Planning Your Visit to the Orchard
ORCHARD CONDITIONS UPDATE 10/16/14
We know that many of you are planning to visit the orchard over the weekend. The excessive rains of the past 5 days have caused extreme conditions in the orchard. This is peak apple harvest time, and we are expecting tremendous crowds this weekend, which can cause traffic back-ups and parking issues.
We want to be realistic with our customers. You’ve supported us for many years, and we ALWAYS want your experience with us to be first-rate. We know many of you drive a long ways to visit us, and we don’t want you to be disappointed. If you are planning to visit Carter Mountain this weekend, you may want to consider coming on a different day, for the following reasons:
· Due to the excessive rains of the past 5 days, the Orchard and Parking Areas are EXTREMELY muddy.
· Parking will be limited, as some of our normal parking areas will not be usable due to the mud.
· The orchard terrain will be wet and slippery.
· Traffic will be congested both coming up and going down the mountain.
· We may have to stops cars from coming up the mountain for periods of time throughout the day.
· We are open 7 days a week! You can pick apples, buy apple cider donuts, do our wine tastings, get your pumpkin, and shop in our Country Store every day of the week.
· We are running hayrides on Fridays, as well as Saturdays and Sundays, weather permitting.
· We recommend a visit in November. The crowds are down, there are still plenty of apples to pick, and we make apple cider donuts every day. Peak foliage is typically in early November.
· Our farm in Crozet, Chiles Peach Orchard, is open 7 days a week as well. Pick apples and take a trip to our Pumpkin Patch. www.ChilesPeachOrchard.com
Thank you again for your loyal patronage.
We’re glad you are visiting! Here are some tips to help you make the most of your time with us!
1. Carter Mountain Orchard is a non-smoking, tobacco-free facility. Smoking is not permitted anywhere on our property, including ALL outside areas. This means - no cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes, vapor cigarettes, chewing tobacco, etc.
2. Dress properly! This is a working farm, on a mountain. The ground can be uneven. Depending on the weather, it may be dusty, muddy, slick, etc. Proper footwear is important. We do our best to keep poison ivy at bay; if you are allergic, long pants are recommended. Sunscreen is always recommended, as are close-toed shoes.
3. This is private property; all grounds, buildings, and roads are open only during our posted hours. Please do not drive up the mountain outside these hours.
4. No hiking, running, biking, etc on our road - this is for your safety! There is much traffic on our road, including farm vehicles, during business hours, and the property, including grounds and road, are closed all other times.
5. No outside alcohol is permitted.
6. No grilling or open flames are permitted at any time.
7. We love dogs too. However, please keep in mind that there are often large crowds at Carter Mountain and some dogs may not do well around a lot of people. Also, there are folks that aren't fond of dogs. It's recommended that you leave your pets at home for the comfort and safety of all guests (and pets!).
8. During our peak season (September and October), please keep in mind that the orchard will often be very busy! If it’s a beautiful day, lots of people will have the same idea – to come pick apples! There is often a lot going on in Charlottesville on autumn weekends, including UVa football games, events at Monticello and local wineries, leaf peeping, etc. Charlottesville highways and roads can be quite congested at times, as can our orchard. Be patient! We work hard to accommodate as many folks as possible; it is possible that we reach capacity at some points during the day (remember, we have no control over how many people show up at a given time). We’ll do our best to get you up (or down) the mountain, parked, and started on your fun outing as quickly as possible. To avoid the peak crowds, we recommend visiting during the week (we’re open every day!), or early on weekend mornings (we tend to get pretty busy by 11 or so). Otherwise, be patient, and enjoy your time with your family and friends!
9. We regret that we are unable to accommodate buses and oversized vehicles on Saturdays and Sundays in October - we'd love to have your group but have no parking and turnaround space for these vehicles. Thank you for understanding.
10. You are responsible for paying for everything you pick – please watch your children!
HOW TO PICK YOUR OWN
You must check in with Carter Mountain staff BEFORE beginning to pick. Not all areas of the orchard are open to the public. We'll give you picking instructions, let you know what and where to pick, and let you know everything you’ll need to know for the day!
- You are welcome to bring your own reusable grocery bags for picking. We do provide plastic bags if you do not have containers.
- Please respect our private property, and only pick in areas that are open. Not all fruit is ripe at the same time!
- If you pick it, you must pay for it!
- All fruit and merchandise must be paid for PRIOR to putting it in your car. Please keep your receipt handy - we reserve the right to check them in the parking lots. We will prosecute any and all thefts.
- For safety, climbing of trees is not permitted.
- Help us keep our orchard clean and safe. Do not throw fruit, or put any on the ground. If you pick it, it must go in your bag and you must pay for it.
- Please report to Carter Mountain staff any activity that goes against our policies - help us keep the orchard clean and safe and enjoyable for all!