Canaan Valley guests and residents can now visit the region’s latest attraction, Sam’s Barnyard Animals and Petting Zoo. Local businessman, Sam Jinks opened the animal adventure to visitors this month.
Located at 5460 Appalachian Highway on the old Parsons farmstead, just west of the Blackwater Center, the Barnyard features Tahoe a talking Amazon parrot, Huacaya Alpacas with thick fleecy coats, West Virginia Show Champion miniature horses and a variety of rabbits, sheep, exotic chickens, pot-bellied pigs, a calf, and momma goats with their babies.
Guests may also see Angus, a trained Border Collie, at work herding the animals into the pasture or back to a barn. Angus is “assisted” by Bella, a mixed-breed rescue puppy.
The Barnyard offers a unique opportunity to learn about, have fun with and see why animals are special. “We opened the Barnyard because we enjoy being around all these animals,” said Jinks, “And we want other people who may not live where they can be near different types of animals to have the chance to see and mingle with them too.”
Jinks’ zoo allows up close access to many barnyard animals in their natural, open habitat which provides visitors the possibility of touching them and observing their behavior. “It also helps children to learn respect not only for pets but other animals too,” Jinks said.
Prior to opening the Barnyard, Jinks and wife, Diane Baisden, owned and operated Highland Scene Tours, a Tucker County outdoor adventure sport rental and touring company. Jinx also managed the Blackwater Falls State Park petting zoo for several years.
Sam’s Barnyard Animals and Petting Zoo’s summer hours are daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $5 and children four and under are free. For group rates, contact the Barnyard at 304- 940-1188. You can also visit Sam’s Barnyard Animals on Facebook.