There’s just something about the crisp autumn air that makes me crave all things fall. What better way to usher in the new season than bundling up in a plaid scarf and going apple picking? Pack a picnic and plan to spend the day creating special family memories at a scenic orchard. With a bushel or a peck of apples in hand, you can go home to enjoy the literal fruits of your labor!
Perhaps picking the apples isn’t at the top of your list, but instead going straight to the enjoyment of all the treats often found at area orchards like cider, doughnuts and apple fritters is. However you plan to partake of this traditional fall activity, be sure to call ahead and check with the orchard for availability and hours. Knoxville Moms has put together this list of places to pick your own apples or spots to purchase pre-picked locally grown apples. Here’s to a fun harvest for you and your family!
Apple Picking in East Tennessee & Beyond
Pick Your Own Apples
Buffalo Trail Orchard
1890 Dodd Branch Road
Greenville, TN 37743
This orchard is one of the closest to Knoxville at just under an hour and a half. The pick-your-own farm offers blackberries, blueberries and pumpkins in addition to apples. Find out what’s in season before you visit the orchard. While you’re there, you can enjoy the view of Chucky Mountain. For the latest pick-your-own schedule, visit the Buffalo Trail Facebook page or call (423) 639-2297.
187 Garren Road
Hendersonville, NC 28792
This Justus family has been growing delicious North Carolina apples for more than four generations. Tour the orchard picking apples, stop by the pond to see the ducks, visit the farm animals, let the kids take a ride on the cow train through the orchard, and visit the Apple House for homemade goodies. For the latest on the harvest, go to the Justus Orchard website or Facebook page.
8660 Blue Ridge Drive
Blue Ridge, GA 30513
This fourth-generation farm is a great choice for a day trip with the family! The combination of you-pick events, bakery and market café, market store and the new farm winery offer something for everyone. Besides apples, Mercier Orchards also grows strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and peaches. The drive to the orchards is just over two hours through the scenic Cherokee National Forest.
Sky Top Orchard
3403 Greenville Highway
Flat Rock, NC 28731
This orchard boasts it’s more than just a place to pick apples! Boy are they right! Pack a picnic and plan to spend the day taking in the panoramic mountain view, the orchard ponds, barnyard area, bamboo forest and more. Don’t forget to try one of the orchard’s famous apple cider doughnuts. Be sure to check the picking schedule before you plan your visit.
Wheeler’s Orchard & Vineyard
956 Wheeler Road
Dunlap, TN 37327
This family farm has been in operation for almost four decades. The Wheeler family prides itself on being a sustainable farm. Their efforts have paid off with a large variety of apples including the more common Gala and heirloom varieties like the Hardy Cumberland. Apple lovers will be sure to find one that tastes perfect to them!
Apple Barn Cider Mill & General Store
230 Apple Valley Road
Sevierville, TN 37862
This Sevier County fixture is popular for a reason! The working apple farm stocks its restaurant and general store with all kinds of delicious products made on site like cider, candied apples, fritters and more. You can enjoy a meal at the restaurant and stroll through the stores on site. A pleasant way to spend a fall afternoon!
Apple Valley Orchards
351 Weese Road
Cleveland, TN 37323
What started as a hobby has grown into a 40-acre family farm with a gift shop, cider mill and bakery. While you can’t pick your own apples here, you can tour the farm on a fun (and inexpensive) wagon ride. You can buy the apples grown on the farm. Call ahead to check to see what varieties are in stock.
Barber Orchards Fruitstand
2855 Old Balsam Road
Waynesville, NC 28786
This family farm stand offers a sensory experience! Guests talk about the wonderful smells of the bakery on site and the fresh apple cider being made inhouse. Some of the available varieties include Gala, McIntosh, Ginger Golds and Honeycrisp. The orchard also offers pears and other vegetables. Be sure to check out the homemade jams, jellies and syrups, too! Call ahead or check the Barber Orchards Facebook page to check to see what varieties are in stock.
5446 Parkway East
Cosby, TN 37722
This Cosby orchard has been in the same family for five generations. Not much has changed over the years in the way the apples are harvested. All the fruit is handpicked. Visitors can see the apple grader built in 1920 that cleans and separates the apples by size. There are 10 to 13 different varieties available at any given time. Baxter’s is open seven days a week from Labor Day until Thanksgiving. The hours are 8:00am to 5:00pm. Cash only.
Carver’s Orchard & Apple House Restaurant
3460 Cosby Highway
Cosby, TN 37722
Carver’s is one of the largest orchards in our region boasting 40,000 trees and 126 varieties of apples. What better place to taste some of them than the on-site restaurant? Diners dive into a basket of apple fritters served with apple butter and a glass of apple cider and that’s before even ordering! At the store you can pick out some apple products or other Appalachian specialties to take home.
2204 Fairmont Pike
Signal Mountain, TN 37377
Take a ride up scenic Signal Mountain just outside of Chattanooga for a taste of what some people call the best apple cider they’ve ever had! The locally owned and operated farm specializes in apples and all kinds of apple products. Frequent visitors say you should get there early in the season because Fairmont Orchards runs out!
Mountain Mist Farms
722 Caney Creek Road
Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
This farm is relatively new and should boast a large variety of apples. Mountain Mist encourages visitors to bring a picnic and take a walk through the farm. Caney Creek runs through the property and the pond full of fish is a must-see for kids. Grownups get a special treat too. Mountain Mist also makes wine with the fruit grown on the farm. Tastings are available.
Oren Wooden’s Apple House
6351 New Harmony Road
Pikeville, TN 37367
Come for the apples and stay for the meal at this popular farm and restaurant just outside of Dayton, Tennessee. You’ll find classic meat and threes on the menu along with lots of pie! There’s even a pie shop so you can take some goodies home with you. Other fruits, vegetables, jams and butters are just some of the many things available at the farm market and gift shop.
Rowell’s Orchard & Apple House
6390 U.S. Highway 70 E
Crossville, TN 38555
This orchard started in 1966 with only four or five apple varieties. Now, over 30 varieties are grown and sold here. Rowell’s is open seasonally from August through December. Be sure to call ahead to find out what’s available and bring cash or your checkbook with you. Cards are not accepted.