The transition from summer to fall can be somewhat depressing, especially for kids still adjusting to monotonous schoolwork day in and day out. Families jump at any opportunity to take a break from their workloads and enjoy a beautiful fall afternoon. In our area, one of the most popular tourist attractions during this season for people of all ages is Byrnside Branch Farm, located about a mile out of downtown Union in Monroe County.
The farm, a quaint and peaceful rural site, has been a classic tourist venue owned and operated by Dirk McCormick for 12 years. The entire McCormick family, many of Dirk’s friends, and several seasonal employees pitch in to run the farm, and the endeavor has resulted in great success. Thousands of visitors flock there every autumn, as well as 20+ school groups. People appreciate the fact that Byrnside Branch is a 100% agricultural operation. No work is done by commercialized mechanisms.
The primary draw is the 10-acre corn maze that boggles the minds of kids and adults alike. The labyrinth of trails among the corn rows stretches 2 ½ miles, creating a challenging and fun experience for all. At twilight, visitors are encouraged to test their mental strength by going through the maze with only glow sticks and flashlights. There is also a 2-acre corn maze for the younger crowd to attempt.
The little kids have a day’s worth of attractions for entertainment. First, they can hop in their own special ride, a tractor-pulled train of barrels. Following the ride, they can delve into the 2 play areas, a hay bale maze and a tractor tire playground. The sights to behold for youthful eyes are numerous, such as a farm animal ‘petting zoo’/feeding station, and hay bales designed to look like Minion characters from the hit Despicable Me films.
Visitors have the opportunity to tour the expansive farmland on a hay ride, in which they learn about the farm in an up-close and personal level. Afterward, families can either pick and buy their own pumpkins from a vast patch, or buy from the farm’s selection of pre-picked pumpkins, gourds, or vegetables like winter squash and potatoes. Family members may then engage in a game of corn hole, or watch a duck race event put on by the farm workers. By evening the group can relax by a bonfire (reservation mandatory) prepared by the farm employees and enjoy the brilliant scenery.
This magnificent venue for family fun has become a staple for people in the area looking for a fall adventure, and you don’t want to miss out. Byrnside Branch Farm closes their season on November 3rd, so don’t wait to enjoy its splendor.
Hours ~ Fri: 4:00 PM – 10:00 PM. Sat: 9:00 AM – 10:00 PM. Sun: 1:00 PM – 10:00 PM. The farm also offers special group bookings during the week. Call 304-772-3131 for more information. Byrnside Branch Farm is located 20 miles south of Lewisburg. From Lewisburg, take US 219 South. Arrive in Union, West Virginia. Stay straight at stop sign. Go one mile, and you will arrive at the farm on the left.
– Ben Anderson, LBSPY. October 2015.
HASHTAGWV ART & ENTERTAINMENT Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, Christina Entenmann-Edwards has been a WV resident since September 2008. She was born and raised in Fairfield County, Connecticut, and is no stranger to hard work and the entrepreneurial spirit. In 2006, she graduated from Quinnipiac University (Hamden, Connecticut), Cum Laude, with a B.A. in History. In 2010, she graduated with an M.B.A. from Liberty University (Lynchburg, Virginia). In February 2012, Christina launched HashtagWV as the area’s first full-color, free arts and entertainment tabloid + online platform. Christina completed the Leadership West Virginia class of 2021, which is an innovative program that grows, engages, and mobilizes leaders to ignite a life passion to move West Virginia forward.