Agritourism is a familiar tradition in Maine, offering a chance for people to learn about farming and its importance to local economies. Many folks may be most familiar with spring, summer and fall activities that offer a hands-on or behind the scenes view of Maine’s working landscapes. The chances to meet farmers, support local agriculture, and visit farms continue throughout the year in Maine. Wintertime offers a variety of ways to meet local farmers and learn more about Maine farms and their contributions to Maine’s quality of place and space.
Here is a way you can enjoy winter on a farm while supporting local farmers:
Go for a Sleigh Ride
High View Farm in Harrison has been in the Winslow family since 1810. When the snow flies, this traditional dairy farm is transformed into a winter wonderland. Guests are treated to a real over-the-river-and-through-the-woods experience as they board the Winslow’s sleigh and are pulled through snow covered fields by a team of Belgian draft horses. The stop in the woods for hot chocolate and marshmallows by a roaring fire is a special treat.
Darcy Winslow, who owns and operates the farm with her husband William, said, “It’s an excellent way for family and friends to enjoy winter in all its snowy glory. Nothing compares to witnessing a Maine winter at a sleigh’s pace.”
Carousel Horse Farm in Casco also offers group sleigh rides. A driver and a team of horses lead the farm’s six-seat sleigh along a wooded trail out to a back pasture, offering views of Mount Washington. Guests often see deer and wild turkey along the way. A smaller red sleigh is used for romantic couples’ rides.
Goranson Farm in Dresden has a 50-minute sleigh route looping through the farm’s sleeping vegetable fields, by the banks of the Eastern River, and along the wood line. There are blankets on hand if you catch a chill, and the sleigh driver will happily sing songs or lead a sing-along upon request.
Winterberry Farm in Belgrade is another option for those looking to step back into yesteryear this winter. The farm’s pair of Haflinger horses, Nestor and Ginger, guide guests around the perimeter of the farm in an old-fashioned sleigh built in the 1870s. Those who want to be hands-on are welcomed to help harness up the team. Winterberry also offers a “Maine’s Ultimate Comfort” sleigh ride, a two-hour experience that includes a toasty fire and a pot of soup.