While pumpkin may be the reigning king of seasonal flavor, nothing screams fall quite like sinking your teeth into a warm slice of cinnamon apple bread or a piping hot fried apple pie. Of course washing it down with some fresh pressed apple cider makes it even better. Yum!
There’s no better way to enjoy all your favorite apple treats this season than with a visit to one of the many wonderful apple orchards in Knoxville and East Tennessee.
While some apple varieties do begin to ripen in summer, the crisp fall air brings our region’s most popular varieties to life, including Honey Crisp, Mutsu, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, and many more! Fall is the prime apple picking season throughout East TN. Even better, our local apple season lasts all the way through early November!
Whether you are looking for pre-picked apples or apple picking fun, the perfect orchard for fabulous fall memories is only a click away! Orchard locations include Chattanooga, Knoxville, Tri-Cities, and surrounding areas.
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Quick Tips For Visiting Apple Orchards In East Tennessee: Chattanooga, Knoxville, Tri-Cities
- Each apple variety will ripen in its own time and may not be available the entire month.
- Bring cash, because several of the orchards and stores do not accept credit cards.
- These are working farms. Protect your feet by wearing closed-toe shoes.
- Go early in the morning or late in the day to beat the crowds.
- Go later in the season to beat the heat.
Orchards For Apple Picking
All of the farms below offer apple picking experiences and additional attractions. Some of the farms are temporarily limiting their apples to pre-picked for 2020, due to current events.
If you are interested in a longer day trip, The Carolinas also offer some great u-pick options. Check them out at Kidding Around Greenville.
Buffalo Trail Orchard (Sat. & Sun. u-pick starting sept. 26, 2020)
Throughout the fall, Buffalo Trail Orchard offers a wide selection of pick-your-own apple varieties. They also have pumpkins and winter squash. Visitors will also enjoy a scenic hayride out to the orchards.
July – William’s Pride, Zestar
August – Gala, Honey Crisp
September – Fuji, Sweet 16, Wolf River, Jonagold, Yellow Delicious, Cameo, Mutsu, Red Staymen, Northern Spy, Winter Banana, Enterprise, and Braeburn
October – Fuji, Pink Lady, and Gold Rush
Wheeler’s Orchard (u-pick available for 2020)
The Wheeler’s Orchard boasts several fall attractions that delight visitors from throughout the state. The most popular is their fresh-pressed apple cider. They also offer a variety of u-pick apples and grapes.
In addition to you-pick, they sell pre-picked apples, apple products, baked goods, canned goods, and gifts in their large and totally adorable farm store.
Due to current events, they are requiring that masks be worn if you are within 6 feet of an employee or another customer. The owners of this farm are over 90 years old, so please respect thier wishes.
July – Red Free, Mollies Delicious
August – Gala, Ginger Gold
September – Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Empire, Mutzu, Blushing Golden, Truly Winesap, Tennessee Red, Liberty, Courtland, and red Rome Beauty
October – Fuji, Braeburn, Granny Smith, Arkansas Black, Hardy Cumberland
Fall Grape Varieties
Niagara, Boco Noir, COncord, Delaware, Marquis, Glenora, Steuben, Vanessa, Venus, Moore’s Diamond, Mare’s Seedless, Buffalo, Van Buren, Fredonia, Reliance, Sheridan, Brighton, Alden, Ontario, Seibel
Mercier Orchards (no 2020 u-pick)
Blue Ridge, Georgia
Located just 20 minutes from Ducktown and 1 hour from Cleveland, Mercier Orchards offers a huge variety of pick-your-own apple varieties Throughout the picking season, visitors can also take tractor tours across the farm property.
In addition to the u-pick experience, there is also a farm store with a large variety of pre-picked produce, fresh baked goods, canned goods, and more!
There is also a delicious cafe on-site serving up seasonal favorites for breakfast and lunch, including their famous apple cinnamon bread.
