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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 be very busy; it can be similar to attending a sporting event or concert, with many people arriving and departing at the same time. Traffic can be very heavy with delays in and around this historic area.  Please allow extra time in your day for traffic slowdowns (make sure your gas tank is full).

    • Visit us on a weekday or off-peak time
      • To avoid peak crowds, we strongly recommend visiting on a weekday (we are open 7 days/week),
      • Columbus Day Monday is a peak traffic day
      • We open at 8AM on Saturday 10/5, 10/12, and 10/19 – take advantage of the early hour to avoid the peak
      • November is a great time to visit to enjoy the fall color as well as lighter crowds
    • Area Traffic Notes
      • PLEASE NOTE THAT 1-64 IS UNDERGOING CONSTRUCTION ON AND AROUND EXIT 121 (the exit you take to reach us as well as Monticello and area wineries) AND THIS MAY CAUSE EXTRA DELAYS.
      • Route 53 (Thomas Jefferson Parkway) is a 2 lane road, with heavy traffic on weekends.  When departing the orchard, most folks are making a left turn off of our road onto Route 53 to head back to I-64.  There can be significant delays in merging our outgoing traffic into this traffic.  We have a flagman at this intersection on weekends to assist you in safely arriving and departing the orchard.  Please follow all instructions.
      • 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.
      • We work closely with our county police department during this peak time.
    • Orchard Parking Notes
      • We contract a professional traffic and parking service, and these attendants work diligently to keep traffic moving as smoothly as possible.  Please follow all instructions from this crew.
      • 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 until parking spaces free up.
      • 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.
      • Our peak times on Saturdays and Sundays are from 10AM – 4PM.  Please avoid these times if at all possible.
    • Stay updated on social media.
      • Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates on traffic conditions near and in the orchard.  We will post if/when we near capacity, if/when we have to close to traffic until parking can free up, and when we are able to re-open

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 smoking or vaping ANYWHERE on our property, including parking lots, orchards, or any of our grounds.
      • 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 
      • 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.