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
|Website||Ten Apple Farm|
|Favorite ♥||The Goats!|
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.