This summer, I was supposed to be jetting off to incredible destinations such as Costa Rica, Toronto, Chicago, New York, and even Japan for the Paralympics. Of course, all of those trips have now been cancelled thanks to the ‘rona, but I am determined to still have a fun summer.
During the recent July 4th weekend, I searched online for wheelchair accessible cabins in North Carolina and stumbled upon Cobb Creek Cabins. Not only did Cobb Creek supposedly have wheelchair friendly cabins, but they also had an alpaca ranch. Sure, it wouldn’t be the same as eating sushi in Tokyo or rolling over hanging bridges in the rainforest of Costa Rica, but it would be a new experience, as I had never before seen alpacas. After four months in self-isolation (minus a quick weekend getaway to the Great Smoky Mountains a couple months ago), I was certainly ready for a new experience, no matter what it was. I quickly booked a three night stay at The Alpaca Ranch at Cobb Creek Cabins and within a couple days, I was North Carolina bound.
From interacting with alpacas to grilling out on the back deck of my accessible cabin, this was a trip that blew past all of my expectations. It showed me that sometimes, the best experiences don’t have to be in faraway lands. They can be within a two hour drive of home as long as you’re willing to experience something new.
My wheelchair accessible cabin
The Alpaca Ranch at Cobb Creek Cabins has a total of six cabins, with two of them being wheelchair accessible. The Bobcat cabin is a larger, three bed wheelchair friendly cabin and the Bear cabin is the other accessible cabin, but it’s a bit smaller with two beds. Since it was just my mom, my stepdad, and I on this trip, we stayed in the Bear cabin.
The entrance to the Bear cabin had a long wooden ramp up to the front porch. The front porch was covered and had rocking chairs and a swing. From the front porch, there was a great view of the alpaca barn that houses the female alpacas. I loved sitting on the porch and watching the alpacas run around.
The Bear cabin was cozy, but definitely spacious enough for my wheelchair. The living area had a television, couches, and was decorated beautifully. The cabin also had WiFi, but it was rather spotty during my stay. I had the best WiFi usage on the front porch.
Throughout the entire cabin, there were bear-themed decorations, which added a nice mountainous feeling to the cabin.
Connected to the living area was the kitchen. It had a stove, microwave, refrigerator, a dining table, and all of the dishes and utensils that you could possibly need were available in the cabinets. Since Cobb Creek Cabins has chickens on-site, in addition to all of the alpacas, they even had eggs in our refrigerator for us.
The master bedroom had a king sized bed in it, which a hoyer lift could roll under. It would be difficult for a wheelchair user to get to the right side of the bed, but the left side was pretty spacious. If anything needs rearranged to be more accessible for you, Veronica (owner of The Alpaca Ranch at Cobb Creek Cabins) told me multiple times she’d be happy to move something or do whatever she could. Her hospitality and willingness to help was much appreciated.
The other bed is located at the back of the cabin and isn’t in a proper bedroom, but more of a cubby area. It was right by the washer and dryer, but still had cute decorations to make it feel like a bedroom. A hoyer lift/hoist could easily roll under this bed too. I slept in this bed during my stay and it had the best mattress I’ve ever slept on… seriously. I have never slept better in my entire life than I did those three nights.
The last room in the cabin was the bathroom, which was spacious enough for my shower chair, but it did have a few accessibility issues, to be honest. There was a sink that was easy to roll up to, which was great. The toilet had grab bars behind it and on the right side (if you’re sitting on the toilet, then on your right side), but the grab bar on the right was very short. It would be tricky to use the grab bars if you need them, I’d think. I use a shower and commode chair and don’t need grab bars, so it wasn’t an issue for me, but I can see how it’d be tricky.
The only issue that I had in the entire cabin was with the shower. It had a small step to get in the shower, which my shower chair couldn’t roll over of course. So, we had to be creative with taking a shower, but we made it work and I didn’t stink by the end of the trip, so we’re all good. I mentioned the shower issue to Veronica and she understood, so hopefully it can be improved eventually.
