a cider bar with six hard ciders on tap, delicious apple cider doughnuts, and live bluegrass music performances on the weekends for those looking for a more varied experience.

4. Creasman Farms

Address: 280 Arrow Lane, Hendersonville, NC 28792

Every Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m., Creasman Farms in Hendersonville welcomes eager apple pickers inside. This orchard is a refuge for visitors looking to discover the complex tapestry of apple flavors, with a typical year producing a breathtaking selection of 40 heirlooms and new apple types.

The chance to converse with skilled farmers who can share insights into the various apple types is what makes Creasman Farms stand out. You’ll obtain a deeper understanding of the apple industry if you’re fortunate enough to speak with them at farmers’ markets in Asheville, Brevard, or Black Mountain. With a focus on providing top-notch products, Creasman Farms offers a clear, no-frills apple-picking experience.

5. Apple Hill Orchard

Address: 2075 Pleasant Hill Ave, Morganton, NC 28655

Apple Hill Orchard, located close to Morganton, has been providing apple-picking aficionados with services since 1930. The custom of picking apples in North Carolina has persisted through the years unabated. Apple Hill Orchard, located just south of Morganton, sells both pre-picked and u-pick apples.

The Farmhouse Bakery at Apple Hill Orchard is one of the joys of a visit there. This bakery makes sure that your visit is a treat with its tasty doughnuts, delectable pies, and astounding range of 22 varieties of bread. It’s more than just an orchard; it’s a spot where you may get lost in the world of baked delicacies and enjoy the flavors of the season.

6. Perry Lowe Orchards

Address: 8741 NC-16, Moravian Falls, NC 28654

Apples have been grown in North Carolina for six generations at Perry Lowe Orchards, which is tucked away in the picturesque Wilkes County foothills. This farm is known for producing dehydrated apples and pressed apple ciders with distinctive aromas.

At Perry Lowe Orchards, visitors can choose from more than 30 different apple types for a varied apple-picking experience. You’re likely to discover your favorite among their selections, whether you’re looking for a sweet, tart, or crisp apple. Your tour will be filled with unusual taste experiences because of the orchard’s commitment to producing distinctive apple products.

7. Coston Farm and Apple House

Address: 3748 Chimney Rock Rd, Hendersonville, NC 28792

In the center of North Carolina’s apple capital, Coston Farm and Apple House is a charming place to go apple picking. Just the initial impression suggests a memorable encounter. Visitors can pick from an excellent assortment of 11 apple types, depending on the ripening period.

The well-designed playground in the orchard is great for young Apple fans and will be appreciated by families traveling with kids. The orchard’s dedication to offering a welcoming environment for families is apparent in every facet of the trip.

8. Devil Dog Orchard

Address: 771 NC-150, Reidsville, NC 27320

Pick-your-own apple orchard Devil Dog Orchard is conveniently situated near Greensboro and has a fascinating backstory. Before opting to purchase the land and move back to his rural roots, the owner, Larry, served in the Marine Corps for 28 years and lived in Greensboro for an additional 8 years. The two family members who are devil dogs give the orchard its moniker.

Apple cultivars such as gala apples, yellow delicious, old-time red, and others are grown at Devil Dog Orchard. The orchard also produces muscadines in addition to apples. Utilize their Facebook page to stay informed about what’s in season and schedule your visit to take advantage of the best of the harvest.

9. Justus Orchard

Address: 187 Garren Rd, Hendersonville, NC 28792

Near Hendersonville, Justus Orchard provides a comprehensive family-friendly experience that goes beyond apple picking. The massive playground, the jumping pillow, and the cow train are all great ways for kids to have fun.

There are 19 different varieties of apples that you may choose from, which is an astounding selection. The farm team is available to offer advice on how to make the most of your apple haul. Every member of the family has a special experience because of Justus Orchard’s commitment to fostering a wholesome family environment.

