Ever have an Asian Pear? They are incredibly delicious, juicy, and a must-try fruit. Pilot Mountain Pears has acres and acres of them available for u-pick this fall in Hendersonville, NC.
I have been obsessed with Asian pears for years and get ridiculously excited whenever I see them in grocery stores or farmers’ markets. They are generally light brown in color with the texture of an apple and a crunchy but juicy center- like the kind of juicy where you bite in and the juice runs down your arm – that kind of tastes like a cross between an apple and a pear.
If you’re also a fan of Asian Pears, you might be wondering, “Is there any place with u-pick Asian Pears? Or any Asian Pear picking near me?”
At Pilot Mountain Pears in Hendersonville, NC, and only an hour from Greenville, SC, not only can you buy these wonderful fruits but also pick them yourself. You’ll definitely want to add this orchard to your fall adventures!
About Pilot Mountain Pears
The orchard is owned and run by the Laughter (pronounced LAW-DER) family. I met Beth and her husband David and they showed me around the orchard, the little shop, and the packing barn. David really loves Asian pears and he planted about 1,000 of the trees more than a decade ago and just kept replacing the apple trees with Asian pear trees until that’s pretty much all they grow now.
The couple are both locals and have been married for 27 years. They have two grown children who help out on the farm when they are home but mostly, it’s Beth and David who are the driving force behind the orchard. They’ve done a lot on the farm in terms of making a fun u-pick experience for guests since they first opened to the public three years ago and word has spread almost solely through word of mouth about how amazing their Asian pears are.
Why Asian Pears Are So Amazing
I love apples just as much as the next person but Asian pears are on a whole other level. The Asian pears come from a tree native to East Asia and were originally eaten by the rich, noble people of China. Around 1850, the exotic fruit was brought to America by Chinese laborers. There are hundreds of varieties and you may hear them called apple pears, sand pears, Japanese pears, or Korean pears.
The pears aren’t like regular pears that are literally ripe for ten minutes and then turn to mush. Asian pears last a lot longer, especially if you refrigerate them. They are juicy and sweet and delicious and crunchy. They are usually ripe when they turn a little past light brown but can also be eaten when they have a green color to them or light brown.
U-Pick at Pilot Mountain
With 5,000 Asian pear trees at Pilot Mountain Pears, you’ll have plenty of fruit to choose from. The farm grows mostly Olympic Asian pears, which are huge.
When you arrive at the farm, you’ll see the orchard store. Park there and you can go get a wagon or bag and if you’re really brave, you can grab a pick stick (a very long stick with a metal cage at the top to pick the highest fruit on the trees – also known as long swords for kids).
You’ll be directed where to start your picking. Once you’re done, you go back to the store, where your amazing Asian pears will be weighed and you will pay for your goodies.
They also sell fried apple pies like apple turnovers, apple slushies, and pear juice. I tried the Asian pear juice and whoa. Like, major whoa. This was the sweetest, but not too sweet, tangy, but not too tangy, most refreshing drink. You’ll want to drink it straight from the container.
The store also has really cute tumblers, hats, pottery, shirts, and other fun stuff that you’ll probably want to take home to remember your awesome experience at Pilot Mountain Pears.
Visiting Pilot Mountain Pears
The orchard opens to the public Friday, August 25th and will be open likely through the beginning of October. Hours are Fridays-Sundays from 10 am – 5 pm. Follow Pilot Mountain Pears on Facebook and check before you go to make sure they are sticking to their regular hours.
Prices for u-pick Asian pears are $1/pound. You can also purchase pre-picked pears.
No pets are allowed in the orchard. There are porta-potties on the property.
And if you want to hang out and eat all your Asian pears, fried apple pies, or drink your slushies, there are picnic tables behind the farm store that overlook the orchard with mountains on the horizon. It’s gorgeous.
Nearby Things to Do
Making a day trip to Hendersonville is one of our most favorite activities, so we have plenty of options for a fun day trip there:
Black Bear Fall Tubing
Go tubing down a giant hill at Black Bear Snow Tubing – but without the snow (that’ll come in the winter). The tubing place is open starting September 2, 2023. Read our full review for all the details.
Hike Bearwallow Mountain
Bearwallow Mountain is easily one of our favorite family hikes because it’s not that hard and the views are unbeatable. It’s a 2-mile roundtrip hike and you get 360-degree views of the mountains. Bring up some Asian pears for a snack.
Play with Llamas
Ellaberry Llama Farm is super close to Pilot Mountain Pears and you can take a llama through an obstacle course or go on a hike with them. We love this farm!
Try a Free Activity
We have a whole story on free things to do in Hendersonville like the Air Museum, Mineral Museum, and Train Museum.
Play with Some Goats
No story on Hendersonville is complete without me telling you that you can play with the goats at the Carl Sandburg Home for free. It’s a beautiful place for a hike as well.
Eat at the Village Bakery
This small eatery in nearby Flat Rock has some pretty fantastic brick oven pizza and salads. They close at 5 pm so be sure to get there before closing. If they have any bread left over on their Day Old Bread shelf, grab it because it’s 50% off.
More ideas for things to do in Hendersonville are available at our Guide to Hendersonville, NC.
If you’re looking for more Asian pear orchards, there aren’t any! But if you’re looking for apple orchards in the area, see our big Guide to Apple Orchards in and near the Upstate.
Have you ever gone to an orchard for U-pick Asian Pears?