The Pumpkin Ranch in Winterset, Iowa

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The Pumpkin Ranch in Winterset, Iowa

Since 2010 The Pumpkin Ranch in rural Winterset, Iowa has provided family fun every fall. Visitors are treated to a variety of activities including Iowa’s Mega Corn Maze, a farm ninja obstacle course, zip lines, and more. Family-owned and operated by the Handsaker family, The Pumpkin Ranch will close its doors for good at the end of the 2022 season. Don’t miss your chance to visit The Pumpkin Ranch one last time between now and October 30. Having not gone in previous seasons, my family and I made the short trip to Winterset to visit this quaint ranch, and here are a few of the things we loved most.

Iowa’s Mega Corn Maze

Spread over almost 10 acres of land with more than three miles worth of clean walking paths, Iowa’s Mega Corn Maze is a one-of-a-kind experience. The ranch has the honor of putting Winterset on the map in an October issue of Time Magazine, being featured as one of the nation’s five mazes with a message. Before entering the maze, make sure to pick up a game card to play along as you search for the 12 checkpoints along the way. 

My family and I enjoyed making our way around the maze with paths that were clean and easy to navigate. We spent about half an hour wandering through the paths and I’ll admit we definitely didn’t find all the checkpoints. The aerial view of the 2022 maze shows how vast and truly detailed it is. I highly encourage visitors to enjoy this unique maze before it’s too late!

Zip Lines

Yes, zip lines, plural! At The Pumpkin Ranch, visitors will find a set of both traditional zip lines along with a set of zip swings. The zip swings provide a great opportunity for younger or smaller children to get in on the fun too! 

Farm Ninja Obstacle Course

As visitors make their way through the activities on the ranch, one that stands out is the gigantic farm ninja obstacle course. