This is the ultimate agritourism
destination. It's a 1,500 acre working cattle ranch but it's so
much more. You can pick your own strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and other
produce in season. If you don't want to pick, you can buy it at
the produce market.
You can also buy their grass-fed, grain-finished, no steroids or
hormones beef or honey from the Ranch's own busy little bees. In
this day of so many unsafe products out there, it's refreshing
to learn the quality that goes into the Ranch's products.
|A make-believe-cow at Rock Ranch
Adam Pugh, Director of Events and
Marketing at The Rock Ranch, said, "If you buy some of our beef,
we can tell you exactly which cow it came from, what that cow
ever was fed. And I guarantee you they never had any
That's all nice but not so exciting, you say. Well, how about a
farm stay in one of their gorgeous cabins?
|One of the cabin's living rooms
I stayed in one and it was a gem. Or
maybe camping is your style.
For a different kind of outdoor
experience try spending the
night in a Conestoga wagon.
all the wagons are rented you can still experience camping at
Rock Ranch. Just haul out your tent.
You can come for the day or an extended stay and enjoy all the
Ranch has to offer. Like adventure? Try one of their two
Cow-a-Bunga zip lines.
The smaller one zooms over the corn field while the
bigger one flies high above the tree tops and lake.
|The tower for the zip lines
If you have little people traveling with
you, visit Tiny Town.
Little ones can run in and out of the buildings and play
at whatever their imagination and the child sized buildings
Adults will marvel at the
workmanship. The town has a church,
a fire station complete with its own miniature dog house,
a jail, a bank, Miss Nancy's Boarding House, in fact everything
you would find in a small town all in a cute pint size. For some
of the events, there are staged bank robberies then a shootout
with the sheriff and the robbers are carted off to the little
general manager at Rock Ranch and himself a Cathy protegee,
explained how Tiny Town began.
|A few of the kid-sized buildings
in Tiny Town
He tells of how Truett Cathy, Chick fil A
founder and owner of Rock Ranch, came up
with the start of the
children's village. "He always likes to find a bargain so he
went to this auction and ended up buying four of the little
buildings. Well, you can't do much with just four playhouses so
we had to get the carpenters busy and build all the rest."
For all ages, the miniature
locomotive is fun and a good way to orientate yourself to
the different ranch attractions. There are paddle boats where
you can get on the picturesque lake or the pedal cars for some
fast wheeling fun.
There are so many different attractions and rides at the Ranch.
|Locomotive at Rock Ranch
You can visit the petting zoo and admire
the varied animals. The goats are particularly cute and the huge
pot bellied pig is so fat he walked on his own hanging belly
fat. The ponies are waiting to give rides. There is a pipe slide
and a giant jumping pillow you can jump on like a trampoline.
There are rides for the
young kids and some for the older ones.
After all this adventure, you will be
ready to eat. Chef Krista Fonseka is the overall chef for the
For catered events Chef Krista will make you happy with her
culinary creations. For the average day trip, there are several
choices. The Chuck Wagon serves the ranch's own beef burgers,
some of the Chick-fil-A Sandwich Meals and a few other choices.
Big Daddy's Vittles also serves the Chick-fil-A Sandwich Meals
along with some cool treats, Minute Maid Frozen Lemonade, Ice
Dream and Sno Cones. Southern Fixings specializes in traditional
food like BBQ Pork, Sweet Potato Fries and Fried Apple and Peach
Pies for dessert. Naturally they offer that Southern Sweet Tea.
For those Smoked Turkey
Legs you see everyone munching, visit
the Smoke House. To pick up those important gifts of
homemade produce items or have a smooth Strawberry Ice Cream
stop by the Farm Market & Gifts.
|Chef Krista explains how she
prepares a dish
Chef Krista also offers classes on
cooking special items
such as barbeque, pasta, pork
or cast iron skillet cooking. These are fun and
informative but are limited in size and require registration.
You will have to check their calendar as Rock Ranch is not open
to the public every day. The Farmers Market is open most days.
They offer a lot of school field trips and special events. Their
fall season starts with Fall Family Fun Days and continue
through the year with a short shutdown of much of the Ranch in
|A guest picks some lucious
berries at the U-Pick-Patch
One of the biggest events is Pumpkin
Destruction Day the first of November. You can bring in your
Halloween pumpkin and bash it, smash it, drop it off a 50 ft.
tower or even toss it under monster trucks.
Rock Ranch is a place where all members
of the family can get closer to nature.
S. Truett Cathy passed away Monday,
September 8 just a few days after I completed this article. I
hgad recently visited Rock Ranch to research it. When I visited
Rock Ranch, every employee I spoke with there had fond memories
and seemed to love him like family.
Perhaps that is the highest honor any man can get. His
family and friends have my sincere sympathy.
His success story is an inspiration to
all. He rose from poverty to the CEO of a chain that was named
number one "Chicken Chain" in the country and managed to
maintain his principals throughout. Chick-fil A
closes every Sunday
because of his strong Christian principals.
He kept the company private to be able to maintain his
charitable ventures, which included sponsoring foster homes,
summer camps and academic programs.
His good friend, President Jimmy Carter,
described Cathy's faith:
"In every facet of his life, Truett Cathy has exemplified the
finest aspects of his Christian faith… . By his example, he has
been a blessing to countless people," Carter said in a
statement. "We are fortunate to be among those whose lives he
I hereby dedicate this feature to his
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