Growing up in Florida, I’ve seen my share of orange groves, but never an apple orchard. Those are things of mountains and cool weather, both of which, I know nothing about. Since we are now living in the mountain-y state of North Carolina, I decided that we HAD to pick apples this fall!
Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done here in the Sandhills of North Carolina. After much internet searching, I was disheartened to find that there aren’t any apple orchards in short driving distance from Fort Bragg. Most of the orchards that I found on-line were more than 4 hours away. And doing all of that driving is not how I wanted to spend my apple-pickin’ day.
After much more research, I was able to compile a list of 6 pick-your-own apple orchards located LESS than 4 hours away from Fort Bragg.
Millstone Creek Orchards is the closest apple orchard to Fort Bragg that I could find. It is on the top of my visit list, not just because it’s the closest one, but because it has so much to offer. During the month of September, Millstone Creek Orchard hosts AppleFest. This family event includes apple picking, cider pressing, hayrides, pie eating, story time, and more! Their website has a calendar FULL of fun events.
(Millstone Creek Orchards)
2. Devil Dog Orchard
- Reidsville, NC
- 1h 55 m drive
Devil Dog Orchard is a pick-your-own apple orchard run by a former Marine. From what I gathered from the website, there doesn’t seem to be any events or fun/cutesy things to do at the orchard. However, they are a very family-oriented business and welcome you to bring the kids along to pick apples. What better way to support our vets than by supporting their family business?
While Bee Sweet Orchards doesn’t offer all of the cutesy events that some orchards offer, the Christian couple that owns the orchard welcomes children and families to come pick apples. The pictures on their website boast beautiful pictures of the property. A trip to Bee Sweet Orchards would make for a fun and relaxing day in the country.
Carrigan Farms is also at the top of my visit list for 2 reasons. First, two and a half hours is not a bad drive and second, I have seen some seriously impressive pictures of this property. There is a quarry on the farm that is used as a venue for weddings and special events (it’s even open for swimming in the summer). Their U-Pick Apple Pass is $10 per person. It includes a half-peck of apples and a hayride! Sounds like a good time to me!
Windy Hill Orchard is sure to be a dad-favorite! This orchard not only offers pick-your-own apples, but they are also a hard cider producer and have a cider bar on-site. While, this orchard isn’t as geared towards kids as some of the other options, their website states that this is family-friendly environment and encourages you to bring kids along. This orchard is actually in South Carolina, but is still a do-able day trip from Fort Bragg.
This is another family-friendly, pick-your-own apple orchard. Apple Hill Orchard offers wagon-rides on the weekends and tours of it’s gorgeous property. There is a cider mill, country store, and bakery on-site and according to the reviews, everything is delicious!
Things to Remember Before You Go
- Remember to check the website or call ahead to check days and hours of operation.
- Also, check the website or call to see which varieties of apples are available. Different kinds of apples ripen at different times and may or may not be available on the day you plan to go.
- Apple-picking season in this part of North Carolina is from August to early October. So, make sure you pick apples before pumpkin patches open up!
If none of these orchards are what you are looking for, there are plenty of apple orchards in Western North Carolina. Apparently, Henderson County is THE SPOT to be if you’re looking for apples in NC. We actually visited a Henderson County orchard during our fall camping trip. If you are willing to drive 4 or more hours, I suggest that area, especially Stepp’s Apple Orchard.
Happy pickin’, my friends!