A 501(c)3 Non-Profit

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The Historic Orchard at Altapass

On pause for Orchard apples.
Early Junes have come and gone. Give it a few weeks— another variety will be ripe and ready.

We remain under government recommendations and, physical distancing (not social—we encourage interaction) is required. All precautions have been employed—masks (in accordance with government mandate, all staff and visitors are required to wear masks inside the barn) and gloves for staff, distancing markers, sanitizer required before entering the store and recommended as you leave. Pets are permitted inside on a leash (no mask required). Bill is on premises telling tales and entertaining (although not tapping toes) visitors. He will be storytelling in coming weeks, although not on heyrides.

The trails are open, and a revised map is being installed, but please respect other walkers and continue to physical distance.

We hope that all of the above will be short term, 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 ripening. No matter what the climate of the planet, they're ready for pickin' as usual.

UPDATE: Because staff is limited, the Orchard online store is closing and the Apple Core Grill will remain closed for the remainder of the season. We hope that this won't keep folks away. The ice cream is still icy cold and the apple pie steaming hot. And the fun (U-Pick) is just beginning.

If you would like to purchase something from the store and have it shipped directly to you, just call Alicia at 828-765-9531 Thursday through Sunday from 10AM to 5PM.

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.

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.

The 2019 Orchard at Altapass Annual Report is now available online.

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


Thru NOV 1
10 AM to 5 PM
(Currently no live music)

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