Apple Picking Near East Tennessee
Pick Apples Straight From The Tree
I grew up in Maine and one of my favorite Fall activities was visiting the orchard to pick apples from the trees. My favorite variety was McIntosh. The day at the orchard was always an amazing family trip but the treats that emerged from the kitchen for weeks after were the best part of the experience. I love the smell of apples baking whether it be in a pie, a crisp, a cookie, or bread. I want T to experience the apple orchard tradition with me.
So for the last week, I have been calling around to find not just any orchard but the best orchards which allow you to pick straight from the tree and which can be visited on a day trip from the Tri-Cities. I have narrowed it down to my top three. Here you are.
** This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.**
Buffalo Trail Orchard
1890 Dodd Branch Road,
Greeneville, TN 37743
This charming orchard is pretty close to home which makes it a favorite for a lot of us. The family is fully prepared to provide you with a family-friendly experience that is bound to lead to an enduring tradition.
Located in Greeneville and offering some of the best apples you can find as well as plump pumpkins ready to be pulled from the vine, this experience is one worth enjoying. Here are the details.
- Apple Picking hours change by season so contact them or visit their website for current hours.
- Cost is $6 a bag – $10 for 2 bags – $16 for a half bushel or $24 for a bushel. They do not accept credit cards, bring cash. They will also accept local checks.
- Types of apples ready for picking now can be viewed here.
- The store offers pre-picked apples and other offerings. You may get lucky and find apple pies or caramel apples as well.
- The family does offer a wagon ride to the pumpkin patch! There is no additional cost for the ride as long as you are purchasing your pumpkins from them. This is the only free wagon ride I found at any orchard I contacted.
- The farm has been around since 1890. The family operating it now is 5th generation. They are kind and thoughtful people that enjoy operating the farm and offering families an opportunity to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
Visit Buffalo Trail Orchard’s Website Here.
Follow Buffalo Trail Orchard on Facebook.
The Orchard at AltaPass
1025 Orchard Rd
Spruce Pine, NC 28777
This orchard has a mission that I am passionate about. The owners purchased the property on the spur of the moment in an attempt to prevent the land from being developed. We are so glad they did!
They continue on their mission today. Offering over a hundred free music shows a year, as well as educational programs, walking trails, and a butterfly garden, this orchard is a treasure. Check out the video above to learn all about them!
- This orchard opens Wednesday through Sunday in May and closes at the end of October
- Cost is $10 a peck $ 6 for 1/2 peck and a bushel $35. They accept cash and credit cards.
- The orchard offers plenty of walking trails and dogs allowed if leashed.
- Over 40 Apple Varieties: Golden Delicious, Stayman Winesap, Rome Beauty, Virginia Beauty, Wolf River, and more. See their website for all varieties and when they are available for picking.
- In their building, they offer jams, jellies, salsa, gift items, hot apple pie, freshly made fudge, and much more. They also have a Grill where you can purchase sandwiches that are made fresh daily.
- They have an exhibit of honeybees so you can watch the bees working. How cool is that?
- Their most popular apple varieties are the Virginia Beauty and the Winesap.
- They do offer hayrides, which they call heyrides. The cost is $5.00 a person. Children three and under are free.
Call ahead to schedule these educational opportunities at Altapass Orchard:
- A storytelling hayride detailing the history of the Altapass region. True stories are told of the Overmountain Men and the Battle of Kings Mountain, the coming of the Clinchfield Railroad, the first settlers, and more;
- An inquiry lesson on pollinators (bees or Monarch Butterflies) and their importance to the Orchard, to other animals and plants, and to humans.
- A traditional song and dance segment.
- An apple segment in which students will select, peel and eat an apple. They will learn about the apple varieties during the Hayride. (Apple segment is not included in the spring program.)
Follow The Orchard at Altapass on Facebook.
We Visited The Orchard at Altapass! Check it out here!
Apple Hill Orchard and Cider Mill
2075 Pleasant Hill Avenue
Morganton, NC 28655
I had to find an orchard with a cider mill. Apple Hill Orchard doesn’t just have a cider but instead, award-winning cider! I find that irresistible!
- This orchard opens in late August and closes on October 31. Visit the orchard from 9 am to 6 pm Monday through Saturday. Their Bakery is open from 9 am to 2 pm on weekdays and 9 am to 4 pm on Saturdays at the time of this writing but you can check current hours right here.
- Cost of apples is by the pound and it depends on the variety. Cost ranges from .75 to $1.40 a pound.
- Apple Varieties: Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Red Rome, Stayman Winesap, Fuji, Pink Lady, and more.
- In their store, you will find jams, jellies, fruit spreads, and other apple-related items as well as their award-winning cider and bakery items including cider donuts, apple pies, fried pies, loaves of bread, muffins, and tarts.
- They have a cider mill! To me, this is the ultimate draw. Serving fresh apple cider cold, a cider slushie, or hot spiced apple cider. Your choice!
- They offer a Saturday hayride! Cost is $4.50 a person at the time of this writing. Two and under are free.
- Their most popular heirloom apple is the Pink Lady.
- Apple Hill Orchard offers an educational hayride for large groups of up to 27 people a wagon.
Find them online at Apple Hill Orchard.
Follow Apple Hill Orchard on Facebook.
We visited Apple Hill Orchard! Check out how our visit went!
FUN FACTS TO ENJOY ON YOUR TRIP TO THE ORCHARD
- Apples are actually part of the rose family.
- Apple varieties range in size from a little larger than a cherry to as large as a grapefruit. The largest apple ever picked weighed 3 pounds.
- A peck of apples weighs 10.5 pounds. A bushel of apples weighs about 42 pounds.
- There are more than 7,500 varieties of apples grown around the world. It would take you more than 20 years to try them all if you ate one a day!
- Ever wondered why apples float? It’s because 25 percent of their volume is made up of air.
- Apple trees can live for more than 100 years.
- Only one type of apple is native to the U.S.: The crabapple.
- Apples harvested from an average tree can fill 20 boxes that weigh 42 pounds each.
- It takes about 36 apples to create one gallon of apple cider.
- The top apple producers around the world are China, United States, Turkey, Poland, and Italy. Apples account for 50 percent of international deciduous fruit tree production.
Looking for more Fall Fun? Check out last year’s adventure at William’s Farm!
Thank you for visiting our blog today! If you have a favorite orchard, we would love to hear all about it in the comments section below. Also, we welcome you to sign up for our free monthly newsletter for more family-friendly posts.
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