Our Story

In 1995 Katherine Trubey purchased 280 acres of unrestricted land straddling the Blue Ridge Parkway to preserve its historic beauty and prevent development that would destroy the views from the Parkway. Though the land was bought as a preservation project, the new owners recognized that they had much more than Blue Ridge Parkway views and heritage apples to preserve. “Kit” Trubey, together with Bill and Judy Carson, began a journey: to preserve the unique history and culture of Altapass, and to use The Orchard at Altapass location to showcase it.

In 2002 the natural and historical preservation projects associated with The Orchard, McKinney Gap, and Altapass were placed under the umbrella of the nonprofit Altapass Foundation, Inc. Then in 2004, the orchard and the general store were incorporated as a supporting nonprofit organization. Together, the Altapass Foundation, Inc. and Altapass Support, Inc. promote and support the many special projects of the Orchard. These projects attract an increasing number of visitors to the area each year and bring together locals, tourists, and vacation property owners.

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. We depend on contributions from Altapass Foundation members and donors to continue the many programs and projects aimed at preserving the land, the history, and the culture of Altapass. We invite you to support our mission by becoming a Member of the Altapass Foundation. Individual memberships start at just $30 per year.

There’s no better place to learn about Appalachian culture than at the Orchard at Altapass. First, there are the extraordinary hayrides where guides tell engaging traditional stories. Listen to authentic regional music (think fiddles and banjoes); sample fudge, jam, and jellies; indulge in some of the many varieties of apples growing in the orchard in the fall; and watch craft makers. Visiting the Orchard is a way to experience a cross-section of what Southern Appalachia has to offer all in one afternoon

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Orchard People

Bill & Judy Carson

Bill & Judy Carson

Orchard Founders

Bill is CEO of the Altapass Foundation, Inc.

Kit Carson-Trubey

Kit Carson-Trubey

Orchard Founder

Julia Wynkoop

Julia Wynkoop

Store Manager

Wilma Carlisle

Wilma Carlisle

Store Staff

Jill Carson-deWittHamer

Jill Carson-deWittHamer

Consultant

Charlotte Edwards

Charlotte Edwards

Fudgemaker Extraordinaire

Amy Weinmeister

Amy Weinmeister

Orchard Naturalist

Starli McDowell

Starli McDowell

Mission Manager