CTNC recently protected the Orchard at Altapass, ensuring that the land will remain a working apple orchard and vibrant Blue Ridge Parkway visitor destination long into the future. CTNC and the NC Clean Water Management Trust Fund (CWMTF) purchased conservation agreements (easements) on the 125-acre orchard that will ensure its permanent preservation. The Orchard nestled below the Parkway between mileposts 328 and 329, lies within more than 3,500 acres that CTNC has already protected.
“The Orchard at Altapass is truly one of the most special places along the Parkway. Its combination of scenic beauty, rich history, Blue Ridge mountain culture, and outright fun can’t be beat, ” said Blue Ridge Parkway Superintendent Mark Woods.
The orchard is open from early May through October, hosting approximately 50,000 visitors who can enjoy 150 musical performances and clogging, experience Revolutionary War history and local storytelling, purchase fresh apples, fudge, and ice cream, and take part in hayrides and environmental education activities. The property contains a portion of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, the route walked by patriot militia to the pivotal Revolutionary War battle at Kings Mountain.
Kit Trubey bought the 276-acre orchard twenty years ago to prevent development of the unique property. CTNC began working with Ms. Trubey and her brother Bill Carson 15 years ago to protect forever the Orchard’s land, apple trees, trails, vistas, and cultural heritage. In 2001 CTNC purchased 132 acres of the orchard property upslope of the Parkway and donated it to the National Park Service for inclusion within the Parkway’s official boundary.
CTNC continued working with Carson and Trubey to ensure the long-term existence of the orchard, culminating in the conservation easements signed on March 26th, 2015. Carson and Trubey agreed to sell the easements at a generously discounted price, and CTNC purchased the easements with funding provided by CWMTF, Fred and Alice Stanback of Salisbury, and many other individual donors.
“We’re absolutely thrilled that all of the ‘good stuff’ at the Orchard at Altapass – the apple trees, music and dance hall, scenic vistas, hiking trails, and values of the community – will be protected for future generations to enjoy,” said Orchard at Altapass co-owner Bill Carson.