If you need a break from the bumper-to-bumper traffic or the noise of the big-city life, how about a relaxing vacation on a farm? Mosey on over to the barn and feed the chickens, gather some eggs for your breakfast, milk a cow or just stroll across the land and enjoy life at a slower pace. If this appeals to you and your family, consider a real working farm for your next vacation.
Blue Heron Farm
Owners Bill, Norma and their son, Jubal, have been operating Blue Heron Farm for 30 years, but the farm itself has been in existence since 1797.
With over 130 acres of maple trees, it is not surprising that the Coli family concentrates on the production of organic maple syrup as their primary crop. Bill thinks of his farm as “a rural and picturesque place with a low-key ambiance.” You know it’s special when you are welcomed by Norwegian Fjord horses that amble over to say howdy.
Those looking to book a farm vacation at Blue Heron can stay in one of its cottages, which come equipped with everything needed to cook your own meals. When asked if meals are provided for guests, Bill said, “we will feed you if you eat hay and grain.”
The farm is located on the slopes of the Berkshire hills, providing a relaxing atmosphere to stroll the miles of trails which are perfect for reconnecting with nature. But if you want to enjoy other activities you can try rafting on the Deer River, mountain biking and ziplining. The charming towns of Shelburne and Williamstown are a short drive away, and offer shopping, art galleries and fine dining.
East Hill Farm
Located at the base of Mount Monadnock in southern New Hampshire, East Hill Farm can provide lodging for up to 140 people in its main inn and several cottages. It’s also a popular wedding destination.
There’s something for the entire family here, including boating, fishing, water skiing, ice skating, relaxing massages and three swimming pools. Good home-cooked meals are provided, along with a special kids’ menu, served family-style so you can enjoy the company of fellow guests.
If you like to dance, you can join in square dancing or country line dancing, or you can saddle up the horses for a trail ride instead. Little ranchers ages 5 and younger can mosey along on a pony. There’s lots of room at East Hill for the kids to play and pitch in by feeding chickens, milking cows and collecting eggs.
Liberty Hill Farm
Some go to Liberty Hill Farm to celebrate anniversaries and family reunions, while others visit simply to relax and enjoy the special ambiance that comes with enjoying a vacation on a farm. “Come for the cows, stay for the food and come back for the memories,” said one guest in a testimonial posted on the farm’s website.
Cows and Vermont go together like peanut butter and jelly, and Liberty Hill has 270 cows that are ready to supply your daily dairy needs. You can even try your hand at milking the cows or bottle feeding the calves. Try fishing for some trout or salmon, or hike on the many trails that surround the farm.
The main inn was built in 1823 and there is a big porch where you can rock away your worries. Breakfast and dinner are prepared with fresh ingredients from the farm.
Everybody knows about the beautiful coastline of Maine, but there is a special place in Maine that promotes a feeling of peace and relaxation. That place is Pagett Farm. Farmers Pam Page and Don Barrett manage 63 acres of farmland with an emphasis on organic farming and raise their animals in open pastures, not the standard feedlot method.
Guests can stay in a yurt, platform tent or a nearby lakefront cottage for their farm vacation. “We protect our dark night skies on the farm and hence enjoy starry nights and fireflies,” said Pam. Guests can hike nature trails or help with the chores if desired.
For birdwatchers, there are 32 nesting boxes on the farm, so bluebirds, swallows and other fine-feathered friends are often swooping through the air at this little piece of paradise.
Stone and Thistle Farm
East Meredith, N.Y.
Stone and Thistle Farm sits in a quiet valley near the Catskills of central New York. And, if you are looking for fresh-off-the-farm food, you can’t get much fresher than this. Meat from its beef cows, lambs and goats, which are fed only grass and hay, can be purchased at the on-farm store, open by appointment.
During your visit you can tour the expansive property and, like Dr. Doolittle, talk to the animals, which include horses, cattle, ducks and goats. If you’d like to interact with the animals more, you can sign up for the chance to do some chores like collecting eggs, bottle feeding goats or teaming up with the border collies to round up the sheep. Stay overnight in the 1863 farmhouse, or the farmhouse cabin.
Would you go on a farm vacation? Tell us in the comments.
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Featured image: The Barn at Blue Heron Farm.