Mountain Mist Farms (coming 2021 or 2022)
Pigeon Forge, TN
Mountain Mist Farms planted a gorgeous orchard a few years ago and is patiently waiting for their apple trees to reach maturity. They expect them to be ready no later than 2022 but say they may be ready as early as 2021. With the closure of the Fruit and Berry Patch, this will become the only apple orchard in the Knoxville area.
- July – Ginger Gold, June, and Zestar
- August – Blondee, Detroit Red, Gala, Golden Supreme, and Johnathon
- September – Ambrosia, Cameo, Crimson Crisp, Empire, Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Jona Prince, Mcintosh, Mutzu, Red Delicious, Rome Beauty, September Wonder, and Smokehouse
- October – Arkansas Black, Braeburn, Candy Crisp, Fuji, Granny Smith, Gold Rush, Hampshire, Pink Lady, Splendor, Stayman Winesap, Topaz, and Yates
Apple Orchards With Pre-Picked Apples Only
While the orchards below do not allow apple picking, they still have a lot to offer, inlcuding baked goods, restaurants, hayrides, and more!
Oren Wooden’s Apple House
(423) 447 – 6376
Oren’s wooden Apple House oozes nostalgic fall fun. It boasts a farm store, gift shop, pie shop, and cafe, which features a wide variety of southern favorites. Their apple-themed treats, including apple dumplings, fried pies, and apple cider donuts, really seem to draw a crowd. Yum!
Signal Mountain, TN
Fairmount Orchard is famed for its awesome homemade apple cider, this orchard sells a wide variety of apples and apple products at its farm store. While they do grow most of their own apples, they also sell apples they purchase from other farms.
Ginger Gold, Sansa, Gala
Apple Barn Cider Mill
1 (800) 421-4606
In addition to a variety of apples, homemade apple cider, the Apple Barn boasts a delicious assortment of homemade fried pies in a variety of fall flavors. They also have a winery, country restaurant, general store, and more!
You and your family can watch the cider making process all throughout the fall, starting just after Labor Day. On Thursdays, the apples are juiced. On Fridays, the juice is placed into jugs.
Carver’s Orchard and Apple House Restaurant
Carver’s Orchard and Apple House sells its apples at its restaurant and farm store. The restaurant features fresh-pressed apple cider, traditional country cookin’, and a variety of apple baked goods, including their famous fried pies. Yum!
Apple Valley Orchards
Apple Valley Orchards features a large farm store with a variety of apples, canned goods, baked goods, and more. Although this is not a u-pick farm, the orchard does offer seasonal tractor tours.
August: Lodi, Pristine, Ginger Gold, Red Free, Caitlin Gala, Gala, and Detroit Red
September: Honey Crisp, Jonathan, Senshu, Red Delicious, Jonagold, Golden Delicious, Rome Beauty, Mutsu, and Charlie Gold
October: Stayman, Fuji, York, Arkansas Black, Goldrush, Yates, Granny Smith, Pink Lady, and Cameo
Rowell’s Orchard and Apple House
Rowell’s Orchard sells a variety of apples and apple products in its farm store. According to their website, they grow all their own apples on-site.
August – Fuji, Gala, Ginger Gold, and Jonathan
September – Early Stayman, Winesap, Honey Crisp, Macintosh, Shizuka, Red Delicious, Cortland, Golden Delicious, Stark Ultragold, Jonagold, and Rome Beauty,
October – Mutsu, Cameo, Truly Winesap, Arkansas Black, Red Staymen, Pink Lady, Granny Smith, and Gold Rush
Baxter’s Orchard sells apples and a variety of apple products, including cider, at its farm store.
Books to Share
- Apples and Pumpkins – Bringing all your fall favorites together in one book, this story features a family’s trip to the farm where they pick apples, choose a pumpkin, and carve jack-o-lantern.
- Applesauce Day – In this nostalgic book, kids spend the day with grandma picking apples at the orchards and turning them into delicious homemade applesauce.
- How Do Apples Grow? – Take a picture-based trip to the farm to discover how apples grow from bud to fruit.