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.

***Masks Required inside Fruit Stand To keep staff and guests safe, we are requiring face masks be worn while in any area where you encounter others so expect to wear them in the Fruit Stand, in the doughnut line, the playground and any area not out in the orchard while you are picking. You must also maintain a distance of 6 feet in any lines or any place where you encounter others. ***

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.

  • Fresh-made apple cider doughnuts
  • 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
  • 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 typically 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. *This information is historically accurate. With Covid and changing school schedules and travel patterns, this pattern could change.

Hours

Once we open for the season, we are open 7 days a week except for Thanksgiving Day and will remain open until the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

Our hours are 9am - 6pm until Daylight Savings Time ends. After DST ends, we're open daily from 9am - 5pm.

U-Pick typically runs from opening day until the end of October but can go longer depending on weather and supply/demand. You can U-Pick from the time we open at 9am until 30 minutes before our closing time.

There may be times in the season when U-Pick is unavailable due to ripening times of some varieties so be sure to check our picking schedule page to make sure we are offering U-Pick when you plan your visit especially as we near the end of the picking season.

We ask that you visit on weekdays whenever possible to keep crowds down on weekends. All of our offerings are the same whenever you 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

We invite you to create family memories at the orchard and charge no admission fee. Visit the playground, animal farm, bamboo forest, picnic area, or farm stand area where you can find fall favorites like fresh cider, jams, jellies, carmel apples and our famous doughnuts.

If you plan to pick apples yourself, please visit our U-Pick orchard area and see an attendant to pre-pay for apples and pick up a special bag for picking.

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. This year we are experimenting with offering pre-ordered pick-up (TBD) so traffic patterns and signage may be different from what you are used to. Please watch for signs and attendants to direct you.

As you can imagine, weekends are our busiest time with most arrivals happening from 10am - noon making 10am-3pm the busy time. We have added additional parking areas located across the street from the entrance of the orchard. If this area is open for parking, you will be directed there when necessary.

In years past when we've reached capacity, some guests chose 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 across the street or 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

Restrooms are located near the Picnic and Playground area. We have two womens restrooms - one for "Hens & Chicks" with baby changing stations and one for "Hens" which is a standard women's restroom. We offer a separate men's restroom for "Roosters". Please be conscientious of other guests and help us keep these areas clean and outside doors open to reduce touch points. Please let us know at the front desk if you have concerns and we will address them the best we can.

Dog Policy

Please no dogs in the fruit stand. Follow signs to bypass stand

We know dogs are members of the family and they are welcome here but not in the Fruit Stand. We ask that you please obey the posted signs and that other members of your party purchase apples and get baskets as you wait outside the Fruit Stand for them. You'll see signs near the main parking area when you arrive. If you are here on a slow day and park in front of the fruit stand, look for Paw Path signage to direct you to either the Picnic and Playground Area or to the rear of the Fruit Stand. Please see the dog map for details.

If you want to access the picnic/playground area or restrooms and are in the Orchard, please walk around the front of the building to access those areas.

Dogs should remain on leash at all times and we ask that you please pick up after them.

Please do not allow your dog too close to or harrass our farm animals. It is stressful for them and others. Thank you!

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

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 and prebagged apples and Asian Pears in 1/2 peck, peck and bushel sizes.

Picking apples and hiding them or placing them in any place besides the U-Pick bag is not appropriate. We reserve the right to inspect bags, strollers, backpacks, etc...but let's not let it come to that. Keep it fun for everyone.

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 or pre-purchased bag. 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.

Food Options

You can bring your own food and enjoy a picnic at a table near the Playground or you can forego lunch here and visit our friends down in the Village of Flat Rock.

We also have apple cider doughnuts available for purchase as well as apple cider slushies, water, soft drinks and Sky Top's Best Hard Ciders.

Please note that our Doughnut Building closes 30 minutes prior to the close of the orchard so please plan accordingly.

Group Visits

Sky Top is a great place to bring a group for a tour with advance notice and plans to social distance. 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. Groups should read and share the Rules of Sky Top prior to visiting. 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 email us.

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 just down the road is another great place to visit.

Plan a Visit Soon and Often!

By entering Sky Top Orchard, visitor assumes all risk and agrees that Sky Top Orchard shall not be held responsible for any accident, injury or illness occurring on the premises. You further agree by visiting to allow your image to appear in photographs or video used for advertising or commercial purposes without compensation or attribution. Bees are a natural & necessary part of an orchard. Please be kind to bees you encounter & be aware in their presence. We reserve the right to inspect bags, strollers, backpacks, etc... to prevent theft.