10 Local Farms to Go Apple Picking in the Fall Near Charlotte, NC

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At Perry Lowe Orchards, rows of trees are marked as ‘Sweet’ or ‘Tart’ with the name of the apple – or ‘Not Ready’ if they are not yet ripe.

What comes to mind when you think of fall? I hope it was apples because it is apple picking season on many farms and orchards in the Carolinas. This magnificent fruit can be candied, cut, picked and pâté.

It would be quite difficult to have a good fall season without apple picking. We at CharlotteFive decided to compile a list of apple picking farms that you can visit to spice up your social media, catch your crush, or just have fun with friends.

PRO TIP: Sky Top Orchard recommends looking for bruises when picking apples.

Apple Hill orchard and cider house

Address: 2075 Pleasant Hill Ave, Morganton NC, 28655

Neighbourhood: Morganton

Distance from Charlotte: 78.6 miles

Start of season: August 13

Apple Hill Orchard & Cider Mill allows customers to pick their own apples and flowers. Availability for apple varieties change every day. You can pick apples from Monday to Saturday until the beginning of November.

If you plan to visit the farm, be sure to purchase a apple picking pass. Passes are non-refundable and must be purchased in advance. Each pass admits one person to the pick-up area.

Cost: $3 per person* and:

  • $9 for a small pick-your-own bag;

  • $14 for a small basket;

  • $16 for a medium pick-your-own bag;

  • $25 for a medium basket, $24 for a large pick-your-own bag; and

  • $35 for a large basket.

*Free for customers 2 years or younger.

blueberry farm

Address: 6938 Eaglesfield Rd, Gibsonville, NC 27249

Neighbourhood: Gibsonville

Distance from Charlotte: 109 miles

Start of season: early September

Don’t let the name confuse you – Blueberry Thrill Farm offers U-pick apples. Apples are in season from early September to late October. Baskets will be provided for picking up products. The two-quart and four-quart baskets are reusable.

The farm started in 1982 with four acres of blueberries. In 2011 a new orchard was added, with apples and peaches. The farm is open from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday; schedules are subject to change depending on the quantity of products available.

Cost:

Carrigan Farms

Address: 1261 Oak Ridge Farm Highway, Mooresville, North Carolina 28115

Neighbourhood: Mooresville

Distance from Charlotte: 31 miles

Start of season: September 6

Carrigan Farms is offering apple picking September 6-25. Be sure to make reservations in advance to ensure you have plenty of apples to pick.

Tickets include a wagon ride to the petting zoo and orchard, plus a half-pick bag to fill with juicy apples. You can pick delicious red apples and delicious golden apples.

Cost:

  • $14 per person, $2 online deposit and $12 cash at the door.

  • Babies aged 23 months and under are allowed free entry to the farm.

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In addition to apple picking in the fall, Carrigan Farms also offers Pumpkin Picking and Scarrigan Farms Haunted Trail. Carrigan Farms

Creasman Farms

Address: 280 Bent Arrow Ln, Hendersonville, North Carolina 28792

Neighbourhood: Hendersonville

Distance from Charlotte: 106 miles

Start of season: September

The U-Pick orchard at Creasman Farms is open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays starting in September. U-Pick apples include Honeycrisp, Fuji, and Pink Lady apples. Tickets are not required to pick apples. You only pay the amount you choose.

Cost:

Justus Orchards

Address: 187 Garren Road, Hendersonville, NC 28792

Neighbourhood: Hendersonville

Distance from Charlotte: 108 miles

Start of season: August 19

There are so many varieties of apples to choose from at Justus Orchards that the place offers a program to find out when certain types of apples will be available for picking. The program even recommends the best way to use your apples.

Starting August 19, you can pick Gala and Sweetie apples. The orchard will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. Tickets are not required to pick apples. You only pay for what you choose.

Cost:

  • $22 for half a bushel;

  • $10 for a half rooster; and

  • $15 for a kiss.

Millstone Creek Orchards

Address: 506 Parks Crossroads Church Rd, Ramseur, NC 27316

Neighborhood: Ramseur

Distance from Charlotte: 98.6 miles

Start of season: September

Millstone Creek Orchards offers apple picking in September. Apples were the first fruits offered in this orchard and remain the most popular.

To pick apples, you have to to make a reservation. U-pick is offered every Saturday. Each ticket includes access to the U-Pick Apple Orchards, fresh apple tasting, quarter bag, and orchard wagon ride.

