RALEIGH – From celebrating alpacas to picking apples and from corn mazes to pumpkin patches, N.C. agritourism farms are full of family fun this fall.
“Whether it’s picking fruits and vegetables or learning about livestock, agritourism farms offer a fun way for the general public to learn about agriculture,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “With about 600 agritourism farms across the state, it’s easy to find an agritourism experience near you.”
Following is a listing of several agritourism farms opening their doors to visitors this fall:
— Apple Hill Farm in Banner Elk will hold an open house to celebrate National Alpaca Farm Days with guided farm tours Sept. 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sept. 25 from noon to 4 p.m.
— Alpaca Dreams in Louisburg also will hold an open house Sept. 24 and 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
— Perry Farm Alpacas in Hillsborough will hold its celebration for National Alpaca Farm Days on Sept. 24 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
— Justus Orchards in Hendersonville will offer apple picking at the farm through mid-October. The century-old farm offers more than a dozen varieties of apples.
— Millstone Creek Orchards in Ramseur will host Apple Fest 2016 each weekend of September. The celebration includes apple picking, cider-press demonstrations and apple pie eating contests. The orchard also will host Oktoberfest Saturdays and Sundays in October with pumpkin-themed activities.
Corn mazes and pumpkin patches
— Blackwell Family Farms in Oxford opens its corn maze Saturdays and Sundays in October. The farm also has a paintball shooting gallery, pumpkin patch and farm animal petting zoo.
— Corn Maze at Hubb’s Farm in Clinton, Sept. 17-Nov. 14. Hubb’s Farm is open to school groups Tuesday-Friday and to the public Friday-Sunday. The farm features a corn maze, pumpkins, hayrides and a ride on Cranky the Combine.
— Cukabury Farms in Fairmont will open its Maze Craze and Pumpkin Fetchin’ Sept. 26-Nov. 4. The program is open to private groups and schools Monday through Friday.
— Gross Farms in Sanford will be open Sept. 17-Nov. 6. The farm offers a corn maze, pumpkin patch, hayrides and other activities for the public on Saturdays and Sundays. The farm will open on Fridays starting in October. School groups can schedule weekday appointments during the season.
— Lineberger’s Maple Springs Farm in Dallas will offer a pumpkin patch and pick-your-own muscadine grapes starting Sept. 2. The farm also offers weekend hayrides in September and weekend and weekday afternoon hayrides in October.
— Odom Farming Co. in Goldsboro will run a corn maze and pumpkin patch Sept. 24-Nov. 5 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
— Thomas Family Farm in Richfield will kick off its first season with a grand opening on Sept. 12. The farm will have a pumpkin patch and other fall activities Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 31.
— Greenlands Farm in Bolivia will host a Farm to Fork Tapas and Tour on Sept. 24.
— Grove Winery & Vineyards in Gibsonville will partner with the N.C. Cheese Trail to host its Cheers to Cheese Fest on Oct. 1 from 1-5 p.m. The event will feature local wine and cheese pairings.
— Goat Lady Dairy in Climax hosts monthly farm-to-fork dinners during the fall. Each dinner features a five-course meal featuring locally sourced products. Fall dinner dates are Sept. 23 and 24; Oct. 14 and 15; Nov. 11 and 12; Dec. 2 and 3.
— Carolina Farm Stewardship Association will host its 10th Annual Eastern Triangle Farm Tour Sept. 17 and 18. The self-guided tour includes 25 Triangle-area farms.
— Cypress Bend Vineyards in Wagram will host its 12th Annual Fall Harvest Festival and Grape Stomp on Sept. 10 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visitors can pick grapes, compete in a grape stomp and enjoy other grape-related activities.
— Deans Farm Market in Wilson will host a fall festival Sept. 24 and 25. The celebration will include hayrides, children’s games, pumpkin decorating, a soybean maze and other activities.
— Franny’s Farm in Leicester will be the site of Asheville BARNAROO 2016 Sept. 30-Oct. 2. The weekend music festival promotes local food and musicians.
— Happy Hills Alpaca Farm in Monroe will host its Spinning Yarns Festival on Oct. 22. The event features storyteller Linda Goodman, Celtic music and farm tours.
— Hop’n Blueberry Farm in Monroe will host a Monarch Tag and Release event on Oct. 1. Guests can catch migrating butterflies in the farm’s Zinnia field, tag them for research and release them back into the wild.
— Raised in a Barn Farm in Chocowinity will host the N.C. Sunflower Festival Sept. 2-4. The event includes live music, games, food and hot-air balloons.
— Rising Meadow Farm in Liberty will hold its 14th Annual Farm Fest on Sept. 25 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event features fiber animals, shearing demonstrations, food vendors and more.
Visitors are encouraged to call ahead to check operating hours. A complete list of agritourism farms is available at www.VisitNCFarms.com. The online directory provides contact information and allows visitors to search by areas of interest and location.