March 17, 2018: Haute Goat is a tourist attraction in Newtonville, Ontario (just outside of Port Hope) where there is a 200-acre farm for alpacas, Nigerian Dwarf goats, and Icelandic horses. The most special and visit-worthy thing about Haute Goat is their “goat shmurgle” where you get to walk with goats, feed them, and get right up and personal with them to hug them. I actually didn’t know that Haute Goat offered such a fun activity for kids and adults until our visit. I highly recommend visiting Haute Goat! They also sell handmade, small batch goat milk skin care, and edibles at their store.
For us, we arrived at Haute Goat a little after 2 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon the week of March Break for the kids. There was parking along the dirt road when we got there and there were already a lot of kids with their parents there as well as our fellow tourmates. I was glad that the goat shmurgle hadn’t started yet. Instead, we headed into a brief info lesson about alpacas! I didn’t know that there were alpacas on the premises until I got there too. We learned about their feeding and mating behaviours. Then we got to enter their pen to meet and pet and feed the alpacas too! I think alpacas are adorable and it was so fun to get to feed them. I found it funny how they were so short and behaved in erratic yet cute ways. They had their own personalities and weren’t shy to walk away abruptly or shove their heads into you if they wanted to. We fed them food pellets and it was fun to see them gobble up the pellets from my hand.
After this, we had the main event! We visited the 22 girls that were kept on the farm. There were six people who volunteered to go into the goat enclosure first to get the goats on leashes. Then on the count of three, a few children helped to open the gate and all the goats were released. It was such a sight to see all the goats rushing and walking out. I was so surprised that the goats walked so quickly as a herd towards the field. There was one goat that Veronica was holding that was particularly energetic and jumping around. It was adorable. She was also blah-blah-ing and so vocal. It was such a unique and fun experience that I’d never tried before! ^_^
(Haute Goat hosts weekly Sunday goat shmurgles; visit their website to find out the prices and schedules.)
We walked with the goats for a full circle around the farm before heading back to their enclosure. I was so surprised that the goats walked so quickly. We were left in the dust! Along the way, some of them did pause for a while by rubbing their heads against branches. They seem to like doing that a lot. 🙂
After returning to the playground pen, we were given fresh cedar leaves to feed to the goats. (Feeding varieties like pine and cedar help to deworm the goats.) Again, the goats had so much of their own personalities and jest that they frequently rejected you and didn’t stay still. It was hard to get a “shmurgle” (goat hug) with them too.
We saw the pen of Icelandic horses that were on site too.
After this, we visited the shop onsite which sold everything from alpaca fur, goat cheese, goat caramel corn, alpaca dryer balls, duck eggs, goat soap, and more. We had a good chat with the owner who wanted to know more about our visit to Port Hope. We also got to try their goat cheese (delicious) and caramel popcorn.
The goat shmurgle was such a one-of-a-kind and fun experience! It was so joyful and peaceful to see the goats so happy and walking about. Again, I highly recommend this experience to young and old alike! It was perfect that we had such a great sunny day with great spring-like weather too. Haute Goat also offers “goat yoga” and other workshops onsite. To get there, you can either drive or they now offer shuttles from Oshawa GO! (For the shuttle, there is a minimum of two people at $20 per person. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange your ride.) 🙂
FTC Disclaimer: Although the Municipality of Port Hope reached out and invited me to a complimentary visit to promote the businesses in Port Hope, the opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of the Municipality or businesses.