Cost:

Altapass orchard

Address: 1025 Orchard Rd, Spruce Pine, NC 28777

Neighbourhood: Spruce Pine

Distance from Charlotte: 113 miles

Start of season: Ongoing-Oct. 30.

Bring the whole family to Altapass Orchard. The orchard offers U-Pick apples sometime in August. Since Mother Nature is quite picky about when she will let the apples grow, the farm can only predict when the apples will be ripe for picking a few days in advance.

Consult this table the orchard allows you to learn more about the apples you are going to pick and how best to use them.

Cost:

  • $10 for a bag of U-Pick apples;
  • $15 for a small basket; and
  • $24 for a large basket.
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A view of the orchard at Altapass: The orchard allows you to pick them in late summer and fall. But from around May through October, it also offers events and great classes on popular Appalachian culture and lore. TMS 2009 file photo TMS 2009 file photo

Perry Lowe Orchards

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

Neighbourhood: Moravian Falls

Distance from Charlotte: 71 miles

Start of season: in progress

Perry Lowe Orchards began offering apple picking in early August. To make a reservation to make sure you have apples to pick. Each reservation will be limited to 90 minutes so that everyone has the chance to enjoy the orchard.

PRO TIP: Each row will be marked as “Sweet” or “Tart” with the name of the apple or “Not Ready” if the apples in that row are not yet ripe. Different varieties of apples will be available each weekend.

Cost:

  • Admission tickets are $2 per person and are free for children 2 and under.

  • $8 for a small bag of apples; and

  • $15 for a large bag of apples.

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Perry Lowe Orchards in Moravian Falls offers apple picking by reservation. Mary King

Sky Top Orchard

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

Neighbourhood: Flat Rock

Distance from Charlotte: 103 miles

Start of the season: in progress

Sky Top Orchard offers U-pick apples from early August to mid-November. U-pick starts at 9 a.m. and ends 30 minutes before the orchard closes. The variety of apples available depends on the weather as well as supply and demand.

The orchard offers a list of apples available during each month of the season. In August, the apples available are: Asian Pear, Ginger Gold, Early Mac, Gala and Honeycrisp.

Cost:

  • $25 for a 12-15 pound bag of U-Pick apples;

  • $3 per person for the tractor ride;

  • $4 per person for the Bee Train ride;

  • $10 for 8 shots at the Apple Cannon; and

  • $25 for a small bucket and $40 for a large bucket at the Gem Mine.

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Sky Top Orchard offers several varieties of apples. ALAN MARLER File photo

Stepp Hillcrest Orchard

Address: 170 Stepp Orchard Drive, Hendersonville, North Carolina 28792

Neighbourhood: Hendersonville

Distance from Charlotte: 105 miles

Start of season: in progress

U-Pick apples are available for customers at Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard. Picking equipment will be available at the orchard. Apple picking can whet the appetite, so be sure to bring a picnic to enjoy on your break.

Different varieties of apples are available in the different rows of the different orchards. There are seven orchards available for apple picking. Look for the “Ready to Pick” sign next to the apples to see which ones are available at that time.

Cost:

  • Ginger Gold apples are $20 for a half bushel, $15 for a peck basket, and $13 for a half peck basket; and

  • Honeycrisp apples are $30 for a half bushel, $20 for a peck basket, and $15 for a half peck basket.

Windy Hill Orchard and Cider Mill

Address: 1860 Black Highway, York, South Carolina 29745

Neighbourhood: York

Distance from Charlotte: 36 miles

Start of season: First or second weekend of September

A prepaid reservation is required to pick Stayman Winesap apples from Windy Hill, but pre-picked apples are also available. Pink Ladies will be ready in November and may be available for pick-your-own, depending on how the season progresses.

The orchard cider house will be open from noon to 7 p.m. on Friday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Events include hard cider tastings, live music and more. You can pack a picnic (but outside drinks aren’t allowed) or buy seasonal treats from the farm, including apple cider donuts, fried apple pies, pork skins, and soft pretzels.

Cost:

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The Windy Hill Orchard will open for its fall season on August 18. Pexels

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Lorenza Medley is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She is currently intern at CharlotteFive. When she’s not lost in the aisles of a library, you can find her eating barbecued ribs or exploring her local target.

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