North Georgia day trip: strawberry picking at a local farm and hiking near Rome, Georgia

Pick-your-own strawberries at LCCL Farms in north Georgia, near Rome and Armuchee!

Pick-your-own strawberries at LCCL Starwberry Farms in north Georgia, near Rome and Armuchee! The last photo is Zack standing below the bigger of two falls at Keown Falls and John's Mountain Trail.

This past weekend, after an anticipated rafting trip down the Cartecay River was scrapped due to weather concerns, Zack and I reevaluated how to go about spending our Saturday outdoors. Luckily, it’s strawberry season, which means fresh daiquiris are in! After a little research, I came up with a plan to go strawberry picking at a local Georgia farm near Rome followed by a hike along the Armuchee Ridges just north of the farm. So we set out amidst the thunderstorms to head for the foothills of north Georgia.

By the time we made it to Rome a little while later, the rain had cleared up, although it was still a little overcast. We pulled into the dirt driveway of LCCL Strawberry Farms on Old Dalton Road and parked the car next to rows and rows of strawberry plants. Several cars filled the parking area and we made our way to the barn-like building to get our buckets. A very tall man asked how many buckets we wanted and said we could have as many as we wanted. As it turned out, his name is Lance, the first “L” in LCCL Farms. The C’s are his wife Cindy, older son Connor and youngest son Lucas. We collected up four white plastic buckets and followed the instructions to walk 200 yards down the path to the back strawberry fields where we would meet a man who would guide us as to where to pick.

  • What: Strawberry picking at local Georgia farm, LCCL Strawberry Farms (containers provided)
  • Where: LCCL Strawberry Farm at 3743 Old Dalton Road, Rome, GA (map it!)
  • When: NOW! Strawberry season winds down in June! Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday from 1-5 p.m. (they don’t have a website that I could find, but feel free to give them a call at 706.295.2587 to double-check times)
  • Cost: $1.50 per pound (about 5 pounds per bucket) if you pick ‘em and $2.40 a pound for pre-picked

7 year-old Lucas and 9 year old Connor offered us a rides on their mules (a four wheeler more akin to an off-road golf cart), but we headed off on foot. At the back field, several groups were already in the rows picking strawberries. We were greeted by a man named Brad who directed us down rows 6 and 7 and asked that we pick along either side of the row and make our way back towards him. We couldn’t believe the amount of big red berries we found all over the plants!

As we picked strawberries, we talked to a few people in the field and one woman said this was her second time out here in a week. She also mentioned that each bucket holds about 5 pounds, which surprised us. As we picked our way back towards Brad, we started talking to him and he talked to us about strawberry farming. He said they grow the strawberries on mounded soil covered in plastic so they can irrigate and fertilize underneath. A number of strawberries were starting to go soft and Brad explained that those berries need to be removed, too, because as they go soft and they’re not plucked, the fruit will slow its production drastically. I should have asked him about it earlier and we could have helped pick them off as we went along!

We actually filled our four buckets with strawberries relatively quickly (for not having done it before). Zack tried to behave and not eat too many as we picked them, but I did not have the same reserve. I debated whether we should grab more buckets (to fulfill my grandiose plans of making strawberry jam, cobbler, shortcake, smoothies, daiquiris, pancakes, frozen foods, etc., but Zack convinced me we should be good with four). When we got back up to the house and they dumped our strawberries into a cardboard palette, the total weight came out to a ridiculous 21 pounds!

As we loaded them into the cooler and debated what to do with them, a woman pulled over to the side as she was leaving and said she’d overheard me talking about daiquiris earlier and wanted to know if I have a special recipe, that she couldn’t get them off of her mind. I said no, not really, that’s it’s really just a another means of getting fresh strawberries into my mouth!

After strawberry picking, we headed by my cousin’s house nearby in Armuchee to drop off some of the 21 pounds and then were on our way to Keown Falls and John’s Mountain to hike a few trails and then on to stay with our friends at Carter’s Lake for the night.

As this blog post has blossomed to a longer length than originally intentioned, I’ll save Keown Falls and John’s Mountain Trail for another time. If you want more info on creating your own day trip from Atlanta, just leave a comment here and I’ll get back to you!

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Comments
5 Responses to “North Georgia day trip: strawberry picking at a local farm and hiking near Rome, Georgia”
  1. I have to admit this is the third time I have read your blog and I am loving it! I added your blog to my rss reader. Looking forward to see more posts!

  2. My sister was there and she was looking for your receipes you and her talked about, where can I find them?

    • Hi Geneva,
      Thanks for writing! I talked to a lady last year about strawberry daiquiris – was that your sister? I didn’t have any other recipes on-hand, although I do love strawberries. I’m hoping to make it back this year before the season is over!
      Thanks,
      Jenny

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