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Private “heyrides” are available Wednesday-Friday—$150
Reservations required. Please call 828-765-9531



Visit the Orchard’s General Store for that old-timey feeling. Pick up locally made jams and jellies, honey (from our own thriving hives and other local beekeepers), pickled veggies, salsas, and dips. Then try the homemade fudge in oh! so many flavors. Take a turn around our kid’s corner with shelves filled with toys that don’t require batteries or WiFi connection. Get a bowl of hot apple pie ala mode or a cone of one or two scoops of the best ice cream around and step out on our back deck to take in the spectacular aromatic views.

MAY: Saturday/Sunday, 10 to 5 pm,
JUNE 1-OCT 29: Wednesday-Sunday, 10 to 5 pm


Beginning June 8 through October 27, the Orchard hosts live music—from old-timey to bluegrass to country through contemporary—all on the newly renovated pavilion stage and all free. From 2 until 4 on Saturday and Sunday, have a seat and listen to great music performed by regional musicians. Views are unforgettable.
And dancing is always encouraged.

And don’t forget the music jam Thursdays from 1 to 3. Everyone invited


The Apple Core Grill is open on weekends to serve you delicious lunch fare. Order up a scrumptious burger or the special of the day, then have a seat at one of our many picnic tables or play a game of cornhole while you wait.
Top it off with the Orchard’s own “Green Appleade”.

JUNE:: Saturday/Sunday, 11 to 4 pm
JULY: Friday-Sunday, 11 to 4 pm
AUG-OCT: Wednesday-Sunday, 11 to 4 pm


Just a short walk up the path in front of the red barn grows the regenerated Peoples Pollinator Garden with over 35 varieties of pollinator-friendly plants. It was revitalized two years ago in memory of co-founder Judy Carson who planted the first garden three decades ago. Take the path up the hill (across from the barn) to the garden and follow the mapped trail at its entrance through the beautiful flowers and herbs. Learn about our ecosystem while viewing the pristine Blue Ridge Mountains that surround the Orchard.


Spend a bit o’ time in the Orchard Education Center. Search for the queen bee in her summer indoor habitat. Step out onto the deck in spring and watch the barn swallows swoop as they stake their claim to nesting spots…anywhere they want. As the season moves into fall, return and watch the monarch morph from egg to larva to chrysalis—to emerge as a beautiful butterfly. At season’s end, stop by and pick up some of our milkweed seeds to plant and feed your own monarchs.


Most local folks have heard the distant rumble of trains passing through the north end of Mitchell County and on into McDowell. It’s now called CSX, but from the early 1900s until 1983, it was known as the Clinchfield Railroad.
Yet, few realize that if the railroad had not stopped and planted an apple and peach orchard beside the tracks (believed to become a great revenue stream), the Orchard at Altapass would not be.

Our thanks to the Toe River Model Railroaders of Spruce Pine who created a replica of our Orchard history and to the children who “planted” the hundreds of tiny trees that dot the painted green slopes. (Don’t forget to ask why they were planted on slopes.) Now, visitors can experience the beginnings of the Orchard at Altapass from Revolutionary War times through today’s Orchard with its music, its apples, and its many stories.


The Orchard has over eight walking trails, originally designed by and named for Eric L. Gressel, former resident, long-time Orchard volunteer, and nature lover. Some trails are more challenging than others. But all are great places to walk year-round, with family, friends, or just by yourself during those quiet times. And don’t forget to bring your dogs, on leashes of course. They’re always welcome. Stop by the Apple Shed or the Education Center (during open hours) and pick up a map to guide you along.


All kids, all ages can enjoy fun at the Orchard. Waiting to pick apples or go on a hayride? Grab a coloring sheet and take the scavenger hunt to our stand-up props. Perhaps a game of cornhole or stacking up a jenga tower. Checkers anyone? Orchard style.