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Visitor Guidelines

We look forward to seeing you on the mountain! Here are our policies, as well as some insider tips, to help you make the most of your time with us.

Visiting During Our Fall Peak Season

During peak apple season (weekends and holidays in September and October), please keep in mind that the orchard will often be very busy; it can be similar to attending a sporting event or concert, with many people arriving and departing at the same time. We appreciate your patience!

  • Visit us on a weekday! To avoid the peak crowds as much as possible, we recommend visiting during the week (we’re open every day!), or early (prior to 11:00) on weekend mornings. Other events in the Charlottesville area (UVa football games, wine festivals and other events, leaf peeping, etc.) can add to this region’s weekend traffic.
  • Stay updated on social media. At times we may reach our parking capacity (remember, we have no control over how many people are arriving at the same time) and if so, we’ll have to deny entry to road to the orchard until parking spaces free up. We contract a professional traffic and parking service, and these attendants work diligently to keep traffic moving as smoothly as possible. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates on traffic conditions near and in the orchard.
  • We regret that we are unable to accommodate buses and oversized vehicles (anything longer than 20′) on Saturdays and Sundays in October. We’d love to have your group visit; however, we have no parking or turnaround space for these vehicles on our peak days.
  • Guidelines for Visiting Carter Mountain Orchard

    • Dress properly! Be prepared for a walk of anywhere from 5-15 minutes each way to the orchard, up and down hills. Depending on the weather, it may be dusty, muddy, slick, etc., and the ground is hilly and uneven. Sturdy, close-toed shoes are recommended. Don’t forget your sunscreen! Although we do our best to keep poison ivy at bay, long pants are preferable.
    • We recommend leaving your pets at home. Any pets who do visit the orchard must be properly socialized, well-behaved, and leashed at all times, and are not permitted in our buildings or on a hayride. Please clean up after your pet, even in the orchard. (At Chiles Peach Orchard, pets are not permitted in our strawberry and pumpkin patches.)
    • NO grilling, fireworks, incense, or open flames are permitted at any time.
    • NO hiking, running, biking, etc. is permitted on our road. This is for the safety of everyone!
    • NO outside alcohol is permitted by ABC law. Wine and hard cider are available for purchase.
    • NO trespassing. All of our orchards are private property; grounds, buildings, and roads are open to the public only during our posted hours.
    • NO drugs or tobacco of any kind (chewing tobacco as well as cigarettes—including electronic/vapor) are permitted on our property at any time. This includes parking lots, orchards, buildings, and all grounds.
    • No weapons, even if legally carried, are permitted. The only exception is for law enforcement officers.
    • Interested in taking photos? Please note our photography guidelines.

    Pick-Your-Own Fruit

    1. You are responsible for paying for everything you/your children/your group pickplease keep an eye on children who may be overly enthusiastic!
    2. You must check in with our staff prior to picking. On the weekends, we have Information Stations set up. During the week, stop in the Apple Barn for your welcome and instructions.
    3. You may bring your own containers for picking. If needed, we are pleased to provide plastic bags.
    4. We do not provide stick apple pickers. If you choose to bring your own, it must be an “official” fruit picker, and not a homemade version, as these are not effective and cause many apples to fall to the ground. No butterfly nets, pool nets, soda bottle on a stick, etc.
    5. Please respect our private property and only pick in the areas you are instructed to enter. Keep in mind that not all fruit is ripe at the same time.
    6. All fruit must be weighed and paid for BEFORE being put in your car. Please keep your receipt handy—we reserve the right to spot check!
    7. For the safety of our guests as well as to protect our orchard, climbing of trees and shaking of branches is not permitted.