Plan Your Visit

Credit: Molly McKinney of WISTV in Columbia, SC as part of Palmetto Weekend.

If you've never visited, we hope you'll read everything on this page to plan your visit but if you just need the highlights, click on the bulleted items below to jump down the page. Click the back button to come back to the top of the page.

What You'll Find at Sky Top

Never been to Sky Top before? You are in for a treat! Our orchard sits atop beautiful Mt. McAlpine affording a panoramic view of the surrounding mountains. If the view were all we offered we'd still be worth the drive but you'll discover our views and fruits and vegetables are just part of the magic of our 100 acres. We provide the backdrop where memorable experiences blossom! Download a map to see all that we have to offer. Also read rules for visiting the orchard. To make the most of your visit to Sky Top Orchard, use the adjacent packing list as a guide.

  • Tractor-pulled hay rides (there is no actual hay in order to accommodate those with allergies)
  • A small pond where you can feed ducks (bring change for feeders)
  • An animal area where you can visit farm animals and friends
  • A large playground area for the kids
  • A bamboo forest to explore
  • Wooden cut-outs for picture taking and memory making
  • Fresh apples, cider and produce at our fruit stand market
  • Fresh-made apple cider donuts
  • An assortment of goodies for gift baskets and take home treats
  • Acres of mountain top paradise where you can roam searching for the perfect tasty treat
  • Plenty of places where you can commune with nature and each other

Insider tip: Mondays (except holidays and days when local schools are out) are great days to visit as we generally don't allow school groups those days and guest visitation is lower. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are second behind Mondays as far as slower days to visit. Arriving when we first open or after 3pm is the best way to avoid crowds though keep in mind this is just a guide.

Sky Top in the News

Read the latest news on Sky Top Orchard here.

Hours

Sky Top is open August to late November/early December and once we open, we are open 7 days a week except for Thanksgiving Day.

Our hours are 9am - 6pm until Daylight Savings Time ends. After DST ends, we're open daily from 9am - 5pm. The orchard remains open until the last week of November/Early December. Weather often affects our closing date so check our picking schedule page or Facebook for details.

Our U-Pick season typically runs from opening day in August until the end of October. Be sure to check our picking schedule page to make sure we are still offering u-pick when you plan your visit. After u-pick closes, we still offer all the goodies and events we had during picking season, you just choose apples from the stand instead of picking them yourself. You can check the picking schedule to see what's available for your visit.

Getting Here

The approach road to our orchard begins at the intersection of Greenville Highway and Pinnacle Mountain Road and, though only a mile, there's a significant change in altitude on your way up. The views will be breath-taking off to your left (see above) so be mindful of other folks taking in the scenery on their way up and down the mountain. There are no places to pull off so just take it slow and take mental snapshots. If you are lucky and it has recently rained, you'll get the thrill of seeing clouds hanging in the valleys between the ridges. It's spectacular and one of the many reasons to love autumn in the mountains. Driving Directions to Sky Top

Admission

Unlike orchards up north, Sky Top charges no admission fee to visit and no reservations are required for individual guests. Groups should make reservations as mentioned below.

Parking

Parking is free at Sky Top. On busy days, you'll be directed where to park so watch for attendants upon your arrival.

As you can imagine, weekends are our busiest time with most arrivals happening from 10am - noon making 10am-3pm the busy time. On Saturdays and occasionally on Sundays during September and October, our parking area may reach capacity despite our best efforts. When this occurs, guests often choose to park on the side of the road outside the orchard entrance. This is not something we require or advise and if you choose to park on the roadside, it is at your discretion and risk. If you are uncomfortable with parking on the roadside, we advise you to visit on a weekday or to arrive when our gates open at 9am on weekends. If you visit on an off-peak day, you are generally able to just park where you find a spot inside the gates.

Restroom Facilities

Our rural setting doesn't lend itself to all the comforts of home. City water and sewer do not reach the orchard and septic tanks are impractical so you will find Port-o-Johns instead. A little hand sanitizer and some "just-in-case" pocket tissues make for good companions. Please be conscientious of other guests and help us keep these areas clean. Please let us know at the front desk if you have concerns and we will address them the best we can.

Dog Policy

We know dogs are members of the family and we happily welcome them at Sky Top. We ask that they remain on leash and that you pick up after them. Dogs are not allowed in the fruit stand since food is served there. We are not a public park so dog walkers and packs of dogs are not allowed in the orchard.

