Tucked in a hidden corner of Smyrna, RC Field Days is five acres of recreational space created by Rebecca and Johnny Farrow and their two children, Blain and Anna, for remote control vehicles. What began as a creative side project on the family's working farm during Covid-19 has now become a haven for RC enthusiasts looking for trails for their rigs and also a fun try-out spot for newbies!
Whether this is your game, or your family just loves the outdoors, there really is something for everyone out here. Here are three reasons your family needs RC Field Days.
1. Intriguing Cars
At RC Field Days, you'll see vehicles that aren't exactly your $30 supermarket purchase. You'll see 1/10 and 1/24 models that can articulate, climb, and jump like real off-road vehicles. It's something to see (and if your kids are anything like mine there will be some serious mouth watering going on!). While serious RC enthusiasts can carry in their gear, newbies can rent vehicles from the Farrows including the Axial SCX10 II Deadbolt, Traxxas TRX-4 Land Rover Defender, and Losi Night Crawlers. These are relatively simple to use, easy to maneuver, and hardy enough that even a three-year old's "oops" over a rock doesn't rattle it. My kids stayed busy, making mistakes, scrambling for their trucks, righting them, and trying again.
And that's what the Farrows especially want children to experience on their visit.
"I love seeing the kids work through the trial and error of learning how to deal with things like off-camber situations and steep hills without the risk of getting hurt on an ATV," says Rebecca. "This is one activity that gets them outside and problem-solving in a fun way to successfully navigate a hill or rock climb."
2. Challenging Courses
Try taking an RC vehicle to a community walking path or state park, and you'll quickly find that other visitors aren't crazy about a remote control vehicle zipping around their Zen walking moments. When the Farrows discovered this, they decided they would create for the community what they wanted for their own family. "Not finding what we were looking for locally, we decided to create it," Rebecca grins. "Johnny and I have been active in the off-road community for years and realized driving an RC mimics many of the same skills we have to use in full size vehicles when tackling challenging terrain"
There are five courses currently on the property (more are in the works), and three are situated in the property's forests and Cedar Barrens. Think stepping down, climbing up, and keeping your balance, all while giving your vehicle optimal range and speed to climb to the next plateau. It's definitely a mind and body workout! Choose from The Junkyard, a 2800 square foot course over wooden bridge, ramps and - sure- a race car helmet- and other unique obstacles; The Cedar Barren, which winds though limestone outcroppings, jumps, and a cedar pole bridge; or Hell's Canyon which features a 600-foot-long trail crisscrossing over 7,000 square feet of woods. This spot allows for some racing, as well as great challenges over bridges.
I loved working the controls as my truck climbed the Farrows' Rock Wall Challenge -- the 100-foot-long, 6-foot-high obstacle course behind their house. It's addictive to find your start, think you've chosen your line well, hand then have to pull back, regroup, and choose again when the truck falls. Similarly, Bobcat Ridge offers 2,500 square feet of mixed trail and boulders.
No doubt that the trails and walls are intense, but anyone who needs a space for getting used to controls can try the 1/24 Scale trail next to the Rock Wall Challenge. Well-lined and filled with smaller obstacles, it's a low-key space for practice.
3. Relaxing Farm Views
The Farrows' 37 acres of farmland is intriguing enough even without the trails, so families visiting have plenty to see even when not handling their RCs. Pigs, cows, goats, chickens, friendly dogs, and even baby ducks are an active part of the farm scene, with the Farrows opening pens for petting on occasion. Little ones are welcome on the property's trampoline and rope swing, and all are welcome to relax on the family's wrap around porch when it's time to rest or have a picnic.
Want to take a taste of the farm home with you? On open weekends guests can purchase fresh eggs, jellies and jams, honey, baked goods, pork and beef shares, and seasonal fruits and veggies grown by the Farrows.
"Families have shared how they are looking for more outdoor options in the area and unique experiences," notes Rebecca. "People really like the welcoming atmosphere and privacy of the farm - it feels like an escape where you are encouraged to have fun and explore."
Ready to go? RC Field Days is located at 8840 Rocky Fork Road, Smyrna. It is open on the first full weekend of the month and on special event weekends. Open Crawl admission is $10 for guests 13 and older; $5 for ages 7-12 (must be accompanied by a paid adult); and children six and under are free. ***Make plans to join them Mother's Day Weekend for a unique scavenger hunt and family challenge! There is a $25 family special (bring your own rig); $45 family entry and one 2-hour RC rental; or $90 family entry and two 2-hour RC rentals. Learn more about the farm's daily life and what's new at RC Field Days at farmsteadfavorites.home.blog. Also follow them on Facebook and Instagram.