The orchard was established more than a century ago by the Holston Land Company, an arm of the Clinchfield Railroad. In a good year, this award-winning orchard produced 125,000 bushels of apples. The current operation, with its 2,500 apple trees, remains active and yields 7,000 bushels in a productive year.
In 1995, Kit Trubey purchased the orchard’s 280 acres in order to preserve its beauty and unobstructed views. Eventually, the portion of the land above the Parkway was sold to the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation for preservation in perpetuity. In 2002, a nonprofit, Atlapass Foundation, Inc., was established to oversee the natural and historical preservation projects associated with the Orchard at Altapass.
The mission of The Altapass Foundation, Inc., is to preserve the history, heritage, and culture of the southern region of the Blue Ridge; protect the orchard land with its apples, wetlands, butterflies, and other natural features; and involve the public to experience the unique Appalachian region.