Located at mile 328.3 on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Spruce Pine, North Carolina, the Orchard at Altapass offers free live local music and dancing five afternoons a week from April to September and weekends in October, as well as storytelling hayrides and walks, birdwatching, a network of hiking trails, a butterfly garden and exhibit, a history exhibit, a lunch wagon, a country store, U-Pick apples in the fall, and sweeping views of the Blue Ridge Mountains all year. Open every day except Tuesdays from May to September; open daily in October. Hiking trails open all year.
The Orchard at Altapass was established more than a century ago by the Holston Land Company, an arm of the Clinchfield Railroad. In 1995 Katherine Trubey purchased the Orchard's 280 acres in order to preserve its beauty and unobstructed views. In 2002 a nonprofit organization, the Altapass Foundation, Inc., was established to oversee the natural and historical preservation projects associated with the Orchard at Altapass. The mission of The Altapass Foundation, Inc. is to: Preserve the history, heritage, and culture of the southern region of the Blue Ridge; Protect the Orchard land with its apples, wetlands, butterflies, and other natural features; and Involve the public in the unique Appalachian Regional experience.