Virginia is one of the best apple growing states in the US.
There are lots of apple orchards situated in the North of the state, close to the Blue Ridge Mountains, as the soil is very fertile.
We have put together this list of the best places to go apple picking in that area.
1. Hartland Orchard – Markham
You can pick your own apples at Hartland Orchard in the months of September and October. There are also other types of fruit that you can pick at different times of year.
In June you can pick cherries, between June and July you can pick blueberries, and in July and August you can pick peaches.
There is a fantastic view of the Blue Ridge mountains which you can enjoy from the orchard, creating a special picking experience. The entrance to the orchard is close to Skyline drive, so you could tie that in to your visit.
2. Silver Creek & Seamans Orchard – Tyro
Silver Creek & Seaman’s Orchard can be found in Nelson County near Blue Ridge Parkway. Their apples are known for being very sweet and delicious, so lots of people come from far and wide to pick them.
You can also pick pears and pumpkins and other produce. There is a corn maze that you walk around which is great fun for the kids, and they sell cider slushies, apple butter and homemade ice cream.
The staff are super friendly and helpful and will make you feel very welcome.
If you are looking for a wholesome family day out, this orchard is perfect. You should also check out one of their apple festivals, with live music and entertainment.
3. Great Country Farms – Bluemont
At Great Country Farms you can pick your own apples, and other produce throughout the seasons. The year starts with strawberries and raspberries in May which continue through to June and July.
The cherries are ready to start picking in June, and in late June you can pick black raspberries which are a rare treat. July and August is the peach season, and there are several different varieties to choose from.
From mid to late July you can start picking blackberries, and this continues into August. August is also a big month for potatoes, and you can dig up your own at Great Country Farms.
In the fall is when the apples are ready to be picked. Certain varieties can be picked in August, and others in September. In September through to October you can pick your own pumpkins.
The last week of October is especially busy for pumpkin picking due to Halloween. There are other activities available at the farm, like an Easter Egg hunt, festivals, wagon rides, and more.
4. Jenkins Orchards – Woodville
Jenkins Orchard is a family owned orchard that opens to the public between June and December. You can pick your own apples and pumpkins when they are in season.
There is also a farm shop where you can buy a wide range of fresh produce. The quality is outstanding and people return year after years because of the delicious flavors.
You can buy bell peppers, turnips, pears, melons, onions, tomatoes, potatoes, beans, eggplant, nectarines, cucumber, corn, blackberries, peaches and much more.
There are multiple varieties of apples, and other products like honey and cider. You can also get freshly cut flowers in beautiful bunches.
5. Carter Mountain Orchard – Charlottesville
Carter Mountain Orchard is in a convenient location just a few minutes from downtown Charlottesville. The orchard is in an elevated position so you can pick your own apples whilst taking in stunning views of the valley.
The farm is open all year round, but has different hours for each season. There is something to do all year round!
In Spring you can enjoy some of their wine against the backdrop of blossom trees. In the Summer you can start picking your own produce like peaches and vegetables.
You can also enjoy cider slushies and freshly made donuts. From mid August right through to December you can pick different varieties of apples and enjoy apple donuts and apple pies.
During the Fall you can also pick pumpkins and take a hayride around the orchard.
When picking your own fruit, you pre-pay based on container size. On peak weekends you will need to buy a ticket in advance as the orchard can get busy.
6. Dickie Brothers Orchard – Roseland
The Dickie Brothers Orchard has a rich history. It has been in the same family since the 1700s, and has seen 9 generations working the land.
They harvest around 70,000 bushels of apples every year which includes 20 different varieties. They also grow 7 varieties of peaches, and other produce such as sweet potatoes (Also check out Can You Freeze Sweet Potato), plums, nectarines, pumpkins, corn and more.
Beef cattle are also raised on the farm, and the loyal farm dogs can be seen running around the orchards.
When the various types of apples come into season, customers are invited to come and pick their own. The exact dates change from season to season depending on the weather conditions and when the apples ripen.
You can find Dickie Brothers produce at various farmers markets.
7. Drumheller’s Orchard – Lovingston
Drumheller’s Orchard is a family owned farm which is in its 5th generation. As well as various types of apples, they also grow peaches, blueberries, brambles, plums and plots.
On the website you can find a full list of the different varieties of fruit and when they come into season, so you can plan for the best time to come picking. You can also find the produce at various farmers markets.
You can visit the orchard Tuesday to Saturdays between 9am and 5pm and Sundays between 12pm and 5pm. The orchard is closed to the public on a Monday.
While you are there, the staff would be happy to help you answer any questions about the fruit and what it is best used for.
8. Ayers Orchard – Cana
Ayers Orchard & Farm is found in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and has been owned and operated by the same family for a century. They grow various types of apples, cherries and peaches.
When the fruit comes into season the orchard is open to the public to pick their own produce.
Picking seasons and times vary year on year depending on when the fruit is ripe and what the weather conditions are like. It is best to phone on the day to check the times and the produce that is available.
On the orchard’s website you can find a full list of the different varieties of fruit and when each one is expected to come into season.
9. Yankey Farms – Bristow
Yankey Farms is a great place to visit if you want to pick your own produce. The season begins in May with strawberry picking, and goes right through to the fall with pumpkin picking.
As well as picking your own produce, you can take part in fun activities like scavenger hunts, the cow train and a corn maze. There is also a market stall where you can buy other produce grown on the farm, like seasonal fruits and vegetables.
10. Levering Orchard – Ararat
The position of this orchard was chosen to give the apple trees the best chance of surviving the spring freezes.
It is found on the Southeastern slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains where there is plenty of sunlight and the deep soil is very fertile. This leads to a bumper crop of apples every fall.
From September through to November, you can come to the orchard and pick your own apples. During apple picking season, the orchard is open from 8:30 am until 4pm Monday to Saturday, and 1pm to 5pm on a Sunday.
You can also buy ready picked fruit if you prefer.
The orchard also grows cherries and peaches, which you can pick yourself when they are ripe and ready. The picking times for these fruits are very dependent on the weather. Make sure you check the website or call ahead.
The cherries are usually ripe between the end of May and late June, and the peaches are ripe in August.
11. Vintage Virginia Apples – North Garden
This orchard is passionate about growing traditional and rare varieties of apples. Some of these types of apples have become less popular because they do not suit commercial production and might take a bit more effort and care to farm.
There are over 200 varieties of apples grown at Vintage Virginia apples. They also make cider, and host fun events in the orchard with live music and plenty of cider to go around.
12. Showalter’s Orchard & Greenhouse – Timberville
This hilltop orchard overlooks the Shenandoah Valley and is not just an apple picking spot. They also make their own cider, have a farm shop, and is used as a wedding venue.
This is not surprising given the 360 degree views on offer. The apple picking season begins in Mid July and runs through to November. There are over 30 different varieties and it makes a great day out for families.
All of these farms and orchards offer a fantastic apple picking experience, with other fruits and activities available as well.
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