The Conservation Trust for North Carolina (CTNC) is working with the Orchard at Altapass to to conserve forever the Orchard’s land, apple trees, trails, vistas, and cultural heritage. Owners, Bill Carson and Kit Trubey, are dedicated to protecting this iconic Parkway landmark. They bought the 276-acre property twenty years ago to prevent development of the views, and worked with the Conservation Trust to conserve almost half the land in 2001. Now, they want to guarantee preservation of the rest, for the days long after they’re gone.
CTNC’s plan is to purchase a lasting conservation agreement on the property that will protect the orchard’s vistas and enable all of the current activities to continue. This is a complicated project because of all the orchard’s activities, their long-term stewardship responsibilities, and the need for substantial state funding.
The land, at Parkway Milepost 328, lies within more than 2,500 acres that the Conservation Trust has already protected. It connects to other portions of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail; protection of the tract will expand public access to this challenging hike. The property is also a critical piece in CTNC’s efforts to protect clean mountain streams and a wide swath of healthy forests for wildlife.
“The Orchard at Altapass brings together all the things people love about the Blue Ridge Parkway – breathtaking vistas, hiking trails, history, culture, and fun,” said Blue Ridge Parkway Superintendent Mark Woods. “I can’t imagine the Parkway without the orchard. It absolutely needs to be protected.”
If you are interested in learning more about this project and how you can help, please visit www.ctnc.org.