Apple Picking in North Carolina (+ the 17 Best Orchards to Visit)

Last Updated on September 28, 2022

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Apple picking in North Carolina is a late summer/early fall tradition we’ve enjoyed for many years. And one of our favorite parts includes apple cider donuts!

Did you know that 32 states in the US produce commercial apples, and North Carolina ranks 7th among them? With such a massive collection of apple orchards, you’d better believe there are some incredible opportunities to find U-pick North Carolina apples.

Our guide shares more than 17 family-owned farms and orchards waiting for you to come and pick apples every year, including their contact information and addresses.

We’ll also share when you can start picking apples (aka apple season!), and some of the state’s largest (and bucket list-worthy) apple festivals.

Here’s how we’ve organized this guide to Apple Picking in North Carolina:

You can skip ahead to find your favorite apple orchards or continue reading about when apple picking season in NC begins!

Read More: Fall in North Carolina

When is Apple Picking Season in North Carolina?

Apple harvesting season starts in mid-August and goes through the end of October and even November in some cases. With more than 40 varieties of apples in North Carolina, there are also many ways to enjoy them.

Where Can We Start Apple Picking in North Carolina? (List + Map!)

Map of Apple Picking in North Carolina Orchards Created by Google Maps
Map Created via Google Maps. Image Linked to map of Apple Picking in North Carolina.

You’ll find the highest concentration of apple orchards in Hendersonville and Henderson County, just 25 miles south of Asheville in the NC mountains.

Don’t worry if you’re too far away for a day trip from this area, though, as there are plenty of apple farms in Western NC and Central NC.

If you’re a visual planner (like us) and want to quickly find apple orchards near you, we’ve created this map. Otherwise, keep reading about NC apple festivals and more details about where to go apple picking in North Carolina.

Read More: The NC Tripping North Carolina Travel Map

North Carolina Apple Festivals

Before we get to where you can go apple picking in North Carolina, here are a couple of festivals that you cannot miss!

Read More: Day Trips from Asheville

The NC Apple Festival

Millstone Creek Orchards in Ramseur brings Apple Cider Slushies, Pumpkins, and More Farm Fun to Your NC Bucket List!

Henderson County wins for most apple orchards in this guide. The mountain town also hosts the NC Apple Festival for four days during Labor Day Weekend (typically September).

A parade, music, crafts, and scenic tours of the orchard make this family-friendly event one to keep on your calendar.

Read More: 50+ Great Things to Do in Asheville (Downtown, Biltmore, and More!)

Brushy Mountain Apple Festival

The Brushy Mountain Apple Festival is a huge event in North Wilkesboro, with hundreds of arts and crafts vendors, four music stages, and dozens of food vendors. Typically held on the first Saturday in October, this is one of the biggest apple festivals around.

It’s a great celebration of apple orchards and Appalachian heritage.

Apple Harvest Festival

Another festival celebrating North Carolina’s crisp crop is the Apple Harvest Festival in Waynesville. This festival takes place on the third Saturday of October and boasts plenty of caramel apples, crafts, and old-fashioned games.

Read More: 20+ Amazing Things to Do in Maggie Valley

NC Apple Orchards (Hendersonville and Henderson County)

Apple Picking

With 10 apple orchards represented, Hendersonville and Henderson County were the clear champions of this guide in sheer numbers.

Apple Cider Donuts in NC

Also, since we’re big fans of apple cider donuts (aren’t you?), we’ll share whether or not they’re offered.

Read More: 30+ of the Best North Carolina Mountain Towns to Visit Now!

Coston Farm and Apple House (Hendersonville)

3748 Chimney Rock Rd, Hendersonville, NC | 828-685-8352
Website | Apple Cider Donuts: No

Apple orchards in Hendersonville NC Coston Farms

The beautiful gift shop at Coston Farm and Apple House is a wonderful place to start before you go apple picking in NC’s apple capital, and they get festive with the Fall decor.

Just on looks alone, this place promises a memorable apple picking experience. But depending on the ripening schedule, you’ll have 11 varieties to choose from.

And if you brought kids, the playground here is perfect for young apple enthusiasts.

