New maps help locate agritourism adventures
Finding a moonlit hayride in the mountains, alpaca farm in the Piedmont or a pick-your-own berry field near the coast just got easier. Full-color, fold-out maps of North Carolina agritourism farms can be found at state Welcome Centers, county extension offices, state farmers markets and other spots across the state.
Agritourism refers to agricultural activities on a farm, ranch or vineyard that provide entertaining and recreational experiences.
The free map, published by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, is updated for 2009 and features 213 farms and vineyards with barnyard animal exhibits, pond fishing, pick-your-own sites, vacations, weddings, unique meeting spaces for business retreats and more.
“I’ve wanted to provide North Carolinians and visitors with a map of agritourism farms for a long time,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Now it is going to be much easier to spend time with your family while learning about our state’s rich agricultural heritage and way of life.”
The map includes contact information, seasonal specifications and directions from major N.C. cities for each farm. The map also classifies farms into eight categories: Hayrides/Mazes, Barnyard Animals, Groups/Tours/Food, Choose ‘n’ Cut/Pick-You-Own, Lodging/Camping, Walk-ing/Riding Trails, Slow Dining/Picnics and Handicap Accessible.
Individuals, businesses and organizations are invited to order maps, either individually, packages of 25 or boxes of 300, by calling Martha Glass, manager of the NCDA&CS Agritourism Office, at (919) 733-7887, ext. 276, or by e-mail at email@example.com.
In addition to these maps, a searchable directory of farms is available online at www.visitncfarms.com, which lists farms by both county and category.
These maps were made possible by a grant from the Tobacco Trust Fund Commission and support from the NCDA&CS Marketing Division and Agritourism Networking Association.