The Mountain Wit family had an awesome time at Sky Top Orchard. Located in Flat Rock, NC, the orchard is perched on one of the highest points in the area, so just getting there was kind of an adventure. Don’t worry, though, the roads are good and the big yellow “Sky Top Orchard” signs are pretty much impossible to miss. So, we followed the signs to the parking area, which is all along the side of the mountain. Once we got to the top we were greeted by loads of parking attendants who helped us to find a parking spot.
Now on foot, we walked back across the road from our car to the orchard entrance.
Just to the right of the entrance is something you don’t want to miss: Hot Apple Cider Doughnuts! (Hot as in warm, not spicy…) You can buy them individually for $1, a half dozen for $7, or a full dozen for $12. They’re not cheap, but they’re delicious, and totally worth it in my opinion.
Continuing to the right of the doughnut counter is a large area with a great playground for the kids and a restroom facility. If you head back to the main entrance you’ll find a large, covered building overflowing with goodies. To the left side are tables where you can pick up freshly-picked apples and a snack bar which offers numerous apple-based treats.
If you want to pick your own apples (highly recommended!), you can get in the line to your right. At the end of the line you can purchase a large bag to put your apples in. Each bag costs $25 and will hold about 12 pounds of apples. Again, not cheap, but part of what you’re paying for is the fun experience of picking your own apples, and you can’t get any fresher fruit than the kind you pick yourself!
Just past this main hub of activity lies the main attraction. The orchard stretches out before you in one of the most beautiful, idyllic settings you’ll ever see. Follow the signs and the friendly staff to the rows where apples are ready to be picked fresh from the trees. Helpful tip: Make sure to check the orchard website before you go so that you’ll know what kinds of apples are available for picking that day. (http://www.skytoporchard.com/)
From there, you’re free to wander around, pick apples, take pictures, and enjoy some fun activities like the Bee Train and the Apple Cannon. For all of you hikers, this isn’t exactly what I’d call a proper hike, but you’ll definitely do a lot of walking around the mountain. Some folks might find it strenuous, but just take your time and make sure to wear proper footwear. I would recommend good hiking boots, or at least something with some ankle support. There are some wonderful views of the surrounding area if you can find the right spot.
Once you’ve had all the fun you can handle, head back to the main entrance and grab one last apple treat. If your apple bag isn’t quite full yet, there are gigantic bins full of apples that you can fill your bag with. Each bin is labeled with the variety of apple inside, but if you’re like me you may not remember what kind(s) you got once you get them home. It’s ok. They’re all good!
If you’re looking for something fun to do this fall and you’re near Flat Rock, NC, I would highly recommend checking out Sky Top Orchard. Being out in nature, soaking up the beautiful views and fall weather, and picking your own apples is great fun for families, couples, or just to go do by yourself!