Things to do Near Asheville, N.C.: WNC Cheese Trail

Sheep! Mountain Farm, Burnsville, N.C., Sept. 28, 2012
Mountain Farm in Burnsville, N.C., is Full of Beauty at Every Turnopens IMAGE file
Mountain Farm in Burnsville, N.C., is Full of Beauty at Every Turn

Glimpses of yellow and orange flashed through forests of green while carefully navigating my little Kia Rio rental car along Western North Carolina’s winding US-19. (Well, it’s winding compared to flat Florida roads.) Fall was on its way into Western North Carolina and I was fortunate to see a hint of the season. My destination was opens in a new windowMountain Farm in Burnsville, a stop in the new opens in a new windowWestern North Carolina Cheese Trail.

Fall Foliage is Beginning to Show Near Burnsville, N.C., Sept. 28, 2012opens IMAGE file
Fall Foliage is Beginning to Show Near Burnsville, N.C., Sept. 28, 2012

Established earlier this summer, the WNC Cheese Trail links together artisan cheese and farmstead producers with a goal of promoting the production and sale of regional artisan cheeses as well as enhancing tourism and educating consumers. The trail sounds right up my alley: new and serves up local flavor.

Sheep! Mountain Farm, Burnsville, N.C., Sept. 28, 2012opens IMAGE file
Sheep! Mountain Farm, Burnsville, N.C., Sept. 28, 2012

Visiting the Farm on Top of the Mountain

Having just landed at the opens in a new windowAsheville Airport and needing to get back to a conference in Johnson City, Tenn., I decided to make the most of my trip by visiting Mountain Farm, as it was in the (relatively) right direction, just a hair over an hour’s drive. The cheese trail is so new, I was the farm’s first trail visitor, or at least someone who stated the cheese trail led them there. Membership is building and not all cheesemakers let visitors into their operation (primarily because they are small) but opens in a new windowMountain Farm is one that does. In addition to making cheese, it’s a blueberry, lavender and goat dairy farm.

The farm’s small herd of goats provides the milk used for soaps and cheeses. There were only two wedges of cheese left for sale during my visit and I ended up purchasing Pinnacle, a hard cheese with a strong flavor, but no musty-goat taste. In addition to goats, see sheep, llamas, and other farm animals.

I Just Missed the Lavender Bloomsopens IMAGE file
I Just Missed the Lavender Blooms

Different varieties of lavender grow on the farm between June and September and its harvested for bath and spa products and the farm’s culinary line. (Such as smokey salt with lavender – which TSA felt inclined to test during my return trip home.) In season, visitors are invited to cut their own lavender and blueberries. Each Father’s Day Weekend, Mountain Farm hosts the Lavender Festival and throughout the year, the farm offers workshops and events.

Looking for a sweet little cottage in the Appalachian Mountains? The farm rents Blueberry Cottage May through October. The cozy cottage comfortably sleeps up to eight people.

The Adorable Mountain Farm, Burnsville, N.C.opens IMAGE file
The Adorable Mountain Farm, Burnsville, N.C.

Visiting Mountain Farm, Burnsville, N.C.

“Adorable” summarizes Mountain Farm. Located just northeast of Asheville, it offers plenty to do and a reason to return. The owners are lovely and friendly and maybe it’s the lavender in the air, but it just seems extremely peaceful and Zen-like. Visit the farm Wednesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The cute store sells homemade goat soaps (get the ones infused with the farm’s lavender), honey, seasoning, cheese and other items.

The farm is open to the public the first Saturday of the month and during select events. Check their opens in a new windowcalendar of events for happenings.

Mountain Farm
3001 Halls Chapel Road
Burnsville, NC 28714
Tel: 828-675-4856
opens in a new windowwww.mountainfarm.net

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Jenn

Jennifer A. Huber is an award-winning travel and outdoor blogger and writer in Southwest Florida. Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led her to a career path in the tourism industry for more than 30 years. She spent a decade with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley, and Everglades National Parks. She founded the travel blog, SoloTravelGirl.com with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely. The unexpected death of her former husband in 2008 reminded her how short life is. His passing was a catalyst for sharing her experiences with the goal of inspiring and empowering others to travel solo. Jennifer holds a Travel Marketing Professional certification from the Southeast Tourism Society, is a certified food judge, member of the NASA Social community, and alum of the FBI Citizens Academy. When not traveling, she is either in the kitchen, practicing her photography skills, or road tripping with her dog, Radcliff.

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