Fall is here, and these farms and attractions are the Boone area's very best.
It's that time of year, and certainly a favorite, to deck out family domains with the fruits of the season. As soon as you detect fall in the air, get outside for the day, find the cheekiest jack-o-lantern, get lost in a corn maze, sip on hot cider and nibble on cider-flavored goodies, or pick apples at a nearby orchard. The farms listed below offer more than pumpkins and strolling through crunchy leaves. You'll also find tractor-pulled hayrides, nighttime attractions, decorative gourds and Indian corn, scarecrows and concessions. Whether you're looking to decorate your fall table or create memories with the kids on a crisp, fall day, you'll find all the ideas you need to build a memorable autumn trip to Boone.
Tip: Wear shoes and pants you don't mind getting a little dirty in, and bring along colorful clothing layers to switch out for a variety of photo ops, and to adjust to changing temperatures.
About a 15-minute drive southwest of Boone in the community of Valle Crucis stands a 7-acre farm with a picturesque old barn and a farm-stand brimming over with pumpkins and pie-pumpkins for sale. If it's decorative gourds you want, they've got them, and you can also opt to pick-your-own pumpkins in the field. Open mid September through October, Friday - Sunday.
Suggested add-on: Stop in at the Original Mast General Store ca. 1888, just a few doors down, catch some live music on the porch, peruse the store, as well as other shops in the complex: The Garden Shed, the Little Red Schoolhouse (Mast Store sales and clearance), Rivercross Made in the U.S.A. (an amazing collection of artisanal crafts), and, another few doors down, the Mast Annex and Candy Barrel. From here, you can take a tiny jaunt behind the Annex and Candy Barrel to a hidden, recreation gem, the Valle Crucis Community Park. The park offers handicapped-accessible restrooms, playgrounds, picnic shelters, disc golf practice baskets, and paved walkways leading to the bank of the Watauga River, a favorite fishing and birding spot. Strollers, roller blades, small bicycles, etc. are welcome. Park closes at dusk.
East of Boone, just off U.S. 421 in the Deep Gap community, take a drive down Laurel Gap Ridge Road to the Brown family farm and New River Corn Maze. Find a wide array of pumpkin varieties to suit any decorative, baking, or carving needs. Play a game of cornhole, get lost in the corn maze - day or night - and take a tram ride around the farm. Cash or check. Enjoy a picnic by the South Fork of the New River, the headwaters a designated National Wild and Scenic River. Open in mid September through October, Friday through Sunday. Call ahead to confirm pumpkin availability.
Suggested add-on: After returning to U.S. 421, head over to the Todd Community for a look at a quaint Appalachian town on the banks of the New River. About 100 years ago, Todd was a bustling railroad town, and a one-time contender for the county seat. Now, it's a tiny but favorite place to access the New River for tubing, kayaking and fishing, a scenic spot for bicycling along Railroad Grade Road, and a gathering place where old-time music and dancing liven up the Walter and Anne Cook Memorial Park or the creaky wood floors of Todd Mercantile's upstairs room. Rent fishing rods and lures, kayaks, river tubes, and bicycles at RiverGirl Fishing Company, or check out Wahoo's Adventures for guided trips on the river.
Directions to Todd from New River Corn Maze: Drive 421 south for 1.7 miles and turn left onto Brownwood Road. Follow Brownwood 2.8 miles to the junction with Cranberry Springs Road. Continue to the left on Cranberry Springs Rd. about .6 mile to the junction with Railroad Grade Road. Turn left onto Railroad Grade and follow it 4 miles to the community of Todd, NC. Later when leaving Todd, you can return to Boone via N.C. 194 South (11 miles). Or, head toward N. Wilkesboro: return to Cranberry Springs Road and follow it 3.5 miles to U.S. 221 S. Follow 221 South 1.8 miles to U.S. 421 S.
Located near Boone's Greenway trails and Brookshire Park, C&J's Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze offers a delightful corn maze and a variety of pumpkins grown on their farm. Weave through their corn maze, take a hayride around the farm, pick out the perfect pumpkin for carving and displaying on your porch. Then, snack on apples, candy apples and giant marshmallows. In the month of October, from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM every Friday and Saturday the corn maze transforms into a haunted trail; enter at your own risk. Cash, cards and checks are accepted. Open Friday, Saturday, and Sundays until October 31st.
Suggested Add-on: Stop at Booneshine Brewing Company on the way to or from C&J's, to try Booneshine's seasonal brew, Overlook Oktoberfest, or a hard apple cider on tap. Enjoy a delicious meal from the food truck out on the hill in their beer garden, or sit down in the tasting room & pet-friendly patio to sample from the brewery's full menu.
Norway's Corn Maze is located in Boone, near the Watauga Community Recreation Center and Boone Greenway. Open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in the month of October. Play fall-themed games and join in on other autumnal activities after trying to find a path through the maze. Choose from many varieties of pumpkins, mums, handmade crafts and more.
Make a weekend of it! Check out our lodging page when you're ready to plan your trip to Boone's best pumpkin patches and corn mazes.
Looking for more fall fun? Head to the Holidays page to find out when and where to go trick-or-treating, try a haunted trail, or find Halloween-themed performances in the High Country.
Related links: 5 Scenic Drives in the Boone Area for Fall