6 Alpaca Farms to Visit in the Hudson Valley
Given the popularity of petting zoos, it should come as little surprise that dedicated alpaca farms are a destination-worthy attraction in the Hudson Valley. In addition to learning about these long-necked farm friends, visitors might have the opportunity to feed, pet, or even trek with alpacas.
Alpacas are raised for their luxuriously soft fleece, which varies in color from white and black to rose-gray and fawn. Their springtime shearing results in a dramatically different appearance, prompting some visitors to vary the time of year when they visit. Budget both time and money to visit the farms’ gift shops, where artisanal creations might include blankets, winter accessories, and stuffed animals. Just be forewarned: The softness is addictive to the touch!
We’ve rounded up six Hudson Valley alpaca farms for your family’s next day trip. Advance reservations are generally required, and details should be confirmed before heading out. Remember to dress for outdoor conditions, including close-toed shoes, and advise your children to be calm and patient with the animals to optimize their rapport. Masks are generally being worn due to COVID-19.
So prepare for your next family photo-op and plan to round out your alpaca visit with family activities in the Catskills.
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Alpaca Farms in the Hudson Valley for Family Fun
Rock Ridge Alpacas — Chester
With 11 alpacas in hues ranging from white to rose-gray and light fawn, Rock Ridge Alpacas offers year-round tours on weekends at noon and 1pm (weather permitting) in a parklike setting. Prior to COVID, visitors could drop in and join a group tour, but currently tours are limited to one family at a time, requiring an advance appointment. Owners Marsha and Wayne Oliver explain alpacas to visitors, including how they care for them and harvest their wool, and visitors can visit the girls’ and boys’ dorms (no co-ed housing here!) for a chance to feed them some hay. Tours are free, but donations are appreciated. Stop by the shop to take home an alpaca treasure, like blankets, clothing accessories, and stuffed animals made from their wool.
Interact with the "residents" at Lilymoore Farm. Photo courtesy of the farm
Lilymoore Farm — Pleasant Valley
In addition to learning about alpacas and posing for photo-ops, participants in Lilymoore Farm’s tours get to see the animals at Dreaming of a Chance farm animal sanctuary, which might include turkeys, pigeons, and other rescues. Tours last about an hour. Another option is to book a private or group alpaca trek, which allows you to walk with your own personal alpaca around the fields and woods, accompanied by a trained guide. These are suitable for ages 9 and older. Tickets are available for purchase on the farm’s website. Pay a visit to the farm store to browse alpaca products and alpaca-related products made by local artisans.
Clover Brooke Farm — Hyde Park
Assorted animal experiences are offered at Clover Brooke Farm, making it easy to spend the day. The most popular is the option to go on a hike with alpacas and llamas, a mile-long trek that takes about 90 minutes to complete. Along the way, you’ll meet other farm animals, including barn cats, goats, and sheep, and learn about the history and care of alpacas, as well as the many roles alpacas can play, including as therapy animals. Visitors are also taught how to handle alpacas and llamas so that both the humans and animals are at ease. Hikers must be at least 8 years old. Dogs are not allowed on the farm. A complimentary bottled water is offered to all visitors.
Stagecoach Trails Alpacas hosts 23 alpacas on its farm. Photo courtesy of Stagecoach Trails Alpacas
Stagecoach Trails Alpacas — Middletown
Private farm tours are offered at Stagecoach Trails on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays at 11am and 2pm, weather permitting. Tours are by appointment only and last about an hour, during which time visitors go into the pasture with the alpacas. There are currently 23 alpacas on the farm. The tour costs $10 for adults and $5 for children over age 4. Money from ticket sales is applied toward the farm’s hay fund.
Shalimar Alpacas — Warwick
As many as 54 alpacas inhabit Shalimar Alpacas, including nine babies born this year. Allow about 45 minutes for your visit with them, as you learn about their origin and how the farm utilizes the fiber. Visits are arranged by appointment only and are offered Monday-Saturday from 11:30am to 2:30pm. Tour fees are $10 per person, applicable for all ages.
More than 100 alpacas call Buck Brook Alpacas home. Photo courtesy of Buck Brook Alpacas
Buck Brook Alpacas — Roscoe
Set atop one of the highest peaks of the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York is this 40-acre family farm, home to more than 100 Huacaya alpacas. They’re raised alongside angora bunnies, chickens, cats, a pig named Daisy, and other critters. Both public and private tours are offered year-round. Opt for a 45-minute tour or a longer visit that includes walking an alpaca. Optional add-ons include gem mining, picnicking, shopping for alpaca gifts, and roaming the farm. You might even want to join a yoga class with alpacas. Refreshments are available for purchase. Overnight accommodations are available in the year-round AirBnB. Private tours begin on the hour. Leashed dogs are welcome only on private tours, which begin on the hour.