Review: The Rock Ranch
By Alexa Johnson Anderson
Idyllic. If I had to choose one word to describe our day at The Rock Ranch in The Rock, Georgia, that would be it. Seriously, it’s just an idyllic place with lakes, rolling hills, beautiful pastures and happy families (at least they looked happy).
It’s also a 1,500-acre ranch that is owned by the Cathy Family (you may know them a little better as the “Chick Fil A” Family). This farm is a cattle ranch with a twist. It’s also a park – not quite a theme park, but pretty close. The Rock Ranch has zip lines, a huge corn maze, a pumpkin cannon, fishing, a pillow bouncy that you and you kids MUST experience, a train ride, a carousel, and… this list goes on.
I have been to The Rock Ranch several times before, so when my family and I had to chance to come again to review it, well, I was all over it and my kids couldn’t wait. We arrived at the ranch around 1:00 p.m. and had a few minutes to get reacquainted with the layout of the park before heading to a short reception. The reception gave the general manager and staff of The Rock Ranch some time to explain their mission and talk about all the aspects of The Rock Ranch, including the cattle ranch, foster homes and farm. It also gave me the opportunity to enjoy their divine sweet tea and cookies. The group went on a tour of the entire ranch. We went into one of the Farm Stays. These houses are on the property and I kind of like what they used to call them – Bed and No Breakfasts. Every house has recently been upgraded and they are NICE! We also checked out the camping facilities in the Conestoga Wagon camping that house up to 8 people per wagon.
Y’all, if I had not already been a huge fan of this facility, by time I finished the tour I’d be a believer. The more I hear about the philanthropy and purpose of the Cathy family, the more I like them and the people who choose to work as their ambassadors. As with Chick Fil A, the focus at The Rock Ranch is on service and ensuring that each and every customer’s experience is great. And our’s was.
The kids’ favorite activity the entire time was a simple tunnel slide that goes underground. And to be perfectly honest, I loved it, too, for several reasons. First, it’s fun as all get out. Second, the kids were fairly contained and completely entertained. Noah and Vivian spent at least an hour throughout the day running up the hill, sliding down and starting all over again. It reminded me of the Water Whiz barefoot trek up that huge concrete hill that left you with raw spots on the pads of your toes.
But I digress… back to The Rock Ranch. Noah braved the rock climbing wall and Scott and I both harnessed up and zipped along the zip lines. I am always searching for an adrenaline rush and opted for the “fast” line. I don’t know how fast I was going, but the view going over the corn maze was fantastic and I became intimately acquainted with the corn maze as my feet grazed the tops of the stalks.
After rock climbing, zip lining and sliding, Tiny Town and the train ride were on top of Noah’s list. Have you noticed that there are lots of tops of Noah’s list? He was itching the whole time to get to Tiny Town so that he could slide down the pole in the fire station. This boy has the memory of an elephant and the fire station made a huge impression on him last year. Once in Tiny Town, Vivian served up some green ice cream to me and Noah slide down the pole in the fire house and they were satisfied.
What Could Go Wrong?
Did I mention that each Saturday during the Fall The Rock Ranch has a theme day? Saturday, September 27th happened to be Hats Off to Heroes, and I am beyond grateful that there was a large police and sheriff presence there.
Our scare, also classified as a freak out, happened after we ate dinner and Noah scampered up the hill to the pillow bounce thingamajig. Scott and followed him and Vivian and parked ourselves on the back side of the pillow thing and at the top of the tunnel slide so Noah and Vivian could both do what they wanted. As Scott and I sitting there, enjoying the beautiful, idyllic view with the puffy clouds, green grass, and butterflies we realized that we don’t see Noah. No big deal, right? This thing is enclosed with an attendant and we’ve been watching him the entire time. Scott walks around the pillow puff thing and there’s no Noah. Now’s it a big deal. I speak quickly to the attendant who might be 16 years old and she immediately gets on the radio and magically two deputies appear and take Noah’s description. A mom who had been standing near us overheard our conversation and quickly pointed us all to the bottom of the hill where we had eaten dinner and there we found Noah with a nice Rock Ranch worker who happened to be carrying a baby squirrel around with her. I am swear that I am not making this up.
The staff’s calmness and wonderful care of Noah helped keep a scary situation into one that was stressful, but not catastrophic.
If you have a chance to go to The Rock Ranch, go! Each Saturday has a different theme, so check out their website (and the Muscogee Moms website) for more information. The ranch is also open during the week for field trips, but you need to make reservations for the field trips.
How to Contact Rock Ranch
You can find The Rock Ranch at therockranch.com