A 501(c)3 Non-Profit

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The Historic Orchard at Altapass


Following government recommendations, the Orchard will begin to implement Phase 1 with a reopening Saturday, June 13. Hours will be 10 AM to 5 PM on Saturday and Sunday only. Only 40 people will be allowed into the General Store at a time; social distancing restrictions will be in place; and there will be no live music or dancing in the red barn until further notice. We realize how important music is in our regional heritage and are working on alternative solutions.

The store will be strictly monitored, entrance metered. Surfaces will be sanitized regularly; plexiglass screens installed. Staff will be screened and will wear non-surgical masks and gloves (recommended for all visitors). The tasting/sampling stations will be temporarily closed. And no pets will be allowed inside.


Although hundreds of folks look forward to our annual picnics, maintaining a six-foot distance from each other is impossible and sharing of home-prepared foodstuffs unwise. With that in mind, a decision was made to cancel both the Memorial Day and Independence Day Annual Picnics.


The trails are “open for business.” Visitors are asked to please stay on the main trails as much work is still being done in the Orchard; do not walk behind the red barn or climb on any of the equipment. Pets are welcome (but please pick up after them). And if there are other walkers on the trails, please maintain social distancing.

We hope that all these preventative measures will be temporary, but in the interim, the health and safety of our staff and our visitors are most important in decision making. The apples trees are still thriving and will begin ripening in July. No matter what the climate of the planet, they'll be ready for pickin' as usual.

Welcome to the Orchard at Altapass, one of the most visited locations on the Blue Ridge Parkway. For the last quarter century, we have diligently worked to "save the good stuff"—the regional traditions, culture, and the land on which all was built. We're accomplishing that by propagating the best apples possible (with the least amount of chemicals) and hosting activities for all ages that educate and entertain.

We invite you to come for a visit. Bring your dancing shoes. There's room on the floor for all. And your walking shoes. You don't want to leave without a walk through the apple "forest." Bring your appetites for the apple pie alamode and Apple Core Grill delights. Pick your own apples or purchase them in our General Store (in season). Return to a simpler time for an hour or an afternoon at the family- (and pet-) friendly Orchard At Altapass.

Adopt a Tree. Fill out the Adoption Inquiry or email for more information.

Performances Update

Given the uncertainty of the near future and after much deliberation, we regretably have decided that in fairness to both musicians and the abreviated Orchard staff and for the safety of all, to cancel previously scheduled performances through the end of season. We know how important music is to our culture, our history and are currently working on alternatives that will satisfy all. We ask for your patience while we continue to "Save the good stuff" one day at a time.
We will post updates here on the website and on our Facebook page. Please check back often. Thanks.


Bill and Judy Carson and Kit Carson-Trubey founded the Orchard at Altapass in 1994. Please listen to Bill as he relates how it came to be, why and why it's important. Take a bite into the Orchard—just an appetizer for the whole pie.


In 2011, TED Talks asked Bill Carson to tell his story—how he became involved with apples, traditional music, and the preservation of a culture and heritage of the Altapass region along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Our Mission

The mission of the Altapass Foundation, Inc. is to preserve the history, heritage and culture of the Blue Ridge Mountains; protect the underlying orchard land with its apples, wetlands, butterflies, and other natural features; and educate the public about the Appalachian experience. Altapass Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public non-profit and depends on the generosity of donors to fund programs that support this mission. Click here for information about becoming a member or to make a special donation.


Help us support our staff and our farm during these times of indecision and uncertainty. Just click to go to GoFundMe. Please take a look at what one of our board members wrote, then donate. Any amount. It all adds up. Thank you.

Local Weather

While you're visiting us, take a beautiful and relaxing hike through our many Orchard Trails and unwind!

Altapass Foundation Sponsors & Partners


1025 Orchard Road

Spruce Pine, NC 28777

Blue Ridge Parkway
(mile marker 328.3)



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2020 HOURS


~Trails Open May 8

~ Store Opening JUNE 13
Saturday & Sunday
10 AM to 5 PM
(No live music)

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