At times our family business finds us in some crazy places, and I never know what I’m gonna “stumble upon”! I just love it! So…recently while I was out and about with my darlin’ daughter, we stumbled upon a great discovery – Georgia Grown Trail 37…
OK, we didn’t really stumble upon it. While spending time in Adel, we stopped at the Cook County Chamber of Commerce to ask about the Trail 37 signs we’d seen. We found a brochure and talked to Kim Burkhalter, the IT Specialist who was at the front desk. She was very helpful and pointed us in the right direction. (Definitely stop by and say “Hi!” if you’re in the area…)
Running through the nearly southern-most part of the state, from Homerville, GA westward to Fort Gaines, lies a scenic ribbon of road where you can find a growing list of U-pick farms, vineyards, dairies, specialty stores, local markets, State parks and more! In case you’re not familiar with the term, “agritourism” is, briefly, a way to combine Georgia’s top 2 economic generators, agriculture and tourism, to create a great variety of opportunities. In other words, activities that may generate income for small family farms and agri-businesses, also create lots of fun and educational things to do with your family! It would be easy to put together a boatload of day or weekend trips in this section of Georgia alone. While there are a few hotels along the route, there are also economical camping facilities, which would keep overnight costs low and the fun-factor high!
On a sunny summer day, our recent travels took us to a section of the trail where we explored:
- Reed Bingham State Park – For camping, swimming, fishing and an all-round relaxing time, you really can’t beat the GA State Park system, and Reed Bingham is no exception. Last year, my son and I found some terrific t-shirts in the gift shop for Christmas gifts, and next time I’d love to listen in on one of their interpretive programs, or rent canoes and explore…
- Horse Creek Winery – They have 2 locations; the one with the actual vineyard, outside of Nashville, is only open on the weekend. That’s another place I’m putting on my “to return to” list… The store, located right off of I-75, is opened and has lots of SOMETHING for sale, too. I do have to admit that their “wine smoothie” was tempting, ‘cept I was driving that day :-(.
- Nashville Farmer’s Market – open Thursday-Saturday, and owned by the city of Nashville, this is a cute little, nondescript place that will charm your socks off! Lots of local goodies for sale in a simple, country setting. Easy to get to off the town square…
- Georgia Olive Farms – I first discovered this place at the Georgia Sunbelt Ag Expo last year, and was just fascinated with the concept of growing olives in south Georgia (I thought they only grew in the Mediterranean!). And then to think you can buy olive plants from them to grow your own (how neat would that be?!) Let me just say I am intrigued by the whole thing!
- Avriett House, where they are committed to marketing local products of all kinds. And does anyone have any experience with a game called “High Cotton”?
On the westward end, we’re planning on a trip with all the kids to :
- George T. Bagby State Park (Lake Eufala) – We’ve actually been here before, but knowing that it’s on “the list” of places on the Trail definitely makes it worth revisiting in the heat of the summer!
- White Oak Pastures – White Oak is as committed to their customers as they are committed to treating their animals with care and respect. Their meat and poultry are fresh and healthy…Read about their committment to quality on their website.
- Still Pond Vineyard – Located in the middle of nowhere, just south of nowhere (my apologies to the residents of the region, but ya’ gotta admit there’s a whole lotta empty road to travel to get there…), I have surprisingly passed the turn-off to this place more times than I care to count (thanks to that family business thing…). What I really want to check out this summer is the “Grape Stomp” Festival (this year it’s on Saturday, August 2), where they have an “I Love Lucy” look-alike contest – remember the episode where she stomps the grapes in Italy?!
I’m really glad my travels on that recent sunny day led me to discover Trail 37… Who knows where and what else we’ll “run into” during the summer?
If you have any suggestions…please leave them in the comments!
We’re always up for a fun road trip… 😉
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