In the hustle and bustle of our busy lives, it’s important to carve out time to disconnect from the digital world and reconnect with the physical world. There’s no feeling quite like that of fresh air in your lungs, dirt beneath your shoes and sun on your back. With a growing focus on sustainability and the importance of care in all aspects of our food production throughout the world, we invite you to spend time having fun on the farm with our local farmers and food producers, and reconnect with the importance of supporting those who spend each day cultivating a better, healthier world.
Find grounding at Letchworth Farm B & B, a stunning equestrian estate on the edge of the “Grand Canyon the East,” Letchworth State Park. Set on 88 acres just steps from the entrance of the park, you can immerse yourself in the experience of being on a working horse farm and unplugging from everyday life. Co-owner Daisy is a decorated equestrian as well as coach, (she was Madonna’s riding coach!). The farm offers trail riding and horse-riding lessons, along with a variety of other ways to enjoy the outdoors. Letchworth State Park’s many trails are just steps from the farm for a day filled with hiking, mountain bikes and stand up paddle board rentals and a 1.5-acre swimming pond onsite, equipped with a BBQ facility.
Just a short drive away, you’ll find golf courses, hot air balloon rides and fishing. Head back to the farm and stay overnight at the guest house, which has four uniquely decorated rooms with two additional self-contained apartments adjacent. If you have a horse, you’re welcome to bring it along!
Good food is the sum of its ingredients, and East Hill Creamery knows this holds true for cheese. Their cheese is made exclusively from the raw milk from their grass fed, pasture-raised cows. In fact, 700 cows call this farm and the surrounding fields home. The focus here is on the elevation of traditional farmstead cheese to a sustainable level every locavore will love. The Creamery produces mainly Alpine-style cheeses, inspired by the “terroir” of their farm. No visit is complete without a tour by owner Gary, who is more than happy to take you behind the scenes of the cheese making process and share their efforts to produce quality and sustainable cheeses from happy cows.
If you don’t have time for a full farm trip, stop by their cheese vending machine in Perry, NY. Accepting credit cards and cash and open 24/7, you can enjoy the breadth of their cheese offerings from a convenient vending machine.
The Finger Lakes are known the world around for their wines, and Eagle Crest and O-Neh-Da Vineyards on Hemlock Lake is no exception. Founded in 1872 as O-Neh-Da, the winery is the oldest authentic producer of sacramental wine in the country and expanded to include Eagle Crest to answer the rising demand for table wine. A true farm winery, the focus on sustainability and respecting nature has remained the same for over 150 years. They use solar panels for energy, package their wines in recycled glass and use soy-based inks and re-sealable closures.
You can feel good that your support here helps them continue their mission of producing world-class wines while respecting nature and fostering joy. Grab a glass of wine and a brick-oven pizza during your visit, and don’t forget a bottle to take home! Or shop later, with free shipping offered with all online orders (because they love you!).
Alpacas may seem an unusual sight in Upstate New York, but they’re just another member of the family at Northwoods Alpacas. Bob and Belinda started their farm as a way to keep their growing family grounded and connected to nature, before realizing a passion for alpacas. These intelligent and curious animals produce a luxurious fleece from their coats that’s a more sustainable fabric than other types of animal coats, like sheep’s wool. Alpacas require significantly less land than other farm animals and have a relatively simply care routine.
You’re invited to get up close and personal with these animals, to learn more about the fabric produced from alpacas and the wide range of products made from it. A tour of the farm brings you into the barn and the field, with the opportunity to pet and feed the alpacas. After, browse their farm boutique for a wide variety of clothes, accessories and yarn.
Heading north, nestled between the banks of the Erie Canal and the shoes of Lake Ontario, Hurd Orchards is one with the land. For over 200 years the farm has specialized in fruit growing, building on the traditions of their early farmers while incorporating new sciences to keep the land healthy. The philosophy of the farm is centered around a love for the land and an endless appreciation for the gifts of the earth. Here, farming is not just a means to end of food on the table, but an expression of love and sustainability towards a better world.
Owners Amy and Susan spend their time carefully tending the land, exploring heirloom recipes for preserves and cordials, and experimenting with new varieties of fruits and flowers. Browse their selection of homemade goods from freshly baked breads, carefully prepared preserves, masterfully crafted wreaths, and more.
For a quintessential farm market experience, head to Watt Farms Country Market where they’ve focused on growing only the highest quality fruits for 40 years. Head out into the fields to pick your own fruit straight from the earth, take a train ride around the fields, and visit with the animals that call the farm home. In their country market, you can support local artisans who produce greeting cards, lotions, jams, jellies, wind chimes, local honey, cheeses, artwork and more. Don’t forget to try a sample (or two) of their homemade fudge, with 35 flavors to explore. With year-round, seasonal and limited-edition flavors, you’re sure to try something that delights.
Got milk? Lamb Farms does, producing 20,000 gallons of the delicious dairy drink each day. Visitors are welcome at the farm, where you can enjoy a free, unguided tour to peak behind the curtain and see the carousel milking parlor where 60 cows are milked at once! The health and safety of the cows is paramount here, and the animals find comfort in being milked as a group and have been found to produce more milk this way. The cows live in a free-stall barn where they’re able to roam. The floors have a rubber cushion top for added comfort and the cows nestle into a sand-covered sleeping area each night. After milking time, the cows have “choice time,” when they are free to spend their time how they like, inside or out. After your visit, don’t forget to snap a photo with the oversized cow head sculpture outside the barn!
The animals come to you at Hidden Valley Animal Adventure. What started as a passion project of a local dairy farmer has grown into a 60-plus-acre reserve. An hour-long Wild Game Safari trolly ride takes you through the park, where more than 40 species of animals live and have the choice of coming up to the window. You may make more friends than you bargained for, as each guest takes the ride with a cup of grains to feed the animals. Keep your eyes peeled for llama, zebras, watusi, burros, and two different kinds of buffalo, among the 400 animals who call this park home, and leave with a renewed appreciation for the many species who call this earth home as well.
Discover all the adventurous things you can see and do in the Fresh Air Adventures region. Then bring your travel packet with you to use while you're visiting destinations in the area.