Vacationing Down On The Farm

Travel Q&A

Agriculture: Some Families In The Midwest Rent Rooms And Let Visitors Observe Or Participate In Work With Crops And Livestock.

April 20, 1997|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

I think my grandchildren would benefit from exposure to the sights and sounds of a family farm. Are there family farms in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin that accept children?

"How you gonna keep 'em down on the farm?" was a famous musical question. And there are several family farms in the states you mention ready to help with the answer. But the farm activities you can expect to see, such as the birth and raising of calves, vary. And although you and your grandchildren can participate in some hands-on activities, the work is often dangerous, so your access will be limited.

In Michigan: House and Carriage Bed and Breakfast, 7020 Brown Road, Jonesville, Mich. 49250; 517-849-2732; a 700-acre dairy farm where guests can milk cows and feed livestock. Rates: $40 to $85 a room, with breakfast. Rooms in hosts' house.

In Minnesota: Evergreen Knoll Acres, Route 1, Box 145, Lake City, Minn. 55041; 507- 753-2795; a 240-acre dairy farm with 70 head of cattle. Rates in a guest house nearby: doubles: $99, $10 each extra person. Continental breakfast included.

Grandfather's Woods, 3640 450th St., Kenyon, Minn. 55946; 507-789-6414; a 420-acre farm with crops and some livestock (dairy tours nearby). Doubles: $70 (with breakfast); a family-sized suite is $120 for four.

Triple L Farms, R.R. 1, Box 141, Hendricks, Minn. 56136; 507- 275-3740. This 283-acre farm produces corn and beans, with some calves and sheep to feed in summer. Doubles for the three rooms in the owners' house are $55, breakfast included and children free. A rudimentary bunkhouse, described as a "Little House on the Prairie" experience, is $35 a night, with no meals.

In Wisconsin: Dorset Ridge Guest House, 22259 King Road, Wilton, Wis. 54670; 608-463-7375; a 400-acre dairy farm. Guests stay in a separate farmhouse. Doubles (no breakfast): $80 for one night, $70 a night for two nights and $60 a night for longer stays; each additional guest $10.

East Shore Inn, N2577 Lake Shore Drive, Chilton, Wis. 53014; 414-849-4230; an 800-acre dairy farm where guests can bottle-feed the newborn calves. Rates are $60 for two, $10 each additional person, in a four-room guest house with a hot tub.

Ethilton Farms, N1324 Highway O, Hartford, Wis. 53027; 414-474-7258; a 150-acre farm with organically grown produce. Rates: $40 adults, $25 younger than 10; with breakfast.

Just-N-Trails Bed and Breakfast, 7452 Kathryn Road, Sparta, Wis. 54656; 608-269-4522; a 213-acre farm with rabbits, chickens, goats and calves. Lodging in cottages (doubles: $80) with fireplaces, or a log home ($175 to $200). Breakfast included.

Trail-Side, R.R. 1, Box 182, Wilton, Wis. 54670; 608-435-6525; a 500-acre dairy farm with some pigs, too. Six rooms in owners' home, each with private bath, and a pool. Doubles: $90, $10 each extra person. Breakfast included.

Trillium, Route 2, E10596 Salem Ridge Road, La Farge, Wis. 54639; 608-625-4492; an 85-acre organic farm with some livestock. Rates in a guest cottage are $65 a night for two, $25 each additional person. Breakfast included.

Wolfway Farm, W2105 County Road B, West Salem, Wis. 54669; 608-486-2686. Guests can watch 160 cows being milked on this 700-acre farm. Doubles: $65, plus $10 each additional person, with breakfast. Accommodations in owners' home.

I would like to visit hot springs near Santa Fe, Los Alamos or Taos, N.M. Can you suggest some?

Jemez Springs, 505-829-3303, is about an hour southwest of Santa Fe on state Highway 4. The bathhouse was built in the 1870s and expanded in 1940. Recognized as a state historic site, it offers mineral baths, an outdoor tub and massage and sweat wraps. A half-hour in a private tub is $7 weekdays, $8 weekends. An hour is $10 weekdays, $12 weekends.

About 6 1/2 miles north of Jemez on Highway 4 is Spence Springs, free hot-water pools in a public park. The site is unmarked; look for the next parking lot after the Battleship Rock marker.

Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs, 800-222-9162, is on U.S. Highway 285 an hour north of Santa Fe and an hour southwest of Taos. It offers rooms in an adobe motel built in early 1900s, although the bath and swimming facilities are only a few years old. Rates for nonguests who want to use the 90-degree mineral pool are $8 weekdays and $10 weekends for a half day; $15 and $20 for a full day. Other services include a 106-degree mineral spa, geothermal iron pool, massage and wraps.

My husband and I will rent a house in the Chianti region of Italy this May. We would like to hike local trails, but don't speak the language. Where can we find English-language information on walking and hiking in the area?

A new book -- "Walking and Eating in Tuscany and Umbria" by James Lasdun and Pia Davis (Penguin, $16.95) -- seems to have anticipated your question. In the chapter on Chianti, the authors suggest six walks. They vary from 90 minutes to 4 1/2 hours, with directions on how to reach each starting point by public transit, as well as directions along the route -- including points of interest, tourism offices and places to buy picnic provisions. The authors say that the walks are not too strenuous.

Pub Date: 4/20/97

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