CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - September kicks off National Apple Month, and to celebrate I visited Windy Hill Orchard, in York, SC, for some lip smacking fun.
"Everyone I've had from here has been delicious," said Kelly Hall, a regular. "It's kind of like a small amusement park in addition to, you know, getting to pick apples and seeing all the things that they make."
Hall brings her kids to enjoy the art of picking their own produce. "You know that they are fresh, you know where they are coming from, and to be honest, I just think they taste better."
That's something Matthew Gusmer takes pride in. His parents opened the Windy Hill Orchard in 1978, as newlyweds. "It's really great to see how we've progressed throughout the years," said Gusmer. "I remember working here as a little kid doing school tours."
Today they operate a fully stocked roadside stand ,selling fresh apples, jams, and two types of cider. "A dollar a pound for a fresh picked apple, right off the tree, is kind of hard to beat," Gusmer said.
Hall agrees. " Myself, growing up in the city, this is not something that you would experience somewhere else. It's more than just going to a farmers market and picking out some apples. You really get the whole experience of being in the orchard."
Even the chickens can't help but squawk about the fresh quality of their cage free eggs.
"It's a lot of hard work and anytime you put that much work into something you always take a lot of pride in it," said Gusmer. And, to just come out and see the folks enjoying the pick your own and having a good time, it makes it all worth it."
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START: Charlotte, NC 28208 US
1. Start out going NORTHWEST on HEYWOOD AVE toward LIGGETT ST. (go 0.0 miles)
2. Turn RIGHT onto LIGGETT ST. (go 0.0 miles)
3. Turn LEFT onto ASHLEY RD. (go 0.6 miles)
4. Turn LEFT onto TUCKASEEGEE RD. (go 0.2 miles)
5. Merge onto I-85 S via the ramp on the LEFT. (go 7.5 miles)
6. Take the NC-273 exit, EXIT 27, toward BELMONT/MT. HOLLY. (go 0.3 miles)
7. Turn LEFT onto NC-273/BEATTY DR/PARK ST. Continue to follow NC-273. (go 2.0 miles)
8. Turn LEFT onto S CENTRAL AVE/NC-273. Continue to follow NC-273. (go 4.1 miles)
9. Turn RIGHT onto ARMSTRONG RD/NC-273. (go 2.4 miles)
10. Turn LEFT onto S NEW HOPE RD/NC-279 (Crossing into SOUTH CAROLINA). (go 1.0 miles)
11. S NEW HOPE RD/NC-279 becomes POLE BRANCH RD/SC-177. (go 1.9 miles)
12. Turn SLIGHT LEFT onto SC-274. (go 3.1 miles)
13. Turn RIGHT onto SC-49/CHARLOTTE HWY. (go 9.2 miles)
14. Turn RIGHT onto ALEXANDER LOVE HWY E/SC-161 BYP/SC-5/E ALEXANDER LOVE HWY. Continue to follow ALEXANDER LOVE HWY E/SC-161 BYP/SC-5. (go 3.1 miles)
15. Turn RIGHT onto BLACK HWY/SC-5. (go 1.4 miles)
16. 1860 BLACK HWY is on the RIGHT. (go 0.0 miles)
END: Windy Hill Orchard, 1860 Black Hwy, York, SC 29745 US
TOTAL ESTIMATED TIME: 50 minutes | DISTANCE: 36.78 miles