Read More: Hiking in Hendersonville (30+ Great Trails Within 1 Hour)

Creasman Farms (Hendersonville)

280 Arrow Lane, Hendersonville, NC | 828-685-7728
Website | Apple Cide Donuts: No

Creasman Farms opens its u-pick farm on Sundays from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm, with a normal year yielding 40 varieties of heirloom and new apples.

It certainly is fun to learn from the farmers about different varieties if you get a chance to chat with them at farmers’ markets in Asheville, Brevard, and Black Mountain!

Read More: 10 Great Hendersonville Restaurants (+ Where to Eat and Drink!)

Grandad’s Apples N’ Such (Hendersonville)

2951 Chimney Rock Rd, Hendersonville, NC | 828-685-1685 Website | Apple Cider Donuts: Yes

Hendersonville NC Apple Orchards Grandads Apples

Grandad’s Apples in Hendersonville goes above and beyond the theme here, with Apple grits, apple peelers, and apple slushies! With 120 acres of apple trees and 5 acres of pumpkins, there’s plenty of room for everyone at Grandad’s.

There is also plenty of activities for families here! They have a playground, Apple cannon, corn maze,  and cow train that is open on Labor Day weekend.

More than 30 different varieties await some of the most diverse apple picking in North Carolina!

Read More: How to Reach Jump Off Rock near Hendersonville (+ Everything You Need to Know)

Jeter Mountain Farm Apple Orchard (Hendersonville)

1126 Jeter Mountain Rd, Hendersonville, NC | (828) 513-0404
Website | Apple Cider Donuts: Yes

Jeter Mountain Farm is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains and is owned by the Hunsader family, who have a long and rich history in farming.

Leonard Hunsader began the first farming endeavor with his dairy farm in Alaska, Wisconsin, in the late 1800s. He moved to Manitowoc, where his descendants still run the operation today.

When part of the Manitowoc operation was acquired by the government, Leonard’s grandson moved to Florida in 1967 to begin tomato farming. The Hunsader family built a farming empire and eventually bought the 411-acre Jeter Mountain Farm in 2005.

The first apple tree was grown in 2014, and the farm offered its first you-pick season in 2020. The farm has over 25 apple varieties, as well as peaches, raspberries, pumpkins, and more.

When you arrive, a wagon will take you to the apple orchard. You can also enjoy 6 hard ciders on tap in the cider taproom, apple cider donuts, and live bluegrass music on the weekends.

Read More: 80+ Amazing Small Towns in North Carolina (For Your Next Road Trip or Home!)

Justus Orchard (Hendersonville)

187 Garren Rd, Hendersonville, NC | 828-974-1232
Website | Apple Cider Donuts: Yes

The fried apple pies at Justus Orchard make this a great destination beyond apple picking in North Carolina! Kids can play on the giant playground, bounce on the jumping pillow, and ride the cow train here, too.

At this farm near Hendersonville, you can pick from the 19 varieties and the farm staff will help guide you on how to best utilize your crop!

Read More: Western North Carolina Map (400+ Wonderful Places Listed)

Mountain Fresh Orchards (Hendersonville)

2887 Chimney Rock Rd, Hendersonville, NC | 828-685-7606
Website | Apple Cider Donuts: Yes

Mountain Fresh Orchards is an apple orchard, farm market, and train all in one! The orchard grows 17 types of apples with varying sweetness levels for all tastes.

In addition to picking your own, you can visit their roadside market to browse their apple selection and other offerings, like honey, butter, jams, and cider.

The kids will love a weekend outing to Mountain Fresh as they’ll get to ride on the Apple Express Train! Purchase tickets in the market and enjoy a ride around the entire farm.

Read More: How to Reach THE Chimney Rock (3 Fun Ways to the Top!)

Owenby’s Apple House & Orchard (Hendersonville)

3807 Chimney Rock Rd, Hendersonville, NC | 828-685-9917
Website | Apple Cider Donuts: No

The Owenby family has owned and operated the Owenby Orchard for over 60 years, growing 18 apple varieties on the 90-acre farm. The farm market, named the Apple House, has been selling fresh apples and other apple products for the past 20 years.

