Visit a Farm Trail this Spring

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Warm weather is right around the corner, and it’s time to start planning some entertaining outdoor jaunts. Consider exploring a local farm trail, which offers you an opportunity to not only visit local farms (try bonding with your kids while plucking sun-warmed peaches straight from the tree, or petting an alpaca), but also to learn about other agricultural treasures, like small wineries, corn mazes, specialty nurseries and farm festivals, that may be located surprisingly close to home.

Regional farm trail maps differ widely in design, content and sophistication. At their most basic, the maps indicate the location of participating farms and show consumers which farms are offering which products. Local food artisans – cheese, honey, beer and bread producers, for example – may also be included on a farm trail map. Some feature product and event indexes, so consumers can locate specific items; others offer a handy harvest calendar so visitors know what produce is available on the trail at different times of the year.

Here’s a list of some excellent farm trail maps:

www.calagtour.org (an University of California website which catalogs agritourism sites throughout California.)

49er Fruit Trail & Christmas Tree Lane
www.49erfruittrailandchristmastreelane.com

Apple Hill Growers Association
www.applehill.com

Calaveras Grown
www.calaverasgrown.org

El Dorado County Farm Trails
www.edc-farmtrails.org

Farms of Amador
http://groups.ucanr.org/farmsofamador

Placer Grown
www.placergrown.org/map.php

Sonoma County Farm Trails
www.farmtrails.org

Suisun Valley
http://suisunvalley.com

Yolo County Farm Tours
www.yolocvb.org/to-do/farm-tours

Yuba/Sutter Agricultural Destinations
http://www.visityubasutter.com/agriculture.aspx