Cedarock Park Historical Farm: A Historically Fun Fall Adventure
Children and adults alike will enjoy stepping back in time for outdoor fun.
Images Courtesy of Alamance County Recreation & Parks.
The magical month of October has arrived and families across the Triad are being beckoned outdoors by cool temperatures, painted leaves and other fall happenings. Agriculturally themed activities are favored fall traditions and North Carolina farms can be counted on to provide hayrides, corn mazes and pumpkin patches. One farm in the Triad — one that combines fall fun with a journey to the past — is a treasure that should not be missed.
Cedarock Park Historical Farm in Burlington, which “provides an example of life on a farm in North Carolina during the nineteenth-century,” is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. John and Polly Garrett established the farm in 1830, when they built a small log house on the property. In 1835, the couple moved out of the log dwelling and into their new, two-story home. Both buildings survive and can be seen at the farm. The log house is “one of the earliest structures in the district.”
In addition to the homes, visitors will see a post office, smokehouse, blacksmith shop, carriage shed, barn, corn crib and outhouse. Of course, no farm is complete without animals, and there are plenty on site. Children will love watching the cows, sheep, mules and goats — one of which is likely the cutest in existence.
When visitors step inside the split-rail fence that surrounds the farm, they are immediately transported to a bygone era. This is especially true on “Open Farm” days when costumed interpreters give tours and farm life demonstrations. “Open Farm” days are free and will be held on October 1 and 22, from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.
The farm also offers a special program series titled “Foxfire in Cedarock Park.” According to Katie Gensel, the grants and communications coordinator for Alamance County Recreation and Parks, “the series of programs and workshops are inspired by ‘The Foxfire Book’ series and is presented in partnership with Alamance County Public Libraries.” Past programs have included topics such as mountain music, beekeeping, canning, pottery and woodturning. “These programs,” says Gensel, “are important as a means of celebrating the history and heritage of North Carolina traditions, particularly those with roots in Appalachia.”
Although some of the programs may be too advanced for children, the Foxfire event in October will be right up their alley. “Ghosts in the Park Storytelling” will take place on Saturday, October 15, from 7 p.m. until approximately 8:30 p.m. The spooky evening features Dr. Brian Sturm of the UNC Story Squad, who will share ghostly tales around a flaming campfire. Dr. Sturm will begin with a few “not-too-scary stories,” and then advance to some “spookier tales.” Attendees are encouraged to bring a blanket or chair and children are welcome to wear costumes if they are so inclined. The event is free; hot chocolate will be available for purchase.
The “Celebrate Cedarock! Fall Festival” also takes place on October 15 and will be held from 4 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. Children and adults will enjoy playing old-time farm games like plinko and pin the tail on the donkey. They will also get a kick out of the cow pie toss, beanbag toss and milk can toss. Other fun games include an egg spoon relay race, a sack race and a bicycle tire roll. Game participants will be treated to Halloween candy, which is an excellent incentive to take part. Additional activities include hayrides, professional face painting and storytelling. Gensel says, “This year’s fall festival includes a ‘Full Body Foxfire!’ storytelling hour with Casey’s Laugh and Learn.” During this interactive program, children will “Travel to London Bridge!” and “Find out why the pumpkin puked.” The festival is free; food will be available for purchase.
Should you wish to make a day of your historically fun fall adventure, there is plenty to do in the 500-acre park. Along with the farm, Cedarock Park offers fishing ponds, hiking trails, equestrian trails, picnic tables, two disc golf courses, kayak and canoe rentals, primitive hike-in camping, a volleyball and basketball court, a playground, and plenty of green space to run, play, or sit.
Farms are great places to visit in the fall and Cedarock Park Historical Farm is truly one of the best. Make plans now to attend one of the above-listed events. Your little ghouls and goblins will not only have fun, but will learn a bit of history too. See you at the farm!
Cedarock Park Historical Farm is located at 4242 R. Dean Coleman Road in Burlington and is open every day except Christmas. For more information regarding hours of operation, special events, volunteer opportunities, or fees related to fishing and other activities, please visit online or call 336-229-2410.
Tip: Cedarock Park offers exciting and educational events year-round. Be sure to “like” their Facebook page so you don’t miss out on upcoming activities like “Cedarock Campout!” and “Christmas at Cedarock Historical Farm.”
Jennifer Bean Bower is an award-winning writer and Tar Heel native. She lives in Winston-Salem with her husband Larry and their pet rabbit Isabelle. To learn more about Bower and her writing projects, please visit her website at JenniferBeanBower.com. Connect with her on Twitter @JenniferBBower.