4 Great Back-40 Getaways - Modern Farmer

4 Great Back-40 Getaways

In the last six years, the number of farms and ranches offering overnight adventures jumped from 300 to more than 800.

California's Bar SZ Ranch offers daily hayrides.
Photography Courtesy of Bar SZ Ranch

In the last six years, however, the number of farms and ranches offering overnight adventures jumped from 300 to more than 800, says Scottie Jones, executive director of the U.S. Farm Stay Association. With so many choices, we’ve narrowed in on a few exceptional experiences.

Bar SZ Ranch, Paicines, California

At Tim and Michelle Borland’s ranch, wannabe cowboys can rustle cattle on horseback and shoot skeet. After nightfall, bring your s’mores supplies down to the community campfire – then look up and marvel at the Milky Way. (From $400 a night for a fully equipped cabin, which sleeps up to 10; barszranch.com)

Vermont Grand View Farm, Washington, Vermont

Kim and Chuck Goodling run a fiber CSA on their 1794 farmstead overlooking the Green Mountains. In addition to helping tend the couple’s flock of European Gotland sheep, you can learn how to weave, spin, or dye wool. (From $170 per double, breakfast included; grandviewfarmvt.net)


Vermont’s Grand View Farm raises Gotland sheep for its wool CSA. Kim Goodlin

The Inn at Crippen Creek Farm, Skamokawa, Washington

Many farm stays feed you goods grown out back, but Don and Kitty Speranza encourage visitors to use the 15-acre spread’s organic produce, free-range eggs, and pastured meats in cooking classes, such as Artisan Bread Baking and Pasta Perfection. (From $135 per double, breakfast included; crippencreek.com)


At Crippen Creek Farm in Washington State, Simon Fazio, grandson of the owners, samples a strawberry. Liz Speranza

Kinnikinnick Farm, Caledonia, Illinois

Part of the Feather Down farm-stay network, this organic vegetable operation in northern Illinois puts guests up in tents. Don’t confuse that with “roughing it.” Each stand-alone structure sleeps up to five adults (in real beds) and boasts fully outfitted kitchens. As for where to get groceries? Kinnikinnick’s owners, David and Susan Cleverdon, stock an “honesty shop” with treats and staples from other area producers. Simply grab what looks good and leave the payment in the box. (From $650 per tent per weekend; kinnikinnickfarm.com)


Luxe tents dot the land at Kinnikinnick in Illinois. Coral Von Zumwalt


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