We take dogs left in cars very seriously. Because we do not have shaded areas where you can leave your dog safely, we ask that you please leave your pooch at home unless someone remains in your air-conditioned car with your dog during your visit."Dogs can have a stroke or a seizure...even 5 minutes can kill", says the Henderson County Sheriff's Office Animal Enforcement Division.  On days when the temperature is 75 degrees, temps in the car can reach 118 degrees-even when the car is parked in the shade with the windows cracked. 

Friendly Reminders

We know how much fun it is to explore our mountaintop and this pleasure is included in the purchase price of all our produce and products. Loads of love and effort go into creating and maintaining this little slice of paradise, and tempting though it may be to just stop in for a visit to enjoy the scenery or visit the animals, please keep in mind that this is our family's livelihood and when all is said and done, we depend on your purchases to enable us to continue to share this experience with you and future generations.

Sky Top is a working orchard so expect to see tractors and employees out and about on the farm. For your family's safety, we ask that you keep children with you at all times and do not allow them to free roam the orchard and that you adhere to the Rules of Sky Top. There are designated, fenced-in play areas where you can loosen the reigns a bit and just relax and enjoy the scenery. We ask that you picnic only at the pavilions and parking lot tables and not in the orchard.

Sky Top is a business and apples are our main source of revenue. We depend on the sales of those apples to keep the orchard running, to buy supplies and do renovations to meet demand for the next season. When apples are used as balls or toys, when they're picked to be used as a prop or plucked as a sample and then discarded, they aren't able to be sold. Discarding one apple may seem small but as busy as we are in full season, it doesn't take long for this kind of activity to add up to a large volume of unsellable apples. Discarded apples create their own issue because they attract yellow jackets to the very place people are trying to pick. It's for these reasons we have had to become more proactive in enforcing a policy that has always been in place - Pick only what you need and keep what you pick. If you prefer, you can skip u-pick and make your selections from pre-picked apples in the bins near the kettle corn but we know how fun U-pick is so please enjoy and just follow the guidelines we've established..

The orchard is supposed to be a fun place. That's why you are visiting. That's the experience we want you and all our guests to have. There is no rush here. Take your time when picking. Gently inspect each apple before plucking and once you pick, put it in your basket and bring it into the stand to be weighed along with all your selections. Children should be supervised when they are picking as well. It's that simple and everyone wins when the orchard is treated with care and respect. We thank you for understanding.

Group Visits

Sky Top is a great place to bring a group and we can accommodate up to 300 guests for a tour with advance notice. Please download the appropriate informational packet below. Our reservation forms are Google Drive documents. Some businesses block access to Google Drive so you may need to view from home or on your smart phone or tablet. Should you have difficulty accessing, please email us.

  • All youth oriented groups (schools, homeschools, youth groups, church groups, scout troops) must register using the Field Trip Reservation Form. School groups should download and read our Field Trip packet prior to registering. Note: Field Trip groups on weekends do not receive the educational lesson but should still register with us.

  • Groups without children (Tourism Bus Groups, Senior Centers, College Groups, etc...) are asked to use the Group Reservation Form. Groups with children should not use this form. Groups should read and share the Rules of Sky Top with guests prior to visiting.

Should you need to make changes after registering, please call us at (828) 692-7930.

Birthday parties are not a Sky Top offering. You are welcome to celebrate birthdays with us but we will not coordinate or reserve areas for you. On a first-come, first-serve basis, you may gather at an available picnic table for 1 & 1/2 hours and must purchase items (hay rides, apples, etc...) from the orchard as part of your visit. You may not use the orchard solely as a backdrop for your gathering. Please keep decorations to a minimum and clean up after your event including removing balloons and decorations. The building adjacent to the small pavilion is a private residence and not available for use or entrance.

Area Info

Explore all that our area has to offer by visiting nearby Flat Rock, NC. You'll find shopping and restaurants and an assortment of accommodations. The Village of Flat Rock and the shops of Little Rainbow Row are approximately 3 miles away if you turn left onto Hwy 225/Greenville Hwy at the stop sign where Pinnacle Mountain Road and Hwy 225 intersect.

The town of Saluda is a great place to visit in the evening as restaurants on Little Rainbow Row close at 7 except on nights with concerts (first Saturday of the month through October).

Plan a Visit Soon and Often!