If you're planning on visiting a national park this year, a nearby farm or ranch could make a good "home base" for your explorations.Lots of farms offer camp sites or tents, as well as RV hookups, and even glamping!
Nearly a mile high in the Southern Cascades, 440 acre Willow-Witt Ranch offers an experience you won’t forget. Whether you’re there for the spectacular views, a family-friendly farm stay full of activities, an event hosted on the ranch, or simply to just get away and relax, you’ll find it all at this off-grid ranch.
Through sustainable agricultural and forest management, energy independence, and wetland restoration, Willow-Witt Ranch has created quite the traveler’s dream of a rural getaway. This family-friendly ranch is a great place to bring friends and the kids along, but also offers a peaceful secluded location for couples and adults who just want to get away from it all.
Before Suzanne Willow and Lanita Witt took over stewardship and named their Willow-Witt Ranch, dairy cows and beef cattle grazed this ranch valley for more than 100 years. Restoration included fencing livestock out of critical wetland habitat, prioritizing forest planting and re-growth, and practicing sustainable farm management. In 2009 the ranch was recognized with the Watershed Friendly Steward Award. For a more in-depth history of the ranch, you can visit its website here (Ranch History)
The ranch offers an array of goods, including farm-fresh eggs, goat milk, a variety of meats and organic compost.
Willow-Witt is a community supported agricultural ranch with sustainably-raised and organically fed livestock. If you spend the night at one of the multiple farm stay options, make sure to request a grocery list of farm-grown meats and vegetables and your fridge will be stocked for your arrival. Willow-Witt is hugely involved with the Ashland Growers’ Farmers Market. You can also browse through their online farm store and get a look at what they have to offer (Online Farm Store).
From birding and hiking miles of wooded trails with pack goats to farm stays, tours, and the occasional weekend event hosted on the farm, Willow-Witt is full of family-friendly and community-oriented activities.
Kids and adults are more than welcome to help out with chores, which they often end up enjoying. Who would have thought that doing chores could be so much fun! Playing with the farm animals and gardening are two other farm favorite activities for guests on the ranch.
Willow-Witt offers a variety of ways to stay on the farm: a furnished farmhouse studio with loft, the Meadow House, deluxe platform tents, and, if you want to pitch a tent, there are private campsites nestled within the trees.
The Farmhouse Studio sleeps up to six, features a wood stove and full kitchen and overlooks beautiful meadows.
The Meadow House, a beautiful three bedroom two bath is available for farm stay or just the day for events.
Glamping, or glamorous camping, is another vacation option on the ranch. Platform tents and campsites come with the use of a fully equipped kitchen, hot showers, towels, bathrooms, and a complimentary tour of the farm.
Your next adventure starts here. Plan your trip and (Book Now). If you’d like more information, check out their (Farm Stay profile here).
(Photo Credit: Willow-Witt Ranch)
"This place is like an undiscovered gem," says
Bridget McNees, who along with her husband Mac owns Whit's End Ranch
outside of Clifton, Tennessee. Many of Bridget's "camping cabin" guests
agree, and once they arrive they can't help but call on their
friends to come join them, saying, "You're not gonna believe this
place. You have to come out here." As Bridget tells me, one cabin rental often
The Ranch is a 307-acre parcel of land. At Whit's End, there is
plenty to explore: forest, trails, hayfields where a neighboring
farmer cuts hay, 27 acres of pasture, creeks and rivers, and a
beach perfect for swimming for kids and adults both. Guests choose
from seven secluded
cedar cabins made of wood harvested and hand-milled on the
property by Bridget and Mac. The seven cabins combined can sleep up
to 25. Bridget calls them "camping cabins," but these are far from
roughing it in a tent.
The cabins are private, set back in the woods, and come complete
with fridges, microwaves, linens, heat, air conditioning, and
covered porches. There's also a communal outdoor kitchen and grill.
Guests get the perks of a hotel room and of camping, both in one
place, and they don't have to pack anything but food. Bridget, who
has camped all over the U.S. and Canada, is a warm and amiable
host. Guests seem to become quick friends with her (and with each
Bridget is more than willing to show guests her various building
projects around the property, and to teach them what she knows
about construction if they're interested. Guests can also learn to mill lumber
and drive the tractor to help with forestry work and maintenance.
But most of
them focus on "kicking back and relaxing" on the creek side
beach, Bridget says. She tells me she's not planning to build any
more cabins, so that the kind of vacation Whit's End offers is
always going to be an idyllic, "Pollyanna-type" experience.
The area around the ranch is full of activities: horseback riding at
Green River Stables, where Whit's End guests get a special deal,
canoeing on the Buffalo River, or golfing at a Jack Nicklaus
signature golf course. Despite all the attractions, says Bridget,
the area is very quiet for all it has to offer.
The town of Clifton is an historic riverboat port with
well-preserved old-time lanterns and cobblestone pathways. The
small town has everything you need -- restaurants, a dock, a
pharmacy, and Bridget's favorite, a "beautiful little café" that
she likes to recommend to guests for breakfast and lunch, and for
the "eye candy" antiques that the café owner sells onsite.
Whit's End Ranch
offers 7 cabins that rent for $75 (no kitchenette) to $100 (with
kitchenette) a night. Cabins sleep up to four guests, and all are
welcome to use the outdoor barbeque and common area kitchen.
For more information,including Bridget McNees' contact information,
check out the Whit's End
Ranch Farm Stay U.S. listing.
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