By Morgan Bryce
Enjoy finding a path out of a corn maze shaped like the state of Alabama, interacting with barnyard animals or finding the perfect pumpkin at The Red Oak Farm, a new fall-fun destination opening Oct. 5 in Lafayette.
Owned by James and Natalie Gilbert, the farm is situated on more than 200 acres of clear-cut land purchased by the couple in late 2017.
James said he and Natalie have taken their girls to other corn mazes across the Southeast, and that they inspired him to create a similar concept at his farm.
“There’s been a few of them around here, but nothing over the top like we’ve been to. I said to myself, ‘if a man built one of these from scratch, he could do pretty well at it,’” James said. “After 18 months of hard work getting this land ready … it’s great to be so close to opening.”
Though the farm will primarily be used for James and his father Travis’s cattle business “Gilbert Land and Cattle,” he said he plans to grow and expand the farm’s activities each fall, particularly after his retirement from the Auburn Fire Department within the next three years.
The month of October will serve as a “time to get the word out about the farm,” according to James.
The front portion of the land, 25 to 30 acres in size, will be used for this fall’s activities on the farm. In addition to other aforementioned activities will be a swing set (with seats made from red oaks found on the farm), slide, miniature corn crib and stack of hay bales known as “hay mountain.” There are multiple places across the property that James said will serve as great “photo opportunity” spots.
Refreshments including soda and water will be sold at the farm, and James said he is in the process of finalizing food options for the venue.
Underneath the farm’s barn and pavilion will be picnic tables for families to sit and eat and enjoy the fall weather. Pumpkins will also be for sale on a trailer underneath the barn.
“We hope our customer base grows with us … whether that’s one, five or 15 years from now. I want it to be a tradition that parents bring their kids to each year and make lots of lasting memories,” James said.
Red Oak will be open each weekend during the month of October, with hours of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and 1 to 6 p.m. on Sundays.
On opening weekend, teachers will receive free admission with proper ID. Three weeks later, the same offer will be extended to first responders and law enforcement officers.
For more information or updates, call 334-750-0894 or visit www.theredoakfarm.com. The farm is located at 6268 County Road 83.