The Charm of Pond Hill Farm
Pond Hill Farm, located along the famed “Tunnel of Trees (M-119) north of Harbor Springs started out as a small family farm, with a sweet little market offering their fresh produce and a few animals including pigs, goats and chickens. Today, it has grown into a treasure for adults and kids alike, including a larger farm market, livestock barn, farm to table eatery, winery and brewery!
Our favorite time of year is the fall in northern Michigan, and we always put Pond Hill Farm on our list of places to go to find our pumpkins, sip some of their wines or ciders, and enjoy their “Fall Fest” which runs every weekend in October. They have fun games for kids including pumpkin bowling, which is a bit of a climb to get the top, but once you are up there not only is the view wonderful – but everyone from adults to toddlers rolling a small pumpkin down a hill and into tipped over barrels becomes quite a fun competition. It’s actually exhilarating as everyone cheers the next person on.
Our next stop was getting a late lunch at the Biergarten, an outside tented area with heaters and picnic tables, (along with a few laid-black black and white speckled hens who walk around) to stop and enjoy tasty farm to table lunches. There was an amazing Octoberfest soup of the day which included sausage, potatoes, carrots and a special root grown on property that was delicious! We also tried the blackened Chicken Ceaser Wrap (yum) and the Pulled Pork sandwich (also yum!). We tried both the Rose’ and Pond Hill Red Wine and also tried a couple of their ciders. A very “fall” thing to do during the season.
Our next stop was the pumpkin smashing station – a make-shift arena with four stumps and a few different shapes and weights of mallets to choose from. Pick the pumpkin of choice and enjoy getting a little frustration out as the seeds fly. It’s oddly satisfying to crush a pumpkin – who knew?
Don’t forget to….take a walk through their paths and into a forest area where you can “hunt” for gnomes along the way that are hidden on the trail. Also, check out the trout pond where they swim to the surface in swarms for food. There is also a great large playground for the kids, (a donut, cider and coffee kiosk is nearby) as well as stopping to feed the goats who literally are hanging over the fence waiting to be fed! (Because of Covid-19 restrictions, there was no hayride or tractor train available, but hopefully back in 2021)
Last stop – stroll through the thousands of pumpkins of all shapes, sizes and colors (white, green, yellow, orange) and pick your faves to take home with you. Stop at the booth to pay for your little treasures and don’t forget to check out the market for some fresh produce and other fun products as well. Then, back out to the beautiful Tunnel of Trees to see the colorful leaves on your way back into the always breathtaking Harbor Springs. Always a good time at Pond Hill! For more information on all the happenings on the farm, visit their website here.