Sumarokovskaya Elk Farm

Golden Ring

Founded in 1963, this research farm breeds European elk (Alces alces; called 'moose' in North America) for their nutrient-dense milk, considered beneficial for various stomach ailments; you can try it at the farm from May to September. A guided tour includes a bag of carrots to feed to these gentle creatures; if you visit in May you'll be able to see the herd's newest calves. It's better to visit earlier in the day than later.

The farm is located about 25km southeast of Kostroma and makes for a pleasant half-day trip into the countryside. Drive southeast along ul Sovetskaya and continue 5.7km past the train station to Poddubnoye. Turn left at the Ikonnikovo sign and drive to the small hamlet of Gridino; take the right turn at the farm sign and follow the unsealed road for 6km. A return taxi from Kostroma with a one-hour wait will cost around R800.

In winter, the whole elk population moves to temporary enclosures in nearby locations (plus, heavy snow can make the road impassable), so be sure to inquire before heading out there.