The moment you step onto BelleWood Acres in Lynden, Washington, your senses are immediately overwhelmed with the familiar scent of manure and sweet, spicy apple cider that wafts from the Country Store. Your eyes may be drawn to the charming pumpkin patch or rows of sunflowers against a backdrop of picturesque Whatcom County agriculture.
The BelleWood Acres Harvest Festival is Whatcom County’s best kept secret, and is a fun and inexpensive destination for all autumnal delights.
The festival features a variety of fun activities that visitors can participate in by purchasing tickets for $1 each, with different events requiring a different amount of tickets . Owner Dorie Belisle said the harvest starts in the first weekend of September and runs until the last weekend in October. There is no entrance fee for entering the farm itself.
“It’s a real festive time. Our Saturdays and Sundays are just fun.”
Today, BelleWood features a 25,000-acre apple orchard where guests can take an apple bin train ride to the orchard and pick their own apples from among 20 different varieties. The website features a calendar that displays when each variety will be at peak ripeness. Belisle said two bin trains run continually through the orchard on weekends.
“They are made out of the apple bins with benches to sit on,” Belisle Said. “So you can get in the bin train and our driver will take you out to the orchard.” A harvest festival wouldn’t be complete without a pumpkin patch and corn maze. Around two acres in size, the maze contains nine dead ends that each feature a fact about Whatcom farms, said Belisle.
“I really like the corn maze. I think it’s really fun to explore with friends every year,” Aidan Graves said. Graves has visited BelleWood Acres once before and also enjoys how big the Farm Market is.
The Farm Market and Country Café feature a variety of home and food products as well as apple tastings. Breakfast and lunch is served daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. according to the farm’s website. Other activities include outdoor games and face painting. Each weekend, there is live music that plays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
“There’s things you can do without a whole lot of money but you’ll want to buy at least a bag of our apple cider doughnuts and you’ll definitely want to try our kettle corn and some hot or cold apple cider,” Belisle said. “It’s a real festive time. Our Saturdays and Sundays are just fun.”
Belisle stated that although weekends are the busiest time for the harvest festival, she encourages people to visit during the week to pick apples, pumpkins or to go through the corn maze.
BelleWood Acres initially began as a small orchard in 1996 and has since been owned and operated by John and Dorie Belisle. The harvest festival has been a recent addition that has only been around for the past four years, Belisle said.