Pick Your Own Asheville Berry Adventure

Blueberry Picking

Make the Most of Asheville's Abundant Berry Season

From farms to forests, berries burst their way onto the Asheville scene beginning in May, and continue to brighten dishes both sweet and savory through late November. Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, wineberries, and raspberries (both black and red) are on menus, in the fields, at the farmers markets, and in the wilds of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Here’s how and where to get your soon-to-be-stained hands on them.

Go Wild

Wild blueberries are ripe for the picking along the Blue Ridge Parkway toward the end of August into early Fall, making a great end-of-summer family outing. The most popular spots include Craggy Gardens (MP 364), Graveyard Fields (MP 418) and Black Balsam Knob (MP 420). So grab a bucket, and a cooler if you have a long drive ahead of you, and enjoy the scenic ride.

U-Pick Farms

The most difficult (really, the only difficult) part of berry picking is choosing the right time to go. If you keep up with these U-Pick farms on their websites or give them a shout before you head out, they will let you know which (if any) berries are available. Bring along a picnic, and if you aren’t full from stuffing your face with fresh-off-the-bush berries, you might just make a day of it. Of course unlike wild berries, you have to pay, but you get a gold star for supporting local farmers. And is there a more fun, delicious way to teach your kids to appreciate where their food comes from? Here are some of our picks:

For more U-Pick farms and information, see our guide to U-Pick adventures in Asheville.

To Market, To Market

If you want farm fresh berries, but don’t have the time to pick them yourself, visit one of several area tailgate and farmers markets. From Weaverville to Biltmore Park, you’ll find farmers selling juicy berries along with other fresh and in-season produce.

On the Menu

In Asheville, you can’t throw a frisbee without hitting a farm-to-table restaurant. From fine dining to frozen treats, area chefs celebrate our local berries in some pretty inspiring ways. Here’s just a taste:

For breakfast, Sunny Point Café uses local seasonal berries in their specials and for their fruit sides, accompanying lip-smacking plates like sausage and cheese-stuffed french toast. Their canned jams for sale are by local partner Imladris Farms, which sources its berries locally as well.

Green Sage Cafe features local elderberries from Darby Farms in its Elderberry Zing cold-pressed juice, an immune-boosting elixir of apple, lemon, and elderberry.

The Market Place uses lots of local berries in its seasonal menu. Chef William Dissen showcases local berries in desserts as well as savory recipes. For example, you might find summer wineberries in a scallop crudo or cooked down for a wineberry barbecue sauce over roasted pork shoulder.

The Hop buys local berries to use for its insanely delicious dairy and vegan ice creams and sorbets, including classic flavors like strawberry, blueberry, and raspberry as well as outside of the (ice) box blends such as blueberry kale and strawberry lemonade.

Updated February 27, 2024