10. Grandad’s Apples 

Address: 2951 Chimney Rock Rd, Hendersonville, NC 28792

In Hendersonville, Grandad’s Apples goes above and above by providing a thorough apple-themed experience. The orchard makes sure that visitors are completely immersed in everything apple, from apple grits to apple peelers and apple slushies. There is enough space for everyone to enjoy the fall season, thanks to the 120 acres of apple trees and the additional 5 acres of pumpkins.

Families will find a variety of entertainment options, such as a playground, an apple cannon, a corn maze, and a cow train that runs over Labor Day weekend. Everyone can look forward to a joyful and delightful apple-picking experience at Grandad’s Apples N’ Such.

11. Owenby’s Apple House & Orchard

Address: 3807 Chimney Rock Rd, Hendersonville, NC 28792

Owenby’s Apple House & Orchard in Hendersonville has been in business for more than 60 years and has grown 18 different apple types on its 90-acre farm. For the past 20 years, the farm market, appropriately called the Apple House, has been selling fresh apples and other apple-related products.

Greg Owenby, the farm’s current owner, has carved a special trail through the farm’s cornfield in the shapes of “H” and “M” as a heartfelt homage to his parents, Harold and Margie Owenby. In addition to offering a wonderful apple-picking experience, this orchard offers a chance to consider the continuing tradition of family farming.

12. Mountain Fresh Orchards

Address: 2887 Chimney Rock Rd, Hendersonville, NC 28792

Mountain Fresh Orchards offers a whole family experience and is more than just an apple orchard. This orchard accommodates a wide variety of palate preferences by providing 17 different apple varieties with various levels of sweetness.

You can visit their roadside market, which features a wide selection of apple-related goods like honey, butter, jams, and cider, in addition to choosing your own apples there. The Apple Express Train will be a fun addition for families with young children to their trip. Families can take a panoramic tour of the entire farm by purchasing tickets for this wonderful trip in the market.

13. The Orchard at Altapass

Address: 1025 Orchard Rd, Spruce Pine, NC 28777

The Orchard at Altapass is more than simply an apple orchard; it’s a cultural treasure that may be found in Spruce Pine, NC, at Milepost 328 of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Visitors can select their own apples and enjoy hot apple cider, but live music is also provided, which helps to create a pleasant and festive scene.

A cultural pit stop, The Orchard at Altapass provides a distinctive fusion of apple-themed adventures and cultural enrichment. It’s a location where, during apple season, you can savor the orchard’s beauty while taking in live music and dancing.

14. Blueberry Thrill Farm

Address: 6938 Eaglesfield Rd, Gibsonville, NC 27249

The history of Blueberry Thrill Farm spans four decades. When Rick and Nan Longhorne planted four acres of blueberries and blackberries, it was established in 1982. But in 2011, the family added a second apple orchard, expanding their farming interests to apples.

Many people come to the area during the fall ready to pick their own apples. The best time to pick apples at Blueberry Thrill Farm is in the first few days of September. It’s a place where you may take in the rich wealth of the apple harvest and experience the soul of family farming.

15. Millstone Creek Orchards

Address: 506 Parks Crossroads Church, Ramseur, NC 27316

A comprehensive family outing, Millstone Creek Orchards is more than just an apple farm in North Carolina. Additionally, it’s the only location in the Research Triangle that’s close enough to Raleigh and Durham for apple picking. Millstone Creek Orchards, however, is actually closer to Greensboro and Winston-Salem.

This orchard is excellent for selecting apples, but it also has crops that ripen in the spring, so visitors may take advantage of nature’s abundance all year long. The apple-picking experience is wonderfully complemented by Millstone Creek’s cold-pressed apple cider and apple cider slushies, which are popular in the fall. A personal touch was added to your visit when proprietor Beverly Mooney revealed the secret to her well-known slushie recipe on an episode of NC Travel Chat.

You can experience a wide variety of apple-picking activities at these wonderful orchards scattered throughout North Carolina, allowing you to enjoy the flavors of the season and make priceless memories with loved ones. Plan a trip to one or more of these charming orchards and make the most of North Carolina’s abundant apple season!