WEEKENDER: East Fork Farm

A blend of rugged outdoor adventure and peaceful downtime for the whole family
East Fork Farm is located at 215 Meadow Branch Road in Marshall, NC

East Fork Farm is in Marshall, NC, about three hours from Charlotte and 25 miles outside Asheville. The property spans 40 acres and is home to sheep, chickens, cows, and farm dogs that kids can see up close. A weekend visit offered our family a few days to unplug, explore the farm, relax on the patio, pick up rocks (so many rocks!) on the gravel road, and slow down long enough to enjoy it all.


East Fork Farm has four different cabins to accommodate a full family vacation, a couple’s weekend getaway, or a work retreat. Each unit has a washer and dryer, gas log fireplace, and a TV equipped with Roku for streaming, plus locally roasted coffee and a fridge stocked with fresh eggs from the farm. Red Barn Cottage is the biggest of the four cabins with two bedrooms and two baths, plus an outdoor fire pit and hot tub for the adults after the little ones go to sleep.


Cabins are equipped with kitchens and outdoor grills, so bring groceries if you plan to remain onsite. If you’re not up for cooking, there are plenty of restaurants nearby. Mad Co. Brew House is just down the road and serves pizza and local brews. Stackhouse in Mars Hill has build-your-own burgers and kid-friendly dishes like chicken tenders, grilled cheese, and sliders. If you venture into Asheville, check out Tupelo Honey, Hole Donuts (donuts count as a meal on vacation), Chai Pani, or Rhubarb.


East Fork Farm is a working farm with cows, sheep, chickens, friendly farm dogs, and a donkey named Peanut Butter. Explore the farm at your leisure, visit with the animals, go for a hike, or take a dip in the pond. For some outdoor fun in Marshall, visit French Broad Adventures and go whitewater rafting or ziplining, or book a day of horseback riding through Smoky Mountain Trail Rides. If you prefer indoor activities, check out the Asheville Science Museum or Biltmore Estate.


Marshall County has plenty of additional experiences for the whole family. Book a historic barn tour through Appalachian Barn Alliance to view the meticulously restored and maintained barns throughout the area. Pack a picnic and hike to Max Patch, a bald mountain with scenic views. Spend an afternoon soaking in the naturally warmed, mineral springs at the Hot Springs Resort and Spa. Take in panoramic views from the top of the Rich Mountain Fire Tower after a hike on the Appalachian Trail or a backcountry drive to the base of the tower.

JENNA MICHAEL is Charlotte-based writer and mother to four. Her work has appeared on Charlotte Smarty Pants and Bliss Fit LLC.

4 3 2