June Farms located in West Sand Lake, NY, but if you didn’t know it, you might think you were on a vineyard in Napa Valley. The beautiful setting is a credit to Matt Baumgartner’s hard work, imagination and vision. “Coming out here and seeing animals is really calming and brings joy to people,” he said.
Baumgartner’s idea for the farm came from childhood visits to his grandmother’s home as a child. She lived in an upstate New York town surrounded by dairy farms and he loved exploring the neighboring farms and being around the cows. After successfully running several local restaurants, he found himself spending too many hours indoors. He missed animals and having his hands in the dirt. So he decided to return to his childhood dreams and create a farm he could enjoy and share with others.
The farm consists of a variety of buildings designed for different uses. The main structure is the Pony Barn, a beautifully crafted post-and-beam barn decorated with Baumgartner’s attention to detail. From May through December, the Pony Barn is open for visitors to enjoy a craft beer, fine wine or a specialty cocktail from an impressive drinks list that includes both old favorites and new twists. In the age of social distancing, gatherings at the farm are perfect for hot, summer nights.
An outdoor kitchen and pizza oven offers plenty of dining options, from simple finger foods, to burgers and pizzas featuring fresh ingredients from the farm. The view from the outdoor patio is breathtaking — a must see as the sun sets. Upon visiting this spot for the first time Matt remembers, “It was really a beautiful night, I immediately fell in love and put an offer in that night.”
Farm tours and enchanting getaways
Farm tours are one of the many highlights of a June Farms visit. The farm is open daily to visitors of all ages and at night to adults only. Whether you choose to walk the farm or rent a limo style golf cart to get around, it’s an adventure worth taking. Tours led by friendly, knowledgeable guides are available Tuesday through Saturday from 4-8 p.m.
Specializing in working with “heritage breeds”, traditional livestock breeds that were raised by our ancestors centuries ago, on your tour you can expect to see Shire Horses, Scottish Highland Cattle, pigs, ducks, chickens, goats and bees. “Part of the experience here is coming and seeing animals you typically do not see that often,” said Baumgartner, noting that you might also see two of our barn cats or his black lab, Frank.
Other attractions include relaxing and quirky Goat Yoga classes, and the June Farms Scavenger Hunt, a fun diversion as you tour the farm. They are continually adding new events and experiences so visit junefarms.com for the latest list of events. Whatever you choose, you’re sure to have a phone full of great photos to remember your visit.
If you want to spend more time at this bucolic haven, they offer four unique ways to spend a night or two away from home. The Lodge at June Farms is a luxury cabin featuring a gorgeous king-sized bed on giant timbers, a stone fireplace and full kitchen and bath. The screened-in porch overlooks the farm, and allows you to enjoy the outdoors insect free. Anytime of year is the right time to book this space.
The Stone House is a studio-style space attached to the Pony Barn with a king bed, kitchen and full bathroom — the perfect one-night getaway. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, TimberTown offers three cabins set in a pine grove with a hammock and fire pit. It allows you to rough it without really roughing it. Get your friends together, rent this space for the weekend and pretend it’s a sleep-away camp.
If that’s not your style, check out the completely refurbished Airstream, complete with deck, hot tub and fire pit for your enjoyment. You’ve never stayed in a camper like this. A tepee is in the works too. All of these amazing places are available through Airbnb. Best of all, this incredible destination is less than 30 minutes from downtown Albany and Troy meaning you can get away without really leaving home.
The opportunities are endless for outdoor enjoyment. So, for your next walk, outing or staycation, consider June Farms. Your soul will be glad you did.