Current owner Greg Owenby paid a special tribute to his parents, Harold and Margie Owenby, by creating a trail through the farm’s cornfield in the shape of “H” and “M.”

Read More: Why and How to Support Amazing Local Businesses Every Day

Sky Top Orchard (Flat Rock)

1193 Pinnacle Mountain Road, Zirconia, NC | 828-692-7930
Website | Apple Cider Donuts: Yes

Apple Picking in NC Flat Rock Sky Top Orchards

Hendersonville isn’t the only Henderson County town that’s known for amazing apple picking in North Carolina! Sky Top Orchard in Zirconia (near Flat Rock) is an excellent place to make memories while soaking up panoramic mountain views!

The 100-acre farm also offers some of the most delicious apple cider donuts. Farm animals and an inviting bamboo forest mix the familiar and unique to make this orchard among the best in our state.

Read More: Visiting the Carl Sandburg Home in Flat Rock

Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard (Hendersonville)

170 Stepp Orchard Dr, Hendersonville, NC | 828-685-9083
Website | Apple Cider Donuts: Yes

Featuring over 21 varieties of apples for picking, the 70 acres at Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard is the ultimate in fall family fun. The folks here have been working the land in Hendersonville for more than 50 years.

When you visit, you can show your appreciation by devouring some apple cider donuts and pumpkin donuts, too! You can (safely) play with their apple cannon and explore the 5-acre corn maze and try not to get lost, okay?

Read More: 17 of the Best Pumpkin Patches in North Carolina (Eastern, Central, and Western NC)

Twisted Apple Orchard (Hendersonville)

4039 US-64, Hendersonville, NC 28792 | (828) 712-1919
Facebook Page | Apple Cider Donuts: Yes

Twisted Apple Orchard is Hendersonville’s only public organic orchard. In addition to apple picking, visitors can browse their selection of baked goods, fresh fruit, ice cream, and homemade pies.

Twisted Apple also has its own line of lotions and soaps, named Orchard Secrets. Their retail store also sells a plethora of other gift items, so get a souvenir to remember your apple-picking experience!

Read More: 40+ North Carolina Gifts from Amazing Local Businesses

More Apple Picking in North Carolina (Western)

Beyond Henderson County, these orchards and regions also offer apple picking in North Carolina’s mountains!

Apple Hill Orchard (Morganton)

2075 Pleasant Hill Ave, Morganton, NC |
Apple Cider Donuts: Yes

Apple Picking in North Carolina Apple Hill Orchard Burke County NC

Apple Hill Orchard dates back to 1930, and while time has moved forward, the North Carolina apple picking tradition is still strong! Just south of Morganton, Apple Hill Orchard has pre-picked or u-pick apples.

Their Farmhouse Bakery is packed with delicious donuts, pies, and 22 varieties of bread to choose from!

Read More: High Shoals Falls in South Mountains State Park

The Orchard at Altapass (Spruce Pine)

1025 Orchard Rd, Spruce Pine, NC | 828-765-9531
Website | Apple Cider Donuts: No

The Orchard at Altapass is one of the most popular places to go apple picking in North Carolina.

The Orchard at Altapass is an iconic Blue Ridge Parkway stop (Milepost 328), and a beautiful overlook with sweeping views of the apple trees.

You can pick apples and sip hot apple cider, but remember to bring your dancing shoes! Live music creates a fun festive mood from Thursday to Sunday during the apple season.

Read More: Staying at the Switzerland Inn

Perry Lowe Orchards (Moravian Falls)

8741 NC-16, Moravian Falls, NC | 336.921.3123
Website | Apple Cider Donuts: Yes

Perry Lowe Orchards sits in the beautiful foothills of Wilkes County (near Wilkesboro and North Wilkesboro) and has been growing apples in North Carolina for six generations.

With more than 30 varieties, Perry Lowe is known for its special variety blends of pressed apple ciders as well as dehydrated apples.

Read More: Hiking to Linville Falls

Even More Apple Picking in North Carolina (Central)

If you live east of the NC mountains, don’t worry because there are apple farms near you, too!

