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Historic Orchard at Altapass


All 144 acres of the Historic Orchard at Altapass are open for exploration to birders. Situated on a southeast-facing slope, mid-elevation woodland birds inhabit the area. Visit the Herb Garden to search for Indigo Bunting, Eastern Bluebird, Gray Catbird and a variety of other songbirds. From mid-August through October, mixed flocks of migrating songbirds are abundant. Common sightings along the Loops Overlook, above the Orchard on the Blue Ridge Parkway, include Cedar Waxwing, Scarlet Tanager, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, along with vireos, thrushes, cuckoos, and a variety of warblers. Pileated, Downy, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and Northern Flicker are also common. The Orchard presents a variety of events and activities that celebrate the area's historical, natural, and cultural treasures. Enjoy the Monarch Butterfly program, live music, storytelling, and beautiful vistas for photography. The Overmountain Victory Celebration is held in September. Guided bird walks may be arranged.

Species of Interest (Full Bird List)

Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Kentucky Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Indigo Bunting, Scarlet Tanager


northern hardwood/cove forest, oak forest & mixed hardwoods/pine, floodplain forest, river/stream

Access and Parking

The site is open from mid-May to the end of October, from 10am to 6pm, Monday, Wednesday-Saturday; 12pm to 6pm on Sunday. Closed Tuesdays, except in October.


From Spruce Pine, take NC 226 south approximately 6 miles to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Travel north on the Parkway to Milepost 328.

Google Directions

Delorme Gazetteer Page


Bird List

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