Long Creek’s Chattooga Belle Farm is the pinnacle of Upstate berry picking
Of all the spots to pick berries in the Upstate, Chattooga Belle Farm might be the most distractible. Because finding what’s ripe for the picking amid its seven acres of orchards will require lowering your gaze from some of the best views in the Upstate.
Chattooga Belle sits a cool 1,700 feet above sea level, and its orchards span a lush slope that offers spectacular 200-degree views of the Appalachian chain—on a clear day, from north Georgia to Brevard, NC. The Long Creek–based U-Pick kicks off its high season this month, beginning with raspberries, and followed in short order by blackberries and blueberries. As the summer wears on, peaches, muscadines, scuppernongs, grapes, and finally apples will hang heavy from the trees and bushes of this historic orchard, owned, operated, and managed by Oconee County native Ed Land.
“Farming has always been a part of my family, just as it’s always been ingrained in most of America up until about fifty years ago,” Land explains. “Our idea here is to grow it, harvest it, pick it, produce it in the canning kitchen, take it to the store, and send it out the door. We have the whole product here.”
This twenty-first-century farm is also remarkably diverse: an 18-hole disc golf course, lakeside cabin (available for rental), and observatory deck for burgeoning astronomers are all part of its allure. Surrounded by Sumter National Forest, the 137-acre farmstead is just minutes removed from dozens of hiking trails, more than 20 waterfalls, and rafting on the Chattooga River among other outdoorsy exploits.
So, no need to pick and choose what to do this weekend. A visit to Chattooga Belle bundles it all into one cool daytrip—baskets optional.