Hi, friends! Hope you are enjoying the (long) weekend. It’s apple season in North Carolina, and my mom and I went apple picking for the first time at Millstone Creek Orchards in Ramseur, NC (shoutout to NC Travel Chat for doing an episode with them). We had a lot of fun, and I wanted to share my experience with you!
First of all, Millstone Creek Orchards is taking the COVID pandemic seriously and has implemented changes to make you feel safe. You have to make a reservation online as they are only allowing 40 people per picking session to operate at half-occupancy. Both weekday and weekend reservations are available ($11.95 and $15.95/per person respectively; kids 2 and under are free with no bag). Reservations need to be made 12 hours in advance, but I suggest booking it as soon as you decide to go! Masks are required on hayrides (also running at 50% occupancy) and inside the Market building.
When you first arrive (they suggest 15 minutes prior to your picking time), you go to the check-in booth where you will get a quarter peck bag (for apple picking) and a wristband (for a cider slushee) for each admission ticket. Once it’s time for picking, they will take you to the apple orchard on a hayride. You get 30 minutes of picking time where you can roam around and fill your bag as much as your heart desires! The kind of apple will vary depending on when you go—we picked Golden Delicious, which are sweet! While you are out there, you’ll also get a few apple slices in a Ziplock baggie for an “apple tasting” as well. Depending on when you go, they will have an additional/optional picking time for gourds/fall grapes (for an additional cost). We got some Muscadine and Scuppernongs grapes. You finish out your tour with a 3 ounce apple cider slushee, which was delightfully sweet and icy!
Once you are done apple picking, you can get yourself some treats from Granny’s Goodies (at the back of the Market building; you’re directed here for the apple cider slushee sample after the picking/tour). We got some apple cider donuts, but they have ice cream as well. Don’t forget to check out the Apple Barn Mobile Market where they have lots of produce, preserves, and baked goods for sale. If you want more of the apple cider slushee, this is where you can get more. Fun fact: Millstone Creek Orchards is one of four certified orchards in the state that can produce unpasteurized apple cider! When we went, Double Nut Farm was on the porch selling some meats as well. We brought home some zucchini, eggs, and of course, apple cider!
Millestone Creek Orchards is huge and absolutely gorgeous! We didn’t stay for too long after apple picking (which lasted for a little over an hour with the second picking session), but you can totally get an afternoon out of your visit. They have a large shaded picnic area so you can bring a lunch to picnic out there. There is a little playground for kiddos. Close to the pond, they have live music playing. It is just lovely.
Before I wrap up the post, I want to suggest wearing closed toe shoes with socks to avoid ant bites! They do mark ant hills and treat them every night, but the ants keep moving, and I was standing on an ant hill and got attacked, which was not fun. Thankfully, they do have StingEZe Insect Bite Relief readily available.
Apple picking season at Millstone Creek Orchards lasts all month of September! Will you be picking some apples this fall? Let me know if you do or if you have any questions I can answer!