#EscapeWithNCAg is a year-long series that will focus on agritourism across North Carolina. Many farms, wineries and other agricultural businesses in our state offer events such as tours, yoga, educational classes, pick-your-own events and festivals, to entertain the public and teach them about our state’s number one industry. Each Thursday, we will feature a new site for you to visit with friends or family. Stay tuned and learn how to escape the stresses of life by diving into agriculture!
Waynesville is a corner of our state often associated with peace, community, and happiness. In November of 2020, Gayle and Ken decided to add to the local environment by opening Winchester Creek Farm to the public. The farm is home to a variety of miniature animals, including goats and highland cow, as well as alpacas, chickens, dogs and more. “Our mission is for this farm to become the happy place of each individual that visits us,” Gayle said. “I found my happiness and peace in this community, with the animals and on this farm, so my goal is always to share that with others.”
Recently named the #1 attraction in Waynesville, Winchester Creek Farm offers a variety of events for the public to enjoy each year! In the midst of a pandemic that was causing lots of fear and anxiety across the world, Gayle and Ken wanted to give joy back to the community by hosting their first Easter on the farm. “Easter holds a lot of traditions that are fun for kids, like egg hunts, bunny cuddles and the Easter bunny,” Gayle said. “Since COVID-19 took a lot of those activities away, I wanted to recreate those memories and traditions in a way that was fun and safe.”
Easter on the farm is a highly anticipated event in the community today! Every visitor 12 years old or under walks away with a goodie bag filled with a variety of Easter treats, like candy and play item. The farm tours offered at the event also include two golden eggs for two lucky individuals to win that will award them a special prize from the farm store on-site, aka Granny’s House. “This year the event will take place on April 8th and 9th,” Gayle said. “The entire farm will be decorated for Easter and the Easter bunny will be here to meet the kids and take photos. It’ll be a great time for everyone!” Tickets can be purchased online for this event at $16 for adults and $14 for kids under 12. Younger than three get in for free.
In addition to Easter on the farm, visitors can experience Halloween and Christmas with the animals, or head out for a general farm tour, school field trip, senior trip or group trip. “We cater to all individuals because this farm experience is really about networking with the community and teaching them about agriculture,” Gayle said. When taking a farm tour, visitors will learn about a variety of animals, native plants on the farm and how to preserve the land.” The animals can also be fed and loved on throughout the tour where willing. “We don’t force our animals to come up and speak to people, so there are days where they have their moods and want to be left alone just like people,” Gayle said, “however, they all typically love to meet new people and adore the attention they receive on these tours.”
As visitors walk along the tour path, QR codes can be found at various stops that interested parties can scan to learn more about the animals showcased in that area. “I love the education piece of these tours and events on the farm because we get to teach kids and adults alike about this lifestyle and homeplace that we love,” Gayle said. “It’s amazing to see people connect with the animals and watch their faces light up as they understand and learn more about them. The best reward is to hear people tell me that this farm is their happy place.” Over the past three years, Gayle and Ken have met people from all across the world! “We love sharing our story and meeting new people,” they said. “It’s such a blessing to do what we love for a living and be able to see the joy that it creates in others.”
Upon entering and exiting the farm, visitors can stop by Granny’s House for a variety of local treats and souvenirs. The gift shop first started out in the tack room, which is now used for a photo booth and meeting room, but later transferred to the farmhouse at the very front of the property. Complete with a beautiful front porch, rocking chairs and picnic tables, it’s the perfect place to enjoy a family lunch or ice cream during your visit. “Growing up, our family always used to meet up at Granny’s House to spend the afternoon together,” Gayle said. “That’s what I hope this store will be is a place for families to make memories together and take home a keepsake to remember their time at Winchester Creek Farm.” Inside the shop, visitors can find many goodies from the farm, other businesses in the community and even other states, including alpaca stuffed animals, socks, hats, dryer and nesting balls, yarn, dairy products, snacks, candles and more.
Whether hosting a large event at their beautiful pavilion, a holiday special event or a general farm tour and visit to Granny’s House, Winchester Creek Farm provides an experience you are sure to remember for a lifetime. Check out their website or social media pages to book your trip today and find your new happy place in the heart of our North Carolina mountains! #NCAgriculture