On Thursday, June 23, 2016- we took a Day Ride to Athens, TN to tour the Mayfield Dairy.
It was a beautiful day with mostly blue skies, very warm, and only a slight chance for spotty showers.
Jeff kicks off the day with this video:
We left our home in North Knoxville at 9:45am, filled our tanks, and headed down Alcoa Highway (129) to Topside Road.
Topside took us through Louisville where we took 322 through Friendsville, and onto 321.
321 took us over Fort Loudoun Dam and into Lenoir City where we took 11 through Loudon and on into Sweetwater.
In Sweetwater, we took 68 toward Madisonville. We then took 307, eventually running right into the Mayfield Dairy.
We arrived at Mayfield’s at 11:45am and the tour started at noon. So we purchased our tickets and looked around the Visitor Center while waiting for the tour to begin.
From the Mayfield Dairy website:
The Mayfield Story
In 1910, when T.B. Mayfield Jr. purchased 45 Jersey cows and began delivering milk to customers in his hometown of Athens, Tennessee, little did he know that four generations later, his family milk and ice cream business would become one of the nation’s favorite dairy brands.
After T.B. Jr. retired, the next generation of the Mayfield family picked up where he left off, and in 1950, under the leadership of owners Thomas B. Mayfield III and C. Scott Mayfield Sr., we build the Southeast’s most modern milk plant. Today, Mayfield is one of the nation’s leading dairies, using advanced technology to bring the best products and innovative packaging to our customers.
Mayfield merges with the Dean Food Company in 1990. To see the entire history of the Mayfield Dairy, CLICK HERE and follow along with the timeline.
After viewing the video, we began the tour of the factory floor. We weren’t allowed to take photos inside the processing plant. But once inside, we saw how the famous yellow Mayfield milk jugs are made, and how those jugs are filled with milk. We also got to see how school milk cartons are processed and view ice cream being packaged.
The Mayfield Dairy not only packages their name brand products, but also some private labels. The inside of the plant is very clean and the workers sure earn their pay!
The tour gives you a close up view of the processing of dairy products and how they are packaged. A mom on the way out said to her child, “Now you know how milk is made.” Well that statement is only half correct. The product is shipped in from local dairy farms where the real milk is made by actual cows. But that’s a tour for another day.
The entire tour from start to finish took about 45 minutes. Then we got our yummy ice cream and spent another 20 minutes porch sitting and enjoying the kids playing.
After sitting in the Visitor Center courtyard, we got back on our bikes and rode into downtown Athens to look around.
After gawking awhile, we headed out on highway 11 and stopped at Michael’s- a family restaurant located right on the outskirts of town. We arrived at Michael’s just after 2pm.
Next time you are in Athens, check out Michael’s. The food is great and the staff makes it a really nice dining experience.
After lunch, we rode north on 11 through Niota and into Sweetwater. In Sweetwater, we took 322 over to 72, then turned onto 444 through Tellico Village.
We got back on our bikes, then 10 minutes later, decided to check out the boat dock and Tellico Dam.
After enjoying our visit, we got back on the bikes and rode back into Lenoir City.
After our hydration break, we took 11 back into Farragut and then back into Knoxville. We stopped in downtown Knoxville for a few photos.
After snapping a few photos downtown, and finishing off the rest of our water, we headed the short distance home.
We got back home at 5:15pm and our total ride was 157 miles. Our fur kids were very happy to see us.
Jeff wraps up the day in this video:
You can view our entire list of DAY RIDES by CLICKING HERE.