Sky Top Orchard is a few miles off US HWY 25 in Flat Rock, North Carolina, just across the South Carolina line. It sits atop Mt. McAlpine and boasts wonderful views. Parking is free and the entire area is very kid-friendly. You can buy apples by the bag or take a half-peck and pick your own. There are many varieties of apples in the orchard, and some are ready to pick before others. As you might expect, the orchard also sells items like apple butter, sauce, icees, cider, vinegar, and their famous cinnamon-apple donuts.
The donuts are made to order. Check out this hour-long line.
It’s very common for families to bring Radio Flyer wagons and drag kids and apple baskets up and down the countryside.
I got to Sky Top Orchard at the right time. This place will be crazy crowded by noon. pic.twitter.com/DmH0JEMJRJ
— Chad Chandler (@chad_chandler) September 1, 2013
If you come late in the fall, you’ll be walking all the way to the other side of the mountain to access the unpicked apples. I’ve seen dads lumped on the ground in awkward piles of sweat, seeking a brief respite over the moans of screaming kids because they misjudged the long uphill climb back to the store.
The site has public port-o-lets and hand sanitizer stations. Kids can also enjoy a play area and petting zoo. Picnic tables abound. And if the ground is dry, you can lay a blanket and have a picnic anywhere the hayride tractor doesn’t run. I highly recommend bringing some BBQ from Hubba Hubba Smokehouse up the road in Flat Rock then and then buying some freshly made donuts for dessert. It’s great day trip that’s also close to the Carl Sandburg House (you can take the kids to pet the goats) and the Flat Rock Playhouse.
If you come on a pretty day in the fall or summer, remember to bring sunscreen and bug spray. The trees and low and don’t provide much shade form the southern heat.
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