There was also a back deck, which I could easily roll on to. It had a table, a grill, and a view of the creek. We grilled out a couple nights on the back deck and it was so nice! I’d definitely recommend bringing some food and grilling out during your stay for a good time.
Meeting the alpacas
Sure, the cabin was a fantastic place to stay, but the highlight of any visit to The Alpaca Ranch at Cobb Creek Cabins is getting to actually meet and interact with the alpacas. I had never seen an alpaca up-close before my visit, so it was a lot of fun to learn about these fascinating creatures and play with them for a bit. A tour of the ranch is free for every guest staying in the cabins.
There are three barns for the alpacas at The Alpaca Ranch, and they’re separated into different areas. I was able to roll to each barn fairly easily from my cabin, although it was a little bumpy in certain spots. But it was only a 5 minute roll/walk from one barn to the next and the entire property is gorgeous, so I enjoyed the scenery.
Right in front of the Bear cabin, where I stayed, was the barn for the female alpacas. A baby alpaca was born just a couple weeks before my stay, so it was in there as well. This was my favorite barn, mainly because of the baby alpaca, but all of the barns were great.
Veronica, the owner of the ranch, gave me some carrots to feed the alpacas and they really loved it. Alpacas don’t have any teeth on the top of their mouths, so I didn’t even have to worry about getting bitten while feeding them.
I even had some carrots placed on my shoulder and on my head, and they gobbled those up as well. I never thought I’d have an alpaca eating off the top of my head, but hey, I’m all for new experiences and this certainly was one to remember.
The other two barns had the male alpacas and we were able to feed them. They were very friendly, but a bit timid at times. Veronica did a phenomenal job of getting us as close to the alpacas as possible though, so there were plenty of photo-ops.
One of the barns had chickens as well and there was one llama at the ranch. In total, there are 31 alpacas total and each one had its own personality. I was only there for a few days, but even in that time, I started to favor certain alpacas because of their unique attitudes.
While interacting with the alpacas, Veronica told us some interesting facts. Here are some fun facts I learned about alpacas:
• They get sheared only once per year, but they absolutely hate it. They can pee, poop, throw up, and freak out during that 10 minute process. It’s a bit messy it seems like!
• The mom alpacas usually only have one baby at a time.
• Alpacas can live for about 20 years.
• They are herd animals and need to be in groups of at least 3 at all times.
To say that I am now obsessed with alpacas would be an understatement. I’m already dreaming of my next play-date with the alpacas at The Alpaca Ranch at Cobb Creek Cabins.
Additional information for your stay
When planning your getaway to The Alpaca Ranch at Cobb Creek Cabins, here are some additional things to know –
• The ranch is located in Murphy, North Carolina. The downtown area is about a ten minute drive away and there are quite a few great restaurants and attractions. I’d definitely recommend enjoying the Murphy River Walk. It has a paved trail and is a fun activity to enjoy on a nice day.
• The ranch is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as “The Old Cobb Homestead”. It was built in 1861 by John Franklin Cobb, grandfather to baseball legend Ty Cobb. Ty used to practice playing baseball on the ranch here.
• The ranch has blueberry bushes and you can pick your own blueberries. I put the blueberries in pancakes one morning and it was the best breakfast I’ve had in a while!
• There is a fire pit on the property as well, so if you love s’mores, be sure to bring all of the supplies and enjoy!
• Alpaca clothing, blankets, socks, gloves, and more are for sale. Once you have a favorite alpaca on the ranch, just ask Veronica what items were made from its hair and you can have a unique and authentic souvenir. I bought a stuffed alpaca toy for my niece, which she loved.
Now, alpaca your bags and visit!
My weekend stay at The Alpaca Ranch at Cobb Creek Cabins was more fun than I could’ve ever expected. I made 32 new friends (Veronica + 31 alpacas) and was able to relax for a few days and forget the worries of our world during this time. It was the getaway that my soul needed.
So, what are you waiting for? If you want to interact with some alpacas and unwind in a beautiful cabin, book your stay. I promise that you will love this North Carolina gem.
Check out The Alpaca Ranch at Cobb Creek Cabins by clicking here.