#AtoZChallenge | H is for Hiking with goats another tail tale from the trail.

There was a moment when I was focused on the trail ahead but sensed that there was someone close behind. Seconds later one of goats sprinted past, fully engaged on exploring the wooded countryside, far less interested in us than we were in them.

This past September, on a mild fall day, we found ourselves enjoying an educational and relaxing hike with a sweet, well-mannered tribe of Alpine dairy goats at Ten Apple Farm.

The day of our hike started off with a light rain, so our hosts flipped the schedule and we started off in the barn where we learned about the farm and the goats. It was hard to stay focused, even though the information was interesting.

As the farmer told us his stories, one of the smaller goats in the pen behind him kept repeatedly jumping straight up while bleating and crying as she desperately tried to see over the top of the pen. She’d get a fleeting glimpse of us and then disappear only to return seconds later to peek again. It was clear that our hiking companions would have some energy.

This first part of the tour was interactive. We could feed the goats and try our skills at giving a bottle to one the younger ones. The farmer also brought out another goat who was ready for milking. He placed her up on a platform with her head through an opening on one side where she could access a bucket filled with food. He put a stool down and the more adventurous could take a turn milking her. You had to time it to be sure she still had food available in the bucket to keep her focus away from all the activity happening under her belly.

The weather had cleared as we left the barn to begin our one mile hike through the woods of their property. The goats were definitely high energy, joy filled companions.

The trail had a few steep areas, but overall it was fairly relaxed and the real focus was enjoying the goats as they hiked along with us. Sometimes they strayed off to the side or ran ahead but for the most part they enjoyed being part of the group and stayed close to us.

The trail follows a path through the woods, eventually opening onto a field where we took a short break while the goats enjoyed some of the greenery. We then returned to the farm on the path we had come on, with a short stop to admire the extremely large hogs in a pen at the edge of the grass near the house. Their middle daughter is in the youth organization 4-H and raises them.

After returning the goats to the barn, we headed inside the house for some homemade cookies and goat’s milk. It was the perfect finish to a wonderful afternoon.

Why does this bring me bliss? Hiking brings me bliss because it recharges me and helps connect me to nature. I’ve never had long term success working out at a gym. I’ve done it in spurts but really it’s not for me. I prefer to be active by heading outside. I’m also a fan of new experiences so combining my love of hiking with an opportunity to have the goats along the trails with us was extra blissful.

Have you ever hiked with goats? 


things to know
Place Ten Apple Farm
Address 241 Yarmouth Road
Gray, ME 04039
Phone (207) 657-7880
Website Ten Apple Farm
Favorite ♥ The Goats!

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I’m participating in a Blogging A-Z Challenge for April 2020. I will be posting new content every day this month except most Sundays. Each post is associated with a letter of the alphabet, starting with A and ending with Z. My theme for the challenge is Bliss. To read more of my A to Z posts from this year, click HERE.

32 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge | H is for Hiking with goats another tail tale from the trail.

  1. April Moore says:

    I’ve never hiked with goats, but I’ve been around them at a farm sanctuary and while they can be ornery and mischievous, they’re usually very sweet. Some have reminded me of puppies. Definitely love to hike and certainly miss having trails nearby like we did in Colorado. Happy trails!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Weekends in Maine says:

      Hiking with goats seems to be gaining in popularity. They’re fun to visit at a sanctuary too.

      Right now many of our trails are closed so we haven’t been able to hike much during the pandemic. Looking forward to getting back on the trails once things return to normal.

      Like

  2. slfinnell says:

    Your pics take be back to my days growing up. My dad thought he wanted to raise goats once. That lasted 2 days. lol We settled on hogs. I’m not sure that was the best decision though? Much harder work.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Liam says:

    Oh yes! We routinely go camping at Wolfe’s Neck Campground in Freeport and a couple of years ago we went on a goat hike. There were three kids who ran wild through the woods and grazed on the greenery (while my own human kids tried to keep up). It was such a blissful experience. We didn’t sign up early enough for the goat hike when we went camping last summer. I hope this plague ends before the summer so we can go camping again!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Arti says:

    Reading your post first thing in the morning. Such a great way to start me day. Thank you.
    Love that little goat in the pen story and your pics are adorable.
    I’m an avid walker/hiker/trailer. On almost all of our hikes in the Himalayas, goats and our paths cross.
    I’m sharing this link with you because I feel you may enjoy it:) It’s about a wise goat we met in Exmoor National Park, UK.
    https://artismoments.blogspot.com/2015/02/a-wise-goat-and-poetry-box-on-coastal.html

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Archana (@yenforblue) says:

    A few years ago, we met mountain goats while on the Hampta Pass trek.. It was not the kind of experience you have described but the goats did give me a complex as they clambered so easily over the moraine while I was struggling over every rock.. Great H post!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. jaya1966 says:

    I have never milked a goat or for that matter a cow. I have never tasted goat’s milk either. Will definitely try to drink a glass of goat’s milk someday. India’s father of the nation used to recommend goat’s milk in place of cow’s milk.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Kathy Waller says:

    That sounds like such fun. I’ve never hiked with goats, but my dad raised a few on his farm and kept a nanny with quadruplets in our back yard until the all the kids were thriving. We knew they were thriving when they spent their days climbing on his pickup and eating the pot plants my mother kept on the back porch. Not long after the pot plant incident, the whole family was relocated to the farm, where the kids spent their days climbing a mesquite tree and jumping down onto the hogs lying beneath. No need for TV when goats are around.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. dyannedillon says:

    Hiking with goats would certainly make it more exciting! Did they jump on you at all? I had a bad goat experience when I was 3 that I never got over….

    Liked by 1 person

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