Love alpacas and mini-animals? Take a trip to Winchester Creek Farm in Waynesville, NC for a fun day trip with your family!
Media tickets were provided for this review, which was updated in December 2021.
The drive up to Winchester Creek Farm in Waynesville, NC is probably worth the trip alone. The beautiful scenery of mountain peaks and valleys, eventually wind their way to the feet of the Smoky Mountains, where the farm is situated. Winchester Creek Farm, about a 90-minute trip from the South Carolina Upstate, has alpacas and many miniature animals like cows, horses, and donkeys, as well as super fluffy sheep and an adorable little Juliana pig.
I got to visit this farm and have all the details as to why this place should be on your must-see list with your family. Plus, I’ll give you other things to do in the area to make it a great day trip!
Winchester Creek Farm
Founded in 2019, this farm is about 25 acres of rolling foothills and pastures and sits right at the base of the Great Smoky Mountains, which makes for breathtaking views. It’s minutes away from the Blue Ridge Parkway and has lots of fantastic animals that everyone in the family will enjoy. And you get up right up to close to them.
Not only do alpacas live on the farm but they also have miniature horses, cows, and donkeys. These are super cute animals who are truly living their best lives together at the farm. Our guide, Brooke, told us all about how these animals are BFFs and never leave each other’s side, which I thought was the sweetest. Some of the animals are rescues and others made their way on the farm through various journeys – the adorable Juliana pig, a small breed, was actually a pet of the owner’s daughter who needed some friends.
The farm hosts appointment-only walking tours, which last around 45 minutes. They also host birthday parties and field trips and have seasonal outdoor events for holidays like egg hunts during Easter and trick or treating during Halloween. There are plaques around the farm where each animal lives with a QR code that talk about the animals and neat things to learn. I walked away with quite the wealth of knowledge that I now throw upon my friends unsuspectingly. Brooke is an excellent tour guide and had all kinds of interesting things to tell us about the animals!
The Alpacas + babies
I just love alpacas, a smaller relative of the llama. They are super fluffy and curious about everything. They poke their heads up from grazing to check out their surroundings or new people around and maybe will venture towards them. But they spook easily – yet will come back and check you out again. I think they are funny and adorable.
The farm has several alpacas plus a maternity ward for those expecting alpaca mamas. Alpacas have a gestation period of 11 and a half months and babies, which made me oh-so-sorry for them. When an alpaca gives birth, it’s called “unpacking”. I’m laughing just writing that.
We got to see two of the newest babies at the farm, Noodle and Chester (below). They were the most adorable, most fluffy, and just downright cute animals. They were curious but didn’t want to get too close. I melted. The farm is expecting more bundles of fluff soon so be sure to follow (aka stalk) them on Facebook to see the babies.
We also learned that alpacas have three stomachs, which blows my mind. The alpacas we got to be closest to and take pictures with are friendly and curious and loved the treats we got to feed them. My kids loved these animals and felt safe and comfortable with them. I thought I’d never get them to leave.
Miniature Horses, a Tiny Pig, and Fluffy Sheep
There were several miniature horses when we were at the farm. We got to get up close with these sweet animals and feed and pet them. They are very friendly and sweet.
We learned that these kinds of miniature horses are actually very special since they are trained as service animals for the blind. There was a recent news story about a woman who brought a miniature horse on an airplane as her service animal that went viral for various reasons. The Americans with Disabilities Act approved miniature horses as service animals in 2011 so it’s still relatively rare to see one acting as such versus a dog, for instance.
The farm is also home to a Juliana pig, the smallest breed of pig, which resembles a potbelly pig except for a lot tinier. They will only grow to 20-40 pounds and can learn tricks and be trained like a dog. When we were there, the little pig was excited to get a treat and was snorting and wagging her tail. I was in love. I legit was Googling ‘how to take care of a Juliana pig’ when I got home.
