Pond Hill Farm started as a plan for a simple farm that a 17-year-old had, and it has grown into a destination that people throughout Michigan come to see and explore.
Today, it is a farm store, a fun place to stop for a live event, a winery and brewery, and a livestock barn worthy of exploring. For those visiting Harbor Springs for the weekend, a visit to Pond Hill Farm is certainly in order.
Pond Hill Farm Activities & Attractions
Over the years, Pond Hill Farm has grown from a small streetside stand selling fresh produce to being a must-see destination during a Harbor Springs getaway. The reason — There are tons of things to do and see while you’re here.
Enjoy Kid-Themed Fun
Pond Hill Farm has numerous activities to enjoy and engage in for the whole family. These activities come and go throughout the year based on events and themes, as well as availability. Some of the most impressive activities that many people come for include:
- Pig racing – Watch as they squeal and have fun racing around the track.
- Pumpkin patch – During the fall, you can visit the pumpkin patch and pick your own to take home with you.
- Hayrides – For those who enjoy this fall activity, hayrides are available after the harvest comes in.
- Trout pond – There’s a trout pond on-site where you get to feed the fish. Though you cannot swim or catch fish here, you can feed and watch the trout nearly come up over the surface to feast.
- Animal feeding – Depending on the time of year and the day, you may be able to help feed the animals, such as birds, pigs, and more. The livestock barn is open throughout the year and is home to bunnies, goats, and much more.
- Go sledding – During the winter months, the farm offers opportunities for sledding, weather permitting.
- Playground – There’s a kid-themed playground to enjoy on the property, which includes a teepee climbing wall, sandbox, swings, and more.
Shop for Goodies
One of the reasons Pond Hill Farm was started was to provide the area with a wide range of good foods and local produce. It was started long before the farmer’s market industry became a thing in the area but has grown to offer a wide range of additional items, including:
- Organic foods
- Handmade soaps and bath salts
- A big selection of crafts
- Fresh veggies
- Local snacks
- Canned goods — one of the things that put the farm on the map
- Christmas trees during the holiday season
In addition to all of this, you can stop by the ice cream shop to take something sweet home with you. Or, visit the retail shop to pick up wine or beer by the bottle or case.
Go Wine Tasting
One of the newest (but established) features at Pond Hill Farm is a full winery and brewery. It makes for an excellent activity for a date night or for when you want to spend the afternoon sampling amazing wine and simple appetizers in a picturesque setting.
The farm allows you to walk through the vineyards, which makes for some great photo opportunities. And, the vineyard has some of the best views of the lake too. This is an excellent choice for those who want impressive photos from their stay in Harbor Springs.
Eat at the Garden Cafe
Many people come for lunch at the Garden Cafe at Pond Hill Farm. It has a simple menu but is meant to be the perfect lunch destination while you spend the day at the farm.
The cafe offers a range of seasonal options along with farm-fresh pizza. There is an outdoor dining area to enjoy your meal with fantastic views of the pastures and vineyard.
Take a Hike
You can spend some time hiking the Pond Hill Farm property too, even in the winter. There are miles of groomed trails to enjoy.
You can walk across the grassy fields or take one of the hikes through the wooded areas. Also, the farm allows for snowshoeing, fat tire biking, and cross-country skiing during winter.
You can bring your dog with you as well. Leashed dogs are welcome in all areas of the property. You just need to keep them outside of the shops and cafe, though.
Check Out the Events
Throughout the year, Pond Hill Farm offers a range of events, which can change from year to year. Some examples include Greenhouse Tasting Tours, Live Music by a variety of bands, Fall Fest, and Zoo de Mac. Be sure to check out what’s happening on the farm’s website before your visit.
Go on a Gnome House Hunt
Another fun thing to do at Pond Hill Farm is participate in the Gnome House Hunt. As you walk through the area along the Farm Loop Trail, you can find various areas of gnome houses spread out along the trail.
There are 12 houses total, and all you have to do is write down the letters on the houses to unscramble a word that may win you a prize.
A Personal Experience at Pond Hill Farm
To learn about Pond Hill Farm on a personal level, read this first-hand experience from Lena Elise.
Pond Hill Farm is an adorable spot to spend an afternoon in autumn but also any day of the year. I would love to visit closer to the holiday season to see what they have in store!
Of course, there are all of the fall farm staples to enjoy. For instance, there are hayrides and a galore of pumpkins to pick! If you are feeling hungry, there are donuts and apple cider to enjoy. Many families were at the farm enjoying a day out and playing games as the snow melted away in the fall sunshine.
I know, in Michigan, we hear it again and again this time of year, but the fall colors were quite spectacular sitting on the hilltop above the barn as well.
