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While attending the University of North Georgia, I spent a lot of time at Amicalola Falls and several other hikes in the surrounding area, so it was certainly inevitable that I stopped by Burt’s during one of my autumn outings. It was immediately apparent that the Burt family put their heart into this place, from the warm greetings at the entrance to the small details scattered across the farm. Since moving to Clarkesville, I hadn’t visited Burt’s in nearly five years and a trip was well overdue. So when my wife suggested we get some pumpkins for fall decor, and of course one or two for carving, I jumped at the opportunity. So we made the trip through Dahlonega to the outskirts of Dawsonville and back to the familiar roadside barn.
The history of Burt’s Farm dates way back to the 1800’s. John Crane, the family patriarch, moved to the Dawsonville area from South Carolina and purchased the property that the farm is still located on today, which at the time also included the neighboring Amicalola Falls State Park. However, the State Park portion of the land was confiscated in the late 1800s when Bartley Crane failed to pay taxes on the liquor from his still on the property.
Following this, Bartley decided to open a country store in hopes that his son Hunt would one day take over. Little did he know that he was setting up his family’s legacy as several generations continued the store before Hunt’s grandson, Johnny Burt, started growing pumpkins.
Johnny and Kathy Burt lived at the entrance to Amicalola Falls in 1972 when they decided to start growing pumpkins. They grew them right around the corner and then brought them to the entrance of the state park to sell to the thousands of people coming to visit Amicalola throughout the Fall season.
Johnny and Kathy, along with their three children, continued growing and selling pumpkins right out of their front yard for the next twenty years. Year after year they saw growth in the family farm until it was eventually a sustainable way of life for them.
In 1991, the Burts built a barn and a few pumpkin stands on the family land just around the corner from Amicalola, where you still find Burt’s farm today, nearly 35 years later. Johnny also liked the idea of adding a hayride around the farm’s perimeter to entertain children who visited the farm with their families. This hayride has become one of the farm’s primary attractions and brings back visitors year after year. The hayride circles the farm’s outskirts, showing off the 70 acres of growing pumpkins, fields of wildflowers, and even a view of Amicalola Falls.
In addition to the hayride, Burt’s has become known for their baked goods that have been made from family recipes for years on end. While walking the rows of pumpkins at the farm, you can actually smell the sweet aroma filling the air as they are baked on-site. We caved and had to try the pumpkin roll and an apple pie during our last visit. Both are absolutely delicious.
And of course, it wouldn’t be much of a pumpkin farm without pumpkins. Today, Burt’s offers over 20 varieties of pumpkins, ornamental corn, and winter squash. It doesn’t really matter what size, shape, or color of pumpkin you’re looking for, you’re covered here. Fill a basket, or if you’re like us and couldn’t stop finding more, grab a wheelbarrow.
We loved our visit to the farm this year and can easily see this becoming a yearly tradition for us. There’s something really special about walking down the aisles of pumpkins to find the perfect one to take home. The changing leaves, crisp cool air, and smell of apple pie floating through the farm set the perfect tone for great memories. There’s also something special about what the Burt Family has built here and it’s obvious the second you arrive. We hope you get to visit the farm this fall and experience it for yourself.
You can find the Burt’s Pumpkin Farm website here for more info.