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Hillcrest Orchards: Apple orchards and Roadside Stands in North Georgia

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This month's notes: August 2016: Strawberries have a very brief season; and the start in early April in the South, don't miss them: See your state's crop availability calendar for more specific dates of upcoming crops. And see our guide to local fruit and vegetable festivals, such as strawberry festivals and blueberry festivals. Organic farms are identified in green!  Also make your own ice cream - see How to make ice cream and ice cream making equipment and manuals. Please tell the farms you found them here - and ask them to update their information!!!!

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Hillcrest Orchards

Great family entertainment for a low price and PYO apples!

Click here to return to the Main page for apple orchards in Ellijay.
  (UPDATED: September 28, 2015) 

Hillcrest Orchards website
9696 Highway 52 East, Ellijay, GA 30540.

Phone: 706-273-3838. Alternate Phone: 706-273-9494. Fax: 706-273-3888. Email: applelan@ellijay.com.

Activities: pick-your-own apples on certain dates (see below) in September and October ONLY , wagon rides, prepicked produce, gift shop, snacks and refreshment stand, restrooms, picnic area, face painting, pony rides, petting zoo, farm animals, birthday parties, school tours, even try your hand at milking a cow

Open: PYO apples are available on the 8 weekends in September and October; from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. The admission is $7.00.

 We have our jubilee see below every weekend in September and October

Directions: Exit onto Highway 52 East. Hillcrest Orchards is 9 miles east of Ellijay on Highway 52. Alternate route: Highway 400 North to Highway 53 toward Dawsonville, just past the Outlet Mall, go through Dawsonville, about 2 miles outside Dawsonville turn right onto Highway183, go about 10 miles, turn left onto Highway 52 West, Hillcrest if about 12 miles on left. Click here for a map and directions.

Produce: Apples, pies, doughnuts, ice cream, honey, crafts, bread, dried apples. Petting farm.  PYO only during the Apple Pickin Jubilee festival - call for the current dates and times!milking a cow

2015 prices: Admission includes entertainment ( wagon ride, music, pig races, cow milking) and PYO orchard (entry to the store to buy picked apples is free); Other fees for petting zoo and some other activities;  ALWAYS click here for current pricing, dates and times..

September and October weekends, 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.  You pick apples available September 5th to October 31st on weekends only. Apple Pickin' Jubilee" begins September 5th and continues each Saturday and Sunday until October 31st; Business hours are 9:00 until 6:00 daily. Payment: Cash, Debit cards, Visa/MasterCard. Festival activities include wagon rides, live entertainment such as Country Bands, Cloggers and Pig Races. You can milk a real live cow, ride pedal carts, visit the Moonshine Museum, Farmhouse Museum and Enchanted Forest Walk. We offer Pony Rides and Bull Rides. Lots of great food such as homemade fried apple pies, apple fritters, apple cider doughnuts, ice cream and fudge. Visit the grill for burgers, dogs, BBQ, and more. There are several tractors the kids can climb on. Great photo opportunities.  Bluegrass bands and clogging groups perform each afternoon at the "Apple Pickin' Jubilee". Food is available outside in the food court or inside the ice cream parlor. Pick your fun at the annual "Apple Pickin' Jubilee" where you can pick your own apples, milk a cow, watch live pig races, visit the petting farm, take a wagon ride through the orchard, visit the Moonshine Museum and watch live bands and cloggers on the Hillcrest Stage. Visit our playground and ride our giant slide down the mountain. Come hungry because there's more food than you can hold. Visit our bakery and ice cream parlor for homemade fried apple pies, apple cider doughnuts, apple fritters, pizza, ice cream, fried oreos, funnel cakes and fudge. Wash it all down with some fresh cold apple cider. We'll have the grill fired up outside in the festival area for hamburgers, hotdogs and barbecue and roasted corn. Be sure to try the chicken on a stick and grilled corn on the cob.

musical entertainment all day at HillcrestReviewriding one of several tractors

Especially during their Apple Pickin' Jubilee  weekends, is much more than an orchard or roadside stand, Hillcrest is an afternoon of family entertainment.  Starting inside with the shop, you can watch north Georgia's famous fried apple pies being made and find all kinds of treats, like apple bread!

