It may be too early for colored leaves, but there’s another reason to head to the north Georgia mountains over the next few weekends — it’s apple picking time!
The town of Ellijay in Gilmer County is the center of Georgia’s apple-growing region – it produces 600,000 bushels of apples each year, according to the local Chamber of Commerce. But Habersham County and other neighboring counties are not far behind.
During October, many orchards open their gates so you can have a real farm experience — complete with petting zoos, hayrides, and activities for the kids.
If you don’t want to pick your own, you’ll find farm markets at the orchards, along with small roadside stands and farmers selling apples or fresh cider from the backs of pick-up trucks.
You may also be interested in:
48th annual Georgia Apple Festival
Ellijay Lions Club Fairgrounds
1729 South Main Street
Ellijay, Georgia 30540
This is an annual event that takes place over two weekends. This year’s festival dates are:
October 12th & 13th
- October 19th & 20th
- Saturdays 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Sundays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission is $5. Kids age 10 and under are FREE.
The festival includes hundreds of vendor booths that feature fresh apples and all kinds of apple products: fried apple pies, fritters, cider, jelly, etc. You’ll also find vendors with handmade, hand-crafted items, as well as many on-site demonstrations of how things are made.
There is a parade and antique car show each year. In 2019, the car show takes place on October 12th. The parade is on October 19th and begins at 10 a.m. in downtown Ellijay.
In past years, there has been a play area for children and live music.
Parking is very limited at the Lions Club Fairgrounds, so please use the shuttle parking lots, located at:
- Gilmer High School
- Gilmer Middle Schools
- Ellijay Elementary School
- Mountainview Elementary School
The shuttle will take you to the festival and back to your car. Shuttles begin operation a half hour before the festival opens and run at least a half hour after the festival closes.
Apple Pickin’ Jubilee
9696 Highway 52
Ellijay, GA 30536
This event takes place every weekend in October:
- October 5th & 6th
- October 12th & 13th
- October 19th & 20th
- October 26th & 27th
Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Admission is $14 per person, including kids.
The list of activities and entertainment included with admission is seemingly endless:
- apple picking
- bluegrass bands
- clogging performances
- pig races
- jumping pillow
- cow milking
- apple tree maze
- giant slides
- corn maze
- moonshine museum
- enchanted forest trail
- pedal carts
- wagon rides
- and more…
There is also a wide variety of food available at the cafe: hot dogs, burgers, barbecue sandwiches, carnival foods, and sweet treats.
The farm market sells a wide variety of apple-based food products, crafts, toys, t-shirts, and more.
U-pick apple orchards
Please remember that the availability of fresh produce isn’t guaranteed. We recommend checking with the orchard before you go — please call or visit the website or Facebook page for updates on hours and apple varieties currently available. Inclement weather might also affect farm hours.
Red Apple Barn
3379 Tails Creek Rd
This is a pick-your-own orchard that is open every weekend in October or until the apples have all been picked.
- Saturdays 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Sundays 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
There is a $7.50 admission fee per person. It includes a tractor ride to and from the orchard, plus a cider and doughnut when you’ve finished picking.
There is also a farm market, picnic area, playground, cornhole and horse shoes, mountain scenery, and pumpkin patch.
8660 Blue Ridge Dr
Blue Ridge, Georgia
Before you go, check the Mercier u-pick page for hours and availability.
Admission is $5 per person, plus the cost of the apples you pick. Children age 2 and under are free.
- $8 for half peck
- $16 for a peck
- $20 for a half bushel
You’ll also find a bakery and deli, a market store, and a farm winery.
Preview your experience:
B.J. Reece Orchards
9131 Highway 52 E
East Ellijay, Georgia
This orchard is open everyday through October 27th, as long as the apples are available.
A handy calendar online tells you which apple varieties you can expect to be ready on which dates.
Admission is $5 on weekends and $2 on weekdays. Age 2 and under are free.
The fee includes the wagon ride to the orchard, and several farm activities, like cow milking and pig races. Others activities may have an added fee — these include a petting zoo, pony rides, and zipline.
Many varieties of apples are available at the farm market. There is a gift shop and concession stand, as well as a picnic area.
On the weekend of October 26th and 27th, the orchard will host Freaky Fest. All farm and u-pick activities will take place as usual, but in a more spooky way. There will be Halloween-related games, music, and more. Visit the event Facebook page.
More fall fun around Atlanta:
Thursday, August 20, 2020