Sky Top Orchard
Â Sky Top started as a curiosity that grew into a business experiment and quickly became a family affair. Today, David and Lindsey Butler run Sky Top as a full-time business. As any farmer can tell you, we are working up here even in the months when the "open" sign is taking a vacation.
Back in the late 1960s, Everette Butler (David's father) purchased a home in Flat Rock. Everette had fallen in love with this area when he began bringing David and his other children to summer camp each year. When Everette purchased his land, it only had a few apple trees on it. Though he hadn't intended to operate an orchard, it wasn't long before he began exploring the idea of farming apples. After much research and help from an extension agent, Mt. McAlpine's 70 to 80 acres were soon full of apple trees and thus began the Sky Top commercial apple farm which sold exclusively to area supermarkets.
My family and I visited this place mid-September and we enjoyed it. The apple orchards are beautiful! There was many types and varieties of apples, but almost all on the trees were rotten because they were not sprayed with any type of insecticide or there just wasn't any within reachable distance on the trees. My husband noticed that the orchard areas that were off limits (because they sell those in their store) were sprayed with pesticides and the apples were bountiful and beautiful and it kind of made me mad. We had to hike about twenty minutes into the very back of the field to find apples that hadn't been seen or picked by all the people there and then slug them up hill. The playground, animals, and bamboo forest was my sons favorite part. I enjoyed the gift shop part, but things were a bit pricey. I don't know who in the world would pay $8.00 for a candy apple, but it ain't me. Like many other reviews said, this place was PACKED. Next year we'll probably come earlier in September or go somewhere else that isn't as popular.
More crowded than NY subway and longer lines than airport check in! We heard great reviews about this orchard but our visit this past Saturday was anything but great. Not sure if picked the busiest day of the year, but it must have been close. 30 min wait to get apple basket, 15 min wait for water 45+ min wait for donuts! And, apple orchard was full of nothing. Spent 3 hours walking around for 8 apples. Not a single employee to be found outside the barn for help. Maybe this place would be good if not so crowded but not worth the drive or time we spent. Nice play area for kids.
My my my. Where do I start. I was hoping that I would like this place but the reviews are dead on. It has changed so much since I went there several years ago. The staff seem only concerned with money, It used to be a nice family place. Now the only thing I enjoyed were the donuts. Never again.
Their website does NO justice to how great this place is. I am a documentary photographer. I came from Florida to document a client and her family picking apples. The place is incredibly organized and laid out very nicely. The playground is made of cute custom made enclosures which kids can run and hide through out. There are tons of people there on weekends during picking season but it's spaced out nicely so it doesn't feel crowded! I was very impressed to learn it's completely free to enter which is great! Obviously there is a cool market to help support the project. Tons to do! A drop off circle at the entrance-- where people can drop off their families at the entrance would be a great addition! because the parking goes super far back and you really can't just hold up traffic once your in the flow you must just keep with the flow of traffic :) there is a nice treat for those who park in the back though- a beautiful skytop view of the mountains!! Angela helped me greatly through my experience! Would love to go back!
Unfortunately I can not give this place a good review, since their dog attacked my dog for no reason at all. I took my family there Saturday with my dog. There were many dogs there. I even asked going in if it was ok to bring her in, the answer was yes. All the employees greeted us not one person said a thing about her. Again many dogs there. I went to the counter to pay for our pumpkins and jelly. As I finished up paying I saw a dog come out of the back room behind the counter. Did not think much of it, until it put it's head between my sisters legs from behind. As we both looked at each other, the lady behind the counter said "oh she is very possessive of this counter" before she finished her statement the dog attacked my dog, through my sisters legs. with my young niece and nephew right there. The dog did NOT have a collar on so we could not even get a hold of her. A very large man (a customer) came over and kneed it in the side and pulled it off my dog. The lady behind the counter actually said "oh we don't allow dogs in the stand" not a single person from the stand asked if we were OK or apologized. If you know your dog is aggressive we would you have it loose in a massive crowd. This is NOT OK. My dog was bit in the mouth and has two scratches that are raised enough to raise her fur. Beware if you bring your dog to this place. I usually go to Granddad's I will be going back there from now on. I had to go back in an ask for the manager for anyone to have any concern of this incident even then I did not feel like there was much concern until my sister said "what if she bit a child would your attitude be different then". I personally would never own an aggressive dog and have it around people.