As a Florida girl, I have never been to an apple orchard. I’ve seen my share of orange groves, but apple orchards, well, those are things of mountains and cool weather (both of which, I know nothing about). Since I am now living in a mountain-y state, I decided that I had to pick apples this fall!
Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done here at Fort Bragg. After much Pinterest-searching, I was disheartened not to find any orchards within a reasonable driving distance. All the orchards I found on Pinterest were in western North Carolina, over 4 hours away. All that driving is not how I wanted to spend my apple-pickin’ day.
After a LOT of research, I was able to compile a list of 6 pick-your-own apple orchards located LESS than 4 hours away from Fort Bragg.
This was the absolute closest orchard I could find to Fort Bragg and is on the top of my visit list. Not just because it’s the closest, but because it has so much to offer. For the month of September, the orchard hosts AppleFest, which includes apple picking, cider pressing, hayrides, apple pie eating, story time, and more! Their website has a calendar full of fun events.
(Millstone Creek Orchards)
- Reidsville, NC
- 1h 55 m drive
Devil Dog Orchard is a pick your own apple orchard run by a former Marine. From what I can tell 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 place and you are more than welcome to bring your kids along to pick apples. What better way to support our vets than by supporting their family business!
This orchard has recently transferred to new owners, so the name has changed from Haight Orchards to Bee Sweet. While they don’t offer all the cutesy, fun events that some orchards offer, the Christian couple that owns the orchard welcomes children and families to come pick apples. From pictures I’ve seen, the property looks beautiful and would make for a relaxing day!
Carrigan Farms is also at the top of my visit list for 2 reasons. (1) Two and a half hours is not a bad drive and (2) 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 events (it’s even open for swimming at specific times!). The 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 not only offers pick-your-own apples, but they are also a hard cider producer and have a cider bar on-site. (I’m thinking this would be a dad-favorite!) 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 apples 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 reviews everything is delicious!
This list doesn’t cover ALL of the orchards in the area, but it’s a good start! All of the orchards listed above have a website you can visit for more detailed information. You MUST check the website or call ahead before you visit any orchard to see what fruits are available on that day.
This is agriculture! Apples are a crop and, as such, their availability is at the mercy of Mother Nature. Different kinds of apples ripen at different times and may or may not be available on the day you plan to go.
The apple-picking season in this part of North Carolina is from August to early October. So, make sure you go pick apples before pumpkin patches open up!
If none of these orchards are what you are looking for, there are plenty of apple orchards further west. Apparently, Henderson County is THE SPOT for apple growing and picking in North Carolina. If you are willing to drive 4 or more hours to visit an orchard, I suggest you try that area first.
Happy pickin’, friends! Let me know how it goes!
Have you visited any of these orchards? Give me your reviews in the comments!