Blueberry Thrill Farm (Gibsonville)

6938 Eaglesfield Rd, Gibsonville, NC | (336) 449-7246
Website | Apple Cider Donuts: No

Blueberry Thrill Farm was founded in 1982 when Rick and Nan Longhorne planted four acres of blueberries and blackberries. While the next three decades focused on growing premier berries, the family added a new apple orchard in 2011.

The fall season draws in many visitors for a pick-your-own experience. Blueberry Thrill has a great variety of apples ready for picking in early September.

Read More: Blueberry Picking in North Carolina (and 20+ Great Farms to Find Them!)

Carrigan Farms (Mooresville)

1261 Oakridge Farm Hwy, Mooresville, NC | 704-664-1450
Website | Apple Cider Donuts: Yes

apple cider donuts at Carrigan Farms Mooresville NC

Five generations of farmers have been working this land in Mooresville and today, they provide some of the best apple picking in North Carolina!

Also, this is the closest apple farm to Charlotte and Concord (also, Statesville!), in case you live near our biggest city and its growing surroundings.

With a beautiful private quarry on-site, Carrigan Farms also serves as a swimming hole, wedding venue, and special event venue.

U-Pick crops include (along with apples) sunflowers, strawberries, asparagus, and pumpkins!

Read More: 25+ Best Day Trips from Charlotte (Within a 90-Minute Drive)

Devil Dog Orchard (Reidsville)

771 NC-150, Reidsville, NC | 336-491-0382
Website | Apple Cider Donuts: No

This pick-your-own apple orchard is conveniently located in the Greensboro area.

The owner, Larry, spent 28 years in the Marine Corps and 8 years in Greensboro before deciding to buy the property and return to his country roots. The orchard is named after the two devil dogs the family has!

Devil Dog Orchard grows gala apples, yellow delicious, old-time red, and a few more varieties. They also produce muscadines, and you can keep track of what’s in season via their Facebook Page.

Read More: 58 Excellent Day Trips from Greensboro (Within a 2-Hour Drive)

Millstone Creek Orchards (Ramseur)

506 Parks Crossroads Church, Ramseur, NC | 336-824-5263
Website | Apple Cider Donuts: Yes

Apple Cider Donuts in North Carolina

Millstone Creek Orchards isn’t just a North Carolina apple farm, it’s the complete family experience!

This is also the closest place to go apple picking near Raleigh and Durham in the Research Triangle. Technically, though, Millstone Creek Orchards is closer to Greensboro and Winston-Salem.

Of course, it’s perfect for apple picking, but this place also has crops that are ripe even in the spring!

During the fall, Millstone Creek is known for its cold-pressed apple cider and apple cider slushies! Owner Beverly Mooney shared her recipe for those famous slushies on an episode of NC Travel Chat if you’d like to know more.

Read More: Things to Do in Asheboro

Ready for Apple Picking in North Carolina?

Apple Picking in North Carolina Sky Top Orchards Flat Rock NC

We’re always ready for apple picking season in North Carolina and can’t wait to get started. What about you? Are you ready for this fun and festive time of year?

If you’ve visited any of these apple orchards, we’d love to know which ones are your favorites.

And if you think there’s one we need to visit that isn’t listed here, please let us know in the comments or by email.

Don’t forget to share your adventures in our North Carolina Travel Facebook Group! We’re always hungry for more apple picking in North Carolina!

More Fall Fun (Beyond Apple Picking in North Carolina)

Beyond these amazing apple farms, there are plenty of fun things to do in North Carolina during fall and beyond! They include colorful fall hikes, beautiful scenic drives, and more that we’ve covered in these travel guides.

8 thoughts on “Apple Picking in North Carolina (+ the 17 Best Orchards to Visit)”

  1. Please check out Many Rivers Farm in Bahama, NC. Apples (47 varieties), peaches, blackberries and Asian pears. U-pick or we pick.

    Reply
  2. It would be cool if you had a map the showed all the places on this page. That way folks could look at the few in the area they are going..

    Reply
  3. Check out Barber orchards and gift shop in Waynesville. They have an amazing selection of apples plus an on-site bakery with everything your heart and taste buds could desire, well worth the stop

    Reply
  4. Can’t believe you didn’t mention the Brushy Mountain Apple Festival held the first Saturday in October every year. One of the most well attended festivals in NC.

    Reply

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