If you are really in need of a “cute-fix,” head into the barn to see the animals. My boyfriend and I stopped in and were instantly smitten with the baby goats. They were adorable and friendly, and we loved petting them!
The highlight of our trip to Pond Hill was the cafe and tasting room. Sadly, we didn’t have time to stop for food, but after looking at the menu, I could tell it would be a delicious experience.
They are creating a very cool farm-to-table experience for visitors with homegrown ingredients, and they even have five-course, farm-to-table dinners scheduled throughout the year that you can attend! The next time we visit, this is at the top of our list.
The wine tasting room is also home to the Pond Hill Farm Brewery. My boyfriend sampled each of the beers, and I tried six of the wines — it was hard to choose from the large selection there at the farm!
This was the perfect way to round out our trip up north, and I am so glad that we got the suggestion from my doctor in Petoskey! The doctor I saw was actually good friends with some of the chefs at the farm, and he said we would be sad to miss it. He was right!
Restaurants Near Pond Hill Farm
Although Pond Hill Farm has its own destination cafe and food options, you may want to have a few other meal options nearby. Consider some of these restaurants in Harbor Springs for each meal of the day.
Breakfast at Small Batch at The Cupola
For breakfast, there are a few options, but Small Batch at The Cupola is our favorite for its scratch-made menu. It is perfect when you want fresh eggs, fruit dishes, pancakes, and much more. This bakery and cafe is also a notable coffee destination in Harbor Springs.
Lunch at State Road Provisions or Turkey’s
When you’re looking for a lunch selection, State Road Provisions is a great location for burgers and broasted chicken. You can also find a coconut shrimp basket and a number of fun pizza toppings in this positive, upbeat roadhouse venue.
On the other hand, you could stop by Turkey’s Cafe & Pizzeria. This small diner-style location has lots of sandwiches, salads, wraps, burgers, and kid’s favorites. Plus, the restaurant is noted for its pizza.
Dinner at 1911 Restaurant or The Depot Club
For a fabulous dinner, The Depot Club is a restaurant in Harbor Springs that offers true destination dining. The fine dining menu includes everything from veal osso buco to short ribs.
On the other hand, you could check out 1911 Restaurant. Located within The Terrace Inn in Petoskey, this extraordinary location makes for a very special meal.
Choose from prix fixe menu options to sample what the chef thinks is ideal, or select one of the numerous meals — shrimp and scallop linguini, schnitzel and spaetzle, or roasted vegetable risotto.
More Attractions Near Pond Hill Farm
There’s plenty to do in and around Harbor Springs if you finish exploring Pond Hill Farm early. Some fun things to do include:
- Explore the Tunnel of Trees, a scenic stretch of M-119 you can drive on your way into and out of Harbor Springs.
- Visit the Thorne Swift Nature Preserve for a hike and to walk the sandy beach to the waterfront.
- Shop at Howse’s Fudge, a full-scale confectionery that will create a sugar buzz.
- Enjoy lakefront activities, whether that’s swimming or boating on Little Traverse Bay.
- Visit the Harbor Springs Area Historical Society to learn about the area’s history.
- Shop for beautiful local and domestic art at Hanni Gallery.
Hotels & Lodging Options Near Pond Hill Farm
Finding just the right place to stay while visiting Pond Hill Farm doesn’t have to be a challenge. Here are some of the best lodging in Harbor Springs and the greater area.
Corner Loft With Views of the Bluff
If you want to stay in a location with an impressive view, make your way to this corner loft in Harbor Springs. It’s right on Main Street and is cozy enough for two people.
6 Bells Apartment
Another fantastic choice is a stay at 6 Bells, an apartment that sleeps up to four people with a full kitchen and dining area. It’s in the downtown area near the boutiques and galleries.
The Terrace Inn
A fabulous, historic hotel, The Terrance Inn in Petoskey is a short drive from Pond Hill Farm. It offers luxurious surroundings, spacious suites and rooms, and beautiful grounds with flower gardens.
This property, which feels turn-of-the-century, is exquisitely maintained, and it feels like you are stepping into the South.
Stafford’s Perry Hotel
Offering stunning views of the waterfront, Stafford’s Perry Hotel is a beautiful Victorian-style inn. It is located within walking distance of the water, as well as shops and restaurants.
Plan Your Adventure at Pond Hill Farm
For those planning a visit to Pond Hill Farm, there’s plenty of fun to be had during every season, including fall and winter.
A trip here with the whole family could be enjoyable enough that you make it an annual trip, perhaps to pick out a Christmas tree or attend Fall Fest. With so much to see and do in the area too, there are lots of reasons to make this a weekend (or weeklong) trip.