A day trip to Carl Sandburg’s Home in Flat Rock, NC

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Are you looking for a simple day trip from Greenville? Try visiting the Carl Sandburg Home in nearby Flat Rock, NC.

It’s a long walk (especially if your legs are only about two feet tall).

But the hike is always worth the effort when we reach the top and stand in front of one my favorite nearby spots.


The home of Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and writer Carl Sandburg.

Connemara is located in nearby Flat Rock, North Carolina. It’s an easy drive across a beautiful mountain. You might spend half an hour in the car but you’ll feel as if you’ve crossed into another climate. It’s usually a good ten degrees cooler and there’s just something charming about the town of Flat Rock. (With several fabulous restaurant choices you can pick up a to-go order of pizza or BBQ and bring a little mountain happiness home for dinner.)

I just love this place. I like the rooms that are teeming with books that Sandburg touched, read and studied. I love the view from this house and smile just thinking about the poet sitting in his chair on the rocks being inspired by the same image.

I love that I can read Sandburg’s children’s book The Huckabuck Family one morning to my children and then get in the car that afternoon to see where the book’s author wrote and explored and ate and laughed and walked. (Or – pack the short book with you and read it on the front lawn with your little fellow adventurers.)

Carl Sandburg home in Flat Rock, NC

The Property

My daughter loves the bamboo growing in huge patches there. And – did I mention the farm is still a working goat farm? Gentle, adorable, loving goats. Goats that love kids petting and touching and hugging them. In the spring, baby goats are abundant – fresh and tiny and eager for affection.  The goats are actually descendants of Mrs. Sandburg’s own prize-winning goat herd. (I mean, how much better does it get? Goats and great literature all in one stop?) The barnyard is also home to chickens and giant shady trees and rock walls and green fields.

The house has been left exactly as it was when Sandburg passed away in 1967. The Sandburgs had over 17,000 volumes of books. The man liked to read.

Carl Sandburg Home Tours

House tours are available for only $8 for adults while children under 15 are admitted at no cost. At that price, the tour is totally worthwhile. Inside the basement of Sandburg’s home is a sweet little gift shop and a room for viewing a video about the writer’s life.

The farm is picturesque and a perfect spot to picnic. If you’re bringing toddlers or non-walkers – I think a backpack carrier is easier to navigate than a stroller. There is a road that can handle strollers, but it is a little less convenient that the ivy-covered path you can take without a stroller.

During the year there are several events scheduled and you can view the calendar at the park’s website. A summer weekday is a great time to visit.  Nearby Flat Rock Playhouse hosts short plays about the poet and his writings on the Connemara property several times each week. These performances are free and very entertaining for children and adults.

Carl Sandburg Home Trails

In addition to the home and the barns, which are plenty to fill an afternoon, there are hiking trails on the property that are family friendly and quite rewarding. You can also take the rambling walk back to your car and trek around the beautiful fish pond. It’s a great path to wear your children out with good, honest exercise so they can nap on your drive back across the mountain to Greenville. (After you’ve picked up BBQ, of course.)

The Details

Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site
81 Carl Sandburg Lane
Flat Rock, NC 28731


Click here for directions for Carl Sandburg’s Home.

The first house tour occurs daily at 9:30 a.m. The last tour occurs at 4:30 p.m. daily. Tours are $5 for adults 16 – 61. Youth 15 and younger are free. Adults 62+ are $3. Only cash and check are accepted for house tours.

Other Western NC Travel Ideas:

Has your family ever visited the Carl Sandburg home?

About the Author
Elizabeth Faulkner, her husband and two young daughters moved back to Greenville in 2013 after spending over a decade in Charlotte and 3 years in the Dallas, Texas area. When first arriving in our area she spent four years working with the staff at Kidding Around Greenville. During that time, she was able to explore the area and build a wealth of local knowledge about all things family related! Prior to working at KAG she spent many years working in marketing at several large corporations, including Verizon Wireless and Strayer University. With her local knowledge, marketing skills and history of buying and selling homes in various states she decided to transition to a career in real estate. Elizabeth is now in her 5th year working as a local real estate agent and is loving every minute of it! In her real estate career, Elizabeth enjoys meeting new people and helping them achieve their housing goals. She loves helping families moving into the area learn their way around the Upstate and find the right spot for them. She also enjoys helping folks who have been here for years sell their home and move on to their next home or phase of life! Elizabeth takes great pride in working hard and providing top-notch service to her clients. Her goal is to make the buying and selling process a smooth one for each and every client she serves! To contact Elizabeth, call 864.414.2434.

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[…] we left our Virginia home and moved just twenty minutes south of that incredible beauty of a farm, Connemara.  I started trekking my children up the hill on the trail by the lake to visit the farm and read […]

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