What’s hot among those looking for nearby adventure? Agritourism. Every weekend, local explorers visit Kansas farms and ranches to learn about regional agriculture production, sample great products and step into another life for a day (or even longer). Some great places to start:
- Alpacas of Wildcat Hollow in Eskridge raises alpacas and produces yarn and alpaca products. Meet the animals, learn fiber crafts, and consider a Farm Stay, which allows you to stay on the farm, participate in chores and get a true hands-on feel for raising alpacas. Visitors are asked to schedule visits before arriving.
- The Flying W Ranch at Cedar Point is a working cattle ranch that introduces guests to the authentic cowboy culture of the Flint Hills. Enjoy horseback riding, cattle drives, wagon rides, prairie burns, wildflower walks, star gazing, fishing and hiking in the Kansas Flint Hills. This 7,000-acre cattle ranch is operated by fifth-generation Flint Hills ranchers.
- Heartland Farm at Pawnee Rock is an 80-acre farm run by the Dominican Sisters of Peace as a ministry committed to healing and caring for the Earth and all of its inhabitants. Visitors learn about sustainable farming and explore the straw bale buildings, acoustically perfect silo and the organic garden. Amenities include a retreat center, hiking, experimental art, massage, educational tours, bird watching, various workshops, a herd of 18 beautiful alpacas and a five-bedroom guest house for rent. Tents and RV campers are welcome as well. The gift store offers soft alpaca products, free-trade chocolates, hand-thrown pottery, note cards and more.
- Klinefelter Farm in Hiawatha is a 480-acre working commercial farm that benefits Highland College students pursuing farming careers. Visitors enjoy nature trails, a ropes/challenge course, bee hives, an orchard, a vineyard, vegetable gardens, a native American heirloom seed garden, a historic chuck wagon, and wildlife habitat including a half-mile quail habitat project sponsored by Quails Forever. Visitors are always welcome, and farm tours are available.
- Moore Ranch at Bucklin, a working Longhorn ranch in southwest Kansas, is popular with travelers from around the world. Visitors experience cowboy life by helping to gather cattle on horseback, round up horses, learn to rope, brand cattle and cook in Dutch ovens. Hikers love exploring the rolling hills, trees, creeks and rocky hillsides, and observing the wildlife. Visitors can stay in on-site cabins, and guests enjoy outdoor, family-style meals.
- Providence Hill Farm in Atchison is a small dairy goat farm that offers various tours and classes. The farm raises goats and goat milk skincare products, including soaps and lotions. Visitors are asked to schedule visits before arriving.