Apple Picking for the Whole Family!
When fall comes around one of our favorite things to do is head to Hendersonville and go Apple picking! Apple picking is an inexpensive activity that everyone can enjoy. Pick apples for your baking needs, try fresh cider, or indulge in yummy apple cider donuts.There are many orchards and locations to go picking throughout Hendersonville. Our favorite apple orchard is Stepps Hillcrest Orchard, a 70 acre farm held in their family for 3 generations. Outside of u-pick apples they also have u-pick grapes and pumpkins. You can also indulge in hay rides and shooting targets from their air cannon Apple gun! We’ve been a few times now and even with a large crowd the farm is large enough that you can find your own little secluded spot to make it a more personalized experience. On the way out, we noticed signs for a corn maze which we will have to try later in the season.
Stepps Hillcrest Orchard
The first time we went at first we felt a little overwhelmed. We arrived late in the day after our adventure in Pisgah National Forest hiking Moore Cove Falls and Looking Glass Falls. The parking lot was packed, but the staff at Stepps are very kind and informative. The staff help you with a map layout of which apples are ripe for picking, directions around the farm and finding your baskets and wagons! We loaded our daughter in the wagon and grabbed a larger satchel for ourselves and a nice small basket that she could easily carry around. And we were off to start our picking. I do have to warn you, it can be fun! You may start picking every Apple in sight and realize 5 trees in you have your whole satchel full! So be mindful what you pick you you buy. And just slow down and enjoy the experience. If you have a group that doesn’t want to walk the entire orchard, you can slowly drive to any part of the farm and then park. I am comfortable saying that all types of families can safely walk and pick apples.
Apple Picking with a Toddler
The first time we went apple picking, our daughter was a little over a year old. She grabbed her own basket, insisting on carrying it herself and picking some apples her size! Stepps Orchard builds a play area between the apple trees and the main building. Check out the play area and let the kid’s run. A big hay bale tractor, large tubes to slide down and even a set of log stepping stones. Let them run loose for a bit to burn energy before heading home.
Also make sure you stop at the front and take some fun pictures! They have a nice growth chart you can start with your kids and make progress pictures every year! Outside of Stepps we also like to stop at Lyda farms on our way back. It’s just down the road from Stepps and while it doesn’t have a u-pick option has a great store! They have a large variety of pumpkins of all shapes sizes and colors as well as apples. Lyra Farm has good photo opportunities for the kids, such as the haybale spider, pumpkin piles and the apple growth charts. In their outside store front they also carry a large variety of homemade Apple and honey products made on their farm. It’s definitely worth a stop! Our next trip we are planning is for Grandad’s. We’ve heard good things and are excited to try it out! Happy Apple Picking!
If you want to extend your adventure for the day, the Apple Orchards in Hendersonville are only 30 to 45 minutes away from the waterfalls near Brevard. In the past, we visited the Dupont Forest Three Waterfall hike, then ate lunch and swung over for Apple Picking. Learn more about the different Dupont Hikes by clicking links.