We also got to interact with some incredibly fluffy sheep and baby goats. If our readers know anything, it’s that I will go anywhere where there are baby goats. They were so fun to play with! The sheep are a special breed called Valais Blacknose from Switzerland and truly look like an animal out of a fairy tale. We really enjoyed interacting with them and all the animals.
Field Trips & Events
The educational nature of Winchester Creek farm caught my attention immediately since I’m homeschooling my elementary-aged children this year. The tour was a perfect field trip for us and my kids learned a lot (as did I). It’s an agri-tourism farm, which means they seek to educate the public and provide a place to learn about the neat animals they have on the farm.
There are plaques all over the place at the farm that explains a bit about each animal, what they eat, where they are from, and interesting facts about them. I thought it was a pretty cool aspect about the farm.
Granny’s House Gift Shop
The farm opened its brand new gift shop in the fall of 2021 and it is awesome. Not only do they have a ton of alpaca-themed items like cookware, mugs, stuffed animals, aprons, and pens but they also have a lot of hats, gloves, and scarves made from alpaca wool, which is super soft.
The gift shop also carries real pumpkins during the fall, fresh and artificial wreaths in the winter, and has coffee, hot chocolate, ice cream, snacks, and a restroom. You can bring your lunch and eat outside on the picnic tables by Granny’s House as well. It’s right next to the parking lot so you can’t miss it. The farm also lets you shop the products available online.
As if visiting the farm weren’t enough of an awesome day trip, Winchester Creek Farm has homes you can rent right on the property. In fact, they are situated right next to the alpaca and miniature horse pastures. So you could drink your morning coffee and watch the animals or eat dinner while they eat their dinner outside.
And the views, we need to talk about the views. You’ll get an incredible view of the Smokies from right outside your front or back porch. It is gorgeous, especially during the fall when the leaves are turning their beautiful colors of red, orange, and yellow. This is such a cool aspect of the farm and really allows you to unwind and take that time to enjoy the farm and the surrounding areas.
The Alpaca Mountain Loft sleeps four people and the Alpaca Mountain Retreat sleeps nine. You can rent one or both if you have more people! Rentals are around $130-$250 a night depending upon season and have a three-night minimum. Check them out here.
Make it a Day Trip
Waynesville is an ideal location for hiking and exploring local waterfalls and dining on some delicious food.
We stopped at Smoky Mountain Coffee Roasters to get caffeinated and a cream puff pastry, which was delicious. It’s less than ten minutes from the farm. While we didn’t stop to eat lunch nearby, I had flagged a couple places I wanted to try like Gigi’s, which serves American cuisine, and the Smoky Mountain Sub Shop.
If you’re in the area during Christmastime, head to the Smoky Mountain Event Center nearby for their drive-through holiday light display.
The Blue Ridge Parkway is less than five minutes away, which we hiked. It’s closed in the winter but you can park and walk it, which is such a cool experience. You’ll be able to drive it during all other parts of the year and there are several trails and overlooks off there that make for a great adventure. Waterrock Knob is 20 minutes away and the overlook is one of the best in the area plus you can hike up the trail to an even more beautiful overlook. Soco Falls and Mingo Falls in nearby Cherokee are also great stops with rewarding views for short hikes.
Over the summer, you can visit the farm and then head to Bryson City for some tubing in Deep Creek or rafting with the Nantahala Outdoor Center in the Smokies. It’s about a 40-minute drive there. Bryson City is also home to the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad, which does the Polar Express during Christmastime and rides through the mountains all year.
Also nearby, about a 40 drive away, is the town of Franklin, NC, which is known for its gem mining. There are several places to go gem mining there – see this list from the Chamber of Commerce.
Want to Visit Winchester Creek Farm?
Tours and field trips are by appointment only so be sure to email or call ahead before you make the drive. You can book your tickets here.
Tickets are $15/adults and kids 7+, $13/seniors, active military, and kids 3-6, and free for kids under three years old.
Winchester Creek isn’t a petting zoo so they don’t allow you in the pens with the animals or to chase them around. If the animals want to interact, they will.
Winchester Creek Farm
386 Walker Road, Waynesville, NC