MATNEY — Guests got to celebrate National Alpaca Farm Day on Sept. 28 and 29 at the Apple Hill Farm, located in the Matney community on the Watauga and Avery border.

According to Tiffany Breindel, assistant manager of Apple Hill, visitors can interact with the alpacas, llamas, goats, donkeys, chickens and more on the farm, which was started in 2005 by Lee Rankin and opened to the public the following year, becoming one of the area’s agrotourism destinations.

More than 1,000 farms across the country celebrated National Alpaca Farm Days. Apple Hill allowed self-guided tours for $5.

The farm was featured by ESPN during its broadcast of the Sun Belt Conference Football Championship Game on Dec. 1, 2018, between Appalachian State and Louisiana.

Brianne Harris, a store and team manager at Apple Hill, previously said that there had been a 20 percent increase in tours in 2019.

The public is able to come and take a 45-60 minute tour of the farm at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. from Sunday through Friday and at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturdays, through Oct. 18. The on-site store also sells socks made from the fiber of the alpacas and angora goats on site and is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 12-4 p.m. on Sunday through Oct. 18 before shifting into late fall and winter hours.

For late fall and winter hours and more information, visit applehillfarmnc.com. Kids ages 4-10 are $7 and adults are $12.

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