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The fall season presents some the best weather for unique outdoor experiences at one of the apple orchards in Georgia . Around September and October is the best opportunity for hayrides through orchards and apple picking.

In Georgia, there are numerous farms and orchards that capture the Autumn ambiance while enjoying apple treats and festivals. Below is a list of some of our favorite places to go during the fall!

Hillcrest Orchards

Apple Orchards in Georgia to visit

A seasonal business and is only open during the months of September, October & November. Hillcrest is family owned and operated and has been cultivating apples as well as wholesome experiences for children, adults and seniors since 1946.

Hillcrest annual event

The annual event is held on the weekends during September and October in Ellijay, GA at one of the main Apple Orchards in Georgia. Hillcrest’s dwarf trees with apples hanging well within reach, are the perfect height for small children. They, in addition to the whole family, can pick a variety of apples including Rome Beauty, Golden Delicious, Mutsu, Granny Smith, Yates and more.

Apple Pickin’ Jubilee

The “Apple Pickin’ Jubilee” is this orchard’s apple picking festival. Enjoy a wide range of activities including swimming pig races, an apple tree maze, mini golf, wagon rides through the orchard, cow milking,  bluegrass bands, clogging groups, museums, pony rides, multiple playgrounds, a jumping pillow, and other farm festivities. After all the games, enjoy samples of Hillcrest’s delicious treats. Afterwards, buy fresh produce from the market, swing by the grill for lunch and the bakery for apple fritters and apple pies, and more.

B.J. Reece Apple House

A variety of apples in season: Rome Beauty, Pink Ladies, Fuji and September Wonder. They are tucked away in the North Georgia mountains and are a family-owned and operated farm since the early 1960s. They grow 20 different varieties of apples on 120 acres. The orchards are also pet-friendly, so bring your four-legged best friend, too.

Weekend activities

On weekends, petting zoo, orchard zip line, jumping pillow, cow train and apple shooting cannon. Additionally, the bakery has plenty of apple treats: fresh cider, fried apple pies, apple bread and cider doughnuts. These activities operate every Saturday and Sunday while the you-pick orchards are open.

Mercier Orchards

One of The state’s largest apple orchards in Georgia , Mercier offers more than 50 varieties of apples, as well as peaches, nectarines, blueberries, cherries, strawberries, blackberries and more. The do it yourself apple events (September through November), starts with a tractor ride to the orchards and a brief talk about Mercier’s history.

Hard Apple Cider

Mercier Orchards also has the only apple orchards in Georgia that grow, press, ferment and bottle their own hard apple cider. Enjoy the farm winery tasting room alongside the bakery, deli, and market store any of them are worth the drive north.

Red Apple Barn

Roots go back to the family of William Tobe (W.T.). Specifically In 1965, his son Marven planted the first orchard of 100 trees across the street from Liberty Church in Gilmer County and the next year he planted 500 more trees on Tail Creek on a farm adjoining his father’s land. By 1971 the Red Apple Barn was built to start the business that continues today. Enjoy a visit with your family to the barn near Ellijay in the North Georgia mountains.

Pumpkins

Not only can you pick apples, you can also pick pumpkins and wild flowers. Visitors can enjoy the tractor ride to and from the orchard as well as tour the farm. School groups or field trips of 15 or more can book Farm Tours, even on weekdays by calling ahead. In the farm store, you have to try the apple pies, fritters, bread, caramel and candied apples, jams and jellies, honey and apple cider.

Wedding Venue

There is also The Orchard Barn Wedding Venue which is  located within the mountain sites of the original terraced orchard from 1965. Red Apple Barn love to share their farm with anyone who enjoys the rustic beauty of the property. Social functions such as family reunions, parties, business events, weddings and receptions are often accommodated by the barn’s hospitable staff.

R&A Orchards

A three generation strong family business since when the first trees were planted in 1947. This orchard has farm tours and you pick apples every weekend in September. R&A Orchard has approximately 60 acres of apple trees and approximately 10 acres of peaches and nectarines.

Jaemor Farms

is a 350-acre farm has been in the Jaemor family since 1912, with a roadside market that has been open for 35 years. Jaemor Farms is one of the largest roadside markets in the country, specializing in a variety of homegrown produce.

Festivals

Every year Georgia host these and other business at the festivals in North Georgia. Moreover, the Big Red Apple Festival is held in downtown Cornelia, GA. This year’s festival will be on Saturday, September 22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

They will have Artisan Arts and Crafts, a kids’ zone, a classic car show, Anything Apple Competition, live and local entertainment, great food vendors, corn hole tournament, tours in the Train Museum, hayrides to Chenocetah Tower, and more.

Georgia Apple Festival

Apple Orchards in Georgia

Another annual event is The Georgia Apple Festival is a two weekend event in Ellijay, GA. With the local host including The Ellijay Lions Club, the Gilmer County Chamber of Commerce, the cities of Ellijay and East Ellijay, and Gilmer County.

2019 festival

The 2019 festival will be on the 12th and 13th of October for the first weekend, as well as the following weekend on the 19th and 20th. This will be the 48th year of the Georgia Apple Festival. There are over 300 vendors with handmade, hand-crafted items, as well as many on-site demonstrations of how selected types of crafts are made. This year promises many new crafts as well as favorites from past festivals.

Parade

Finally, there is a parade and antique car show each year. The antique car show is held at the Civic Center on October 12th. Previously, the parade is on October 19th and begins at 10 AM in historic downtown Ellijay.

Apple Recipe

All in all, need a new recipe to try with your apples? Make this galette that will impress even your foodie friends with your culinary skills.

Apple, Cranberry and Pecan Galette

This free-formed tart, also known as a French Galette, is as easy to make as it is elegant to serve. *Yields 8 servings

Pastry Dough

1-1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

7 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks

3 tablespoon cold water 1 large egg, beaten + 1 tablespoon water

Filling

1 cup dark brown sugar

4-5 medium apples, like Honey Crisp, Gala, and Granny Smith, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices

1 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup water

Garnish

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped

1/4 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Bake for 7 – 10 minutes and enjoy!