Sure, everyone associates pumpkins with fall. And while we love a good visit to a pumpkin patch, we don’t want to rush past that sweet spot in September, just before pumpkin season, when apples reign over the first cool breezes of autumn. Apples seem to get the short straw seasonally in comparison to pumpkin spice, and we’re here to say stop overlooking apple picking in Winston-Salem!!
Whether you’re planning to bake pies, slow-cook a batch of apple butter, or dehydrate them into delicious snacks, apples are a wonderful, healthy celebration of fall. Plus, there’s nothing like biting into a fresh, juicy, crisp apple fresh from the orchard.
Apple picking is a wonderful activity for the whole family, where everyone can enjoy harvesting their own personal crop to take home. Plus, with the promise of a cup of fresh apple cider or an apple donut, how can anyone resist?
These are a few of our favorite spots for apple picking near Winston Salem that we can’t wait to share with you.
Perry Lowe Orchard has been lovingly tended by six generations of the Lowe family. They have over 100 acres of orchards and over 30,000 apple trees. They also grow 30 different varieties of apples for picking right outside Winston-Salem! Their U-Pick is a popular fall activity for families, so much so that you’ll need to make a reservation online before planning to pick. But don’t worry. It’s a simple system, and you’ll appreciate not feeling overcrowded when you arrive to pick your apples! You can also pay a little extra for experiences like the bee train, apple cannon, tractor playground, and jump pad.
In addition to U-Pick, Perry Lowe Orchard also presses and pasteurizes their own apple ciders, including special variety blends made with Honeycrisp and Pink Ladies. Their store also carries dehydrated apples that are 100% natural and perfect for snacking, as well as delicious Apple Cider Slushies and a variety of other produce and baked goods you won’t be able to resist!
The Orchard at Altapass is just one part of the Altapass Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving and teaching the history, heritage, and culture of the Blue Ridge Mountains as they teach the public about the true Appalachian experience. Their beautiful orchards feature the best heirloom apples, grown with the least amount of chemicals and in a pollinator-friendly environment.
A visit to pick Winston-Salem apples at The Orchard at Altapass should include plenty of apple picking (obviously). But a visit to the Orchard’s General Store to browse their homemade honey, jams, and fudge, and grab an indulgent slice of apple pie a la mode, as well as a “Heyride” that will teach you the history of apple growing in the area and the land itself, as you ride around the property, pulled by a tractor. There’s live music on Saturday afternoons, a casual restaurant known as Apple Core Grill, and plenty of other opportunities for families to experience a little hands-on learning and entertainment.
Carrigan Farms is a 5th generation family-owned farm specializing in growing quality fruits, vegetables, and apple-picking while teaching the world all about their Winston-Salem land and their produce! For over 100 years, the Carrigan family has poured themselves into the soil of their farms, and the result is beautiful produce that lets you taste the difference in freshness.
They offer an authentic apple-picking experience, held every September since 1975, including tractor-drawn hayrides through the orchards. Plus, their apple trees are on dwarf rootstock, meaning they don’t grow particularly tall, so you don’t need ladders! Their apple-picking window doesn’t last too long, so be sure to snag a reservation while you can! While we’re here to talk about apple picking, it’s also worth mentioning that they also offer sunflower picking, pumpkin picking, and strawberry picking when seasonally appropriate.
Apple Hill Orchard & Cider Mill isn’t just an orchard – it’s also a bakery and a farm market with plenty of apple-centric goodies that are irresistibly delicious. The current family who owns and runs Apple Hill has owned the land since 1955, though some of its trees date back to 1930! They grow 22 varieties of apples, 18 of which are available for U-pick, and their U-pick season typically begins mid-August and continues until all of the apples are harvested (typically around the second week in November.) You can purchase a Picking Pass online before visiting, making sure there’s a spot for your family and plenty of apples for you to pick!
Seriously, you have to stop by the Farm Market to pick up scratch-made apple donuts, fried apples, apple cakes, apple pie brittle, apple muffins, apple crisp, apple bread, apple pie…need we go on?!
Devil Dog Orchard offers Winston-Salem U-Pick apple picking that is straightforward and to the point! Led by mascot dog Knucky and other furry friends, it’s a great spot to bring the family for some good ol’ fashioned apple picking. While there isn’t a full bakery or farm stand, they do often sell local honey and other sweet products that make great gifts or treats for yourself! It’s also probably worth noting that Devil Dog Orchard is cash-only and does not have public restrooms. But they do have plenty of apples!
Blueberry Thrill Farm is a beautiful, quaint farm that grows a variety of produce to share with the families that visit. Family owned by the second generation of farmers, the farm began in 1982 with four acres of blueberries and expanded nearly 20 years later to include peaches and apples. In the years since, Blueberry Thrill Farm has also planted muscadine grapes, pumpkins, tomatoes, blackberries, and beautiful sunflowers.
In the summertime, you can pick your own blueberries and thornless blackberries, and in the fall, you can take home your freshly picked apples, pumpkins, and muscadine grapes. It’s a lovely, smaller operation, perfect for a sweet farm adventure!
Millstone Creek Orchards is the perfect place for a fall excursion, with plenty of unique ways to celebrate this beautiful season! But let’s get the tough part out of the way – due to a massive weather-related crop loss this year, they are only hosting one day of U-pick on September 23rd, 2023. That being said, it’s not just a regular U-pick experience. It’s a full Apple Pickin’ Adventure! Your ticket for the Apple Pickin’ Adventure includes a fresh apple tasting, an orchard hayride, an apple cider slushie, and an apple cider pressing demonstration!
Even if you can’t make it to the Apple Pickin’ Adventure, there are plenty of other apple-related adventures offered this fall that just don’t include the U-Pick element (but come with plenty of pre-picked apples!) Plus, there are always great photo ops with visits from local farm animals, gorgeous fields of sunflowers, live music, hayrides, and so much more!!
I hope all this talk about apple picking in Winston-Salem has inspired you to lace up your boots and head out to a nearby orchard! Apple season only comes once a year, so don’t let it get stomped all over by pumpkin spice. Enjoy the crisp, refreshing taste of apples while you can, and make some memories as you pick them fresh from the orchard together.
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