Knowing my interest in taking in all Atlanta and North Georgia have to offer, my buddy Steven Bush suggested we make a day trip to go apple picking.  Of course I was on board!  We decided on B.J. Reece Apple Orchards in Ellijay, way up in Gilmer County, which is open for the picking until October 30th.

The trip up was a delight as we left suburban sprawl and headed onto country lanes that grew windier as we drove northward, past cornfields, horse and cow pastures, woods, and a sunflower field!  We would have to make a stop at the last landmark on the way back.

We finally made it to the orchard, surrounded by a panorama of gently rolling hills:


We parked in a dirt lot and made our way to the orchard, standing in line beneath a big tent to choose which size of bag we would need–they come in half pecks, pecks, and half bushels.  We picked the peck-sized bag as that seemed to hold the right amount of apples for the both of us.  As we walked through the gate, a guide handed out a hand-drawn and colored map of the area:

Hand-Drawn Map.jpg

Then it was on to apple picking!

There were several different varieties, including Granny Smith (which I picked for my friend Laura), Rome Beauty, Arkansas Black, and Golden Delicious (my favorite–I made sure to bring back plenty of those).

After much picking, we went to see what farm entertainment there was to offer.  That included a cow train (which I was pretty tempted to ride–and note that I wouldn’t have been the only adult to enjoy it):

And, the excursion wouldn’t have been complete without a pig race!

Along with apples, saw some gorgeous wildflowers (Morning Glory and Goldenrod):


Afterwards we stopped in historic Downtown Ellijay for lunch at the 1907 Restaurant & Bar, named for the year it was established.  I had some pretty good Huevos Rancheros!



Then we checked into some antique stores, where I tried my hand at the banjo.  I play the ukulele, and luckily this four-string banjo was tuned to ukulele tuning (gCEA) so I could actually strum some chords 🙂


Later we stopped back at the B.J. Reece Apple House and Farmer’s Market:

Banjos, Banjos Everywhere!

Then of course, our last stop HAD to be the sunflower fields:


What a great day!!  Now, start your adventure!!

Thanks for reading,