RALEIGH – Fall is one of the most anticipated times of year for agritourism operations, but the devastation from Hurricane Florence has left many farmers unsure if they will be able to offer pumpkin patches, corn mazes and other agritourism activities this year.
“Agritourism farms in Eastern North Carolina were most affected, but we’ve received reports of damage from flash flooding and high winds in the Triad, Charlotte metro and other parts of the state as well,” said NCDA&CS agritourism marketing specialist Annie Baggett.
Several farms were already open for the fall season before Hurricane Florence made landfall. Many of them had to close for two weekends or more. Baggett said the lost revenue has a major impact on farmers who use agritourism to supplement their farm income. The impact is even greater for farmers who also had major crop damage from the hurricane.
Following is a list of farms affected by Hurricane Florence that are offering agritourism activities this fall. The list is provided by the N.C. Agritourism Networking Association. Visitors are encouraged to verify event dates and hours of operations before they go.
Eastern North Carolina
*Hood Swamp Corn Maze in Goldsboro is a sixth-generation family farm that offers educational games and a corn maze. The maze is open Fridays and Saturdays through mid-November.
*Hubb’s Farm in Clinton is home to one of the largest fall festivals in Eastern North Carolina. The farm is open Fridays through Sundays until Nov. 10. Each weekend features a different family friendly theme. The farm is also open for educational tours by appointment Tuesdays through Fridays until Nov. 9.
*Maze Craze at Galloway Farm in Columbus County will be open from Oct. 6-Nov. 24 on Saturdays and Sundays. The farm offers a 13-acre corn maze, hayrides, slides, farm animals and more.
*Sonlight Farms in Kenly is open Saturdays through Nov. 3, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Several special events are planned, including Farm Daze on Oct. 6 and the Black Out Challenge on Oct. 27.
Central North Carolina
*Almond Farm in Concord will be open Saturdays and Sundays in October, and will offer a corn maze, hayrides and a playground area.
*Brantley Farms in Mocksville will open its Winter Farmers Market on Oct. 27. The market will run Saturdays through Dec. 15 offering baked goods, pasture-raised beef and pork, free-range eggs and fall produce.
*Denton FarmPark in Denton will host an outdoor expo on Oct. 20 with hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities. The expo will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
*Fine Family Farm, located at 5064 NC Hwy. 49 in Denton, will offer pumpkin picking, hayrides and farm animals Oct. 6 and 13 from 3 -7 p.m. On Oct. 20, families can visit the farm to carve pumpkins with goats.
*Flint Rock Farm in Cameron will offer educational activities and on-farm learning for school field trips and family outings through Nov. 16 by appointment. In addition, the farm will hold a “Not Just a Barn Dance” on Oct. 19 and day camps on Nov. 6 and 12, and Dec. 1. Registration for the dance and day camps is required.
*Gallberry Corn Maze in Hope Mills opens for the season Fridays through Sundays until Nov. 4. The farm offers a variety of activities including a six-acre corn maze, jumping pillows, hayrides, firepits, farm animals and more.
*Gross Farms in Sanford is open Fridays through Sundays until Nov. 4. The pumpkin patch will open Oct. 6. The farm also offers a 10-acre corn maze, slides, pedal cart tracks, picnic areas and more.
*Happy Tails Alpaca Farm in China Grove will give visitors a chance to paint with the alpacas and make felt this fall. Painting classes will be held Oct. 6 and Nov. 17 from 1-4 p.m. Felting classes will be held Oct. 7 and Nov. 18 from 1-4 p.m.
*Huckleberry Trail Farm in Siler City will be open its pumpkin patch Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 29. Field trips are available on Thursdays and Fridays. The farm offers accessible parking and many activities for those in wheelchairs.
*Lazy O Farm in Smithfield will host a family friendly Trick-or-Treating Corn Maze on Oct. 27 from 1 to 5 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to wear their costumes and children 12 and under can go trick-or-treating through the maze.
*Millstone Creek Orchards in Ramseur will celebrate all things pumpkin with its OktoberFest, each Saturday and Sunday in October. Each Friday and Saturday, the orchard will stay open from 5-9 p.m. for hayrides, movies and a musical lightshow. In November, the orchard will host its Fall Carnivale with pecan picking, turkey shoot, firepits and more.
*Mitchell’s Nursery & Greenhouse in King will have a Fall Container Workshop Oct. 6 at 10 a.m.
*Paradox Farm Creamery in West End will hold an Open Farm Day on Oct. 7 from 1-4 p.m. The working farmstead goat dairy also will host a Pour N Paint event on Oct. 13 from 4-6 p.m.
*Rabbit Ridge Nursery in Coats offers tours and pick-your-own fall berries. The nursery currently has red and gold raspberries, and muscadine grapes available. Hours are Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon.
*RayLen Vineyards and Winery in Mocksville will have several special events in October. On Oct. 6, the winery will host music in the vineyard from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The winery will stay open late on Oct. 12 for Friday Night Live. On Oct. 19, the winery will host a pumpkin decorating event from 5:30-8:30 p.m.
*Spring Haven Farm in Chapel Hill will have a fall festival celebration Saturdays and Sundays in October. During the event, visitors can tour the farm and carve a pumpkin with baby goats.
*The Community Farm at Chestnut Ridge in Efland offers a pumpkin patch, hayrides, face painting, farm animals and more. The farm is open for the season Saturdays in October from 9 a.m. to noon.
*The Farm in Dobson is open for the fall season Fridays through Sundays until Nov. 4. The farm has a corn maze, you-pick pumpkins, a pizza farm, T-shirt garden, popcorn garden and more.
*Tractor’s Corn Maze in Wake Forest is open Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 28. Tractor’s offers an eight-acre corn maze, hayrides, pumpkin patch, pumpkin painting and more.
*Wisolina Farm is a small-scale alpaca farm in Wake Forest. The farm has plans to offer special holiday shopping Nov. 23-24. Visitors can shop for alpaca yarn, socks and other gift items and meet the alpacas on the farm.
Western North Carolina
*Cherry Mountain Farm in Rutherfordton will open for a Angora Goat Shearing Day on Oct. 14 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Learn how fleece is sheared, washed, carded and spun into useful items.
*Devine Farms in Newton offers farm animals, wagon rides, corn mazes, pumpkins, plus a hands-on ag education center. The farm is open Saturdays and Sundays in October.
*Raffaldini Vineyards and Winery in Ronda will host its fall season wine dinner on Oct. 13 from 6-9 p.m. The meal features seasonal food and wine pairings hosted by Jay Raffaldini. On Oct. 14, visitors also can go on a personal tour of the vineyards with Jay Raffaldini from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
*Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard in Hendersonville is open for apple season Saturdays and Sundays through October. The third-generation farm has more than 20 varieties of apples, as well as pumpkins, wage rides, corn mazes and the apple cannon.
*The Orchard at Altapass in Spruce Pine will be open for the fall season Wednesdays-Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Oct. 28. Visitors can enjoy free music, go on hayrides with historic story tellers and walk trails along the property.
*Triple BBB Vineyard in Shelby will offer visitors the chance to pick their own muscadine grapes this fall. The vineyard is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays-Sundays through November.
North Carolina is home to more than 1,000 agritourism farms. A complete list of agritourism activities for the fall season is available at https://www.ncagr.gov/paffairs/release/2018/Agritourismfarmsofferfamilyfunthisfall.htm.