Then head outside to the stage area for a show, a petting zoo, a goat ramp and goat jump, playground, festivals, tours, hayrides, pig races,





Hillcrest orchards pig races


 milk a cow (event the children my try milking), often musical entertainment on their stage, haunted house and more.Hillcrest pig racing stadium

Heck, it's worth the visit if only for the pig races!  Everyone quickly gathers way they announce the next races!  Place your bets and possibly win a prize, or lose your bacon! The new pig racing stadium has covered bleachers on both sides for a clear view and protection from sun or rain!


stage for musical entertainmentThe folks are friendly, the apple trees are low and easy to pick from, and there is so much to do, this is my pick for the orchard to go to for a day of family fun and entertainment! The only weak spot is the portapotties!  Go before you come!

Apple Pickin' Jubilee at Hillcrest Orchards 

Click here for the current dates and times of the apple picking and pricing.

Pick your own apples, wagon rides, playground, pig races, moonshine museum, entertainment, food, corn maze, petting farm and pony rides.


petting zoo







horse drawn hay wagon to the orchardmoonshine museum

Hillcrest's Apple Varieties

Below is a listing of the apple varieties that they typically carry, in order that they typically start to be harvested in Ellijay. Be sure to call a couple weeks before they are due to start harvesting, as the actual date varies from year to year! Ellijay apple orchards usually have apples for sale from August to late December.


AFter a day at the farmAfter a day at the orchard, the kids fall asleep as soon as they get in the car!


Apple Variety Photo Usually start harvesting Flavor Best uses


August 1 Very sweet Eating, applesauce, apple butter, pies
Ginger Gold

Ginger Gold.

Early Sweet Eating


August 15 Tart Cooking
Red Delicious August 15 Sweet Eating, good to blend with other apples in applesauce and cooking
Golden Delicious August 15 Sweet Eating, good to blend with other apples in applesauce and cooking
Honey Crisp

August 20 Sweet, Crisp, Juicy Eating, Applesauce, Apple Butter, Pies
Mutsu September 1 Sweet / Tart Cooking / Eating
Jonagold September 1 Sweet / Tart Cooking / Eating
Rome Beauty

September 15 Slightly Tart Cooking / Eating
Stayman - Wine sap September 15 Tart Cooking / Eating


October 10 Very sweet Eating, applesauce, apple butter, pies, cooking
Granny Smith October 15 Tart Cooking / Eating

Got a  photo to share?

October 20 Sweet Eating
Arkansas Black

October 20 Tart Baking, Eating (very hard apple)
Pink Lady

October 20 Sweet Eating

Also, see our pages on tips for picking apples at a farm, easy illustrated directions to make applesauce, apple butter, apple jelly and apple pie; the guide to apple festivals and our guide to apple varieties! NEW! Please write me, if you know of any to add!

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Picking Tips

[General picking tips and a guide to each fruit and vegetable] [How much do I need to pick? (Yields - how much raw makes how much cooked or frozen)] [Selecting the right varieties to pick] [All about apple varieties - which to pick and why!]  [Picking tips for Vegetables] [ Strawberry picking tips] [ Blueberries picking tips]









Illustrated Canning, Freezing, Jam Instructions and Recipes

All About Home Canning, Freezing and Making Jams, Pickles, Sauces, etc. ] [FAQs - Answers to common questions and problems] [Recommended books about home canning, jam making, drying and preserving!] [Free canning publications to download and print]

Home Canning Kits


Ball Enamel Waterbath Canner, Including Chrome-Plated Rack and 4-Piece Utensil Set

* All the tools you need for hot waterbath canning - in one comprehensive set!
* Complete with 21 1/2 qt. enameled waterbath canner
* Also includes canning rack, funnel, jar lifter, jar wrencher, bubble freer, tongs and lid lifter.
* A Kitchen Krafts exclusive collection.

This is the same type of standard canner that my grandmother used to make everything from applesauce to jams and jellies to tomato and spaghetti sauce. This complete kit includes everything you need and lasts for years: the canner, jar rack, jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, a plastic funnel, labels, bubble freer. It's much cheaper than buying the items separately. You'll never need anything else except jars & lids (and the jars are reusable)! There is also a simple kit with just the canner and rack, and a pressure canner, if you want to do vegetables (other than tomatoes). To see more canners, of different styles, makes and prices, click here!
Don't forget the Ball Blue Book!

Lids, Rings, Jars, mixes, pectin, etc.

Need lids, rings and replacement jars?  Or pectin to make jam, spaghetti sauce or salsa mix or pickle mixes?  Get them all here, and usually at lower prices than your local store!

Get them all here at the best prices on the internet!