Picking the Best

R&A Orchard

The fall season is here and so are your favorite apples. Take the family to an apple orchard and pick apples right off the tree.

B.J. Reece Apple House

9131 Hwy. 52 East, Ellijay. 706-276-3048; reeceorchards.com
Sept. 1-Oct. 31, Mon.-Sat., 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun. 1-6 p.m.
U- Pick is a chance to go into the orchards and pick your own apples with your very own hands. You can even try a taste of each apple in season to find your favorite. Gala, Red and Golden Delicious are just a few of the apples in season at this orchard. To pick your own, pay the $2 orchard entrance fee and buy a bag to fill with apples. Prices range from $6 for a half-peck to $18 for a bushel.

Hillcrest Orchards

9696 Hwy. 52 East, Ellijay. 706-273-3838;hillcrestorchards.net
Weekends in Sept. - Oct., 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
“Apple Pickin’ Jubilee” is this orchards apple picking festival. Small children will especially enjoy picking from Hillcrest’s dwarf trees with apples hanging well within reach. Seven varieties of apples are available to pick. All admission is $7 with apple picking bags costing $6 for a half-peck, $9 for a peck and $14 for a half-bushel.

Mercier Orchards

8660 Blue Ridge Dr., Blue Ridge. 706-632-3411; mercier-orchards.com
Weekends in Sept.-Oct., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
This orchard is the largest in the state.  The do-it-yourself apple picking starts with a tractor ride to the orchards and a brief talk about Mercier’s history. The tractor ride is $2 per person and $10 for a peck of apples. One peck can be split so each child can have their own bag for picking.

R&A Orchard

5505 Hwy. 52 East. Ellijay. 706-273-3821; randaorchards.com
Weekends in Sept.- Oct., 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Grab the family and walk or take a wagon to the orchard. Here you only pay for the apples that you pick. Granny Smith, Rome Beauty, Fuji and Golden Delicious are a few of the apples in harvest at the orchard. Call ahead for a reservation for your family.

Red Apple Barn

3379 Tailscreek Rd., Ellijay. 706-635-5898; redapplebarn.com
Weekends in Sept.-Oct.,
Sat. 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun. 1-4 p.m.
Load the family on the tractor and head out to the orchard. Tractor ride to and from the orchard, tour of the farm, pick an apple from the orchard, a cup of cold cider and an apple cider donut are all included in the $5 admission with 3 and younger being free. Additional bags can be purchased for $4, a quarter peck; $6,
a half-peck; $10 for a peck.
– Hayley Markowitz