Nearly 20 farms in the Greater Grand Rapids area are participating in the 2016 KENT HARVEST TRAILS, providing families the opportunity to enjoy loads of country fun. Activities and tours begin mid-September and run through the end of October (although farms may actually open sooner and extend their season into early November, weather permitting).
“Things are looking good for a vibrant fall color season this year,” says WOOD TV8 Chief Meteorologist Bill Steffen. “We’ve had ample rain and the trees aren’t under any general stress at this point. We’ve also had temperatures a little above average, as well as above average sunshine, and I expect these trends to continue into the fall. This combination often brings Michigan the best fall color displays.”
Steffen says the fall color display may be a couple days behind schedule this season, with peak color in West Michigan in the second or third week of October.
During the KENT HARVEST TRAILS weekends, families are invited to build traditions and make memories by taking a tractor- or horse-drawn wagon ride to the orchard to pick fresh fruit or out to the pumpkin patch. A highlight is watching as apples are pressed into sweet cider, a perfect pairing (hot or cold) for fresh baked cake donuts.
Other popular activities include visits with animals in the petting zoo, wandering the corn maze and making a scarecrow to take home. Shopping is also at a premium, with plenty of fall plants, home decor and seasonal gifts (including early holiday shopping).
Admission for many farms is free, although there may be charges for certain activities.
Participating farms this year include Blok Orchards, Bos Greenhouse and Farm, Ed Dunneback & Girls Farm, Frozen Creek Floral & Farm, Fruit Ridge Hayrides, H & W Farms, Heidi’s Farm Stand, Honey Creek Farm, Klackle Orchards, Koetsier’s Greenhouse, Orchard Hill Farm, Paulson’s Pumpkin Patch, Post Family Farm, Red Barn Market, Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winery, Schwallier’s Country Basket, Sietsema Orchards & Cider Mill and Steffens Orchards & Market.
An updated map of participating farms, including directions and dates/hours of operation, is available online at KentHarvestTrails.org. Printed brochures will also be available for free at area Family Fare Supermarket or D&W Fresh Market locations beginning in early September.
PHOTO CREDIT: GRNow.com