Hendersonville: The Apple Of North Carolina’s Eye

Fall means apple season in Hendersonville, North Carolina. This Blue Ridge Mountain town leads the state in apple production and consistently ranks among the top producers in the nation. 

During a time when families are searching for safe, socially distanced, outdoor activities, U-pick apple orchards check all the boxes. Apple season began in early August and runs until the middle of November.

Hendersonville, located about 30 minutes south of Asheville, recently introduced a new Crest of the Blue Ridge Orchard Trail guide. The guide includes 21 orchards and open-air markets where visitors can pick their own fruit, participate in fun activities and/or purchase produce straight from growers.

While most orchards have similar apple varieties and bakery confections, each location puts its own twist on harvest season.

At Jeter Mountain Farm, the U-pick experience includes wagon rides to a field where families pick their own apples and pumpkins. Inside the cider barn, apples are pressed into cider, which is sold by the half-gallon and used in the orchard’s signature apple cider doughnuts.

Jeter Mountain also serves six hard cider varieties. Its taproom features cider from Flat Rock Cider Co., as well as Jeter Mountain’s Original Hard Cider. Enjoy a tasting, pint or four pack to go.

Another popular option is Twisted Apple, an organic orchard. In addition to several varieties of apples, the farm sells baked goods, ice cream and other organic fruits and vegetables.

For a different taste, visit Pilot Mountain Pears at Circle L Farms. It grows three varieties of Asian pears and has U-pick options. The farm stand also sells pre-picked apples, jams, jellies, molasses, honey and candles. An on-site bakery makes fried apple pies and apple turnovers.

Hours vary at each farm throughout the season, so calling ahead is recommended.

To learn more about summer activities in Hendersonville, go to
www.VisitHendersonvilleNC.org or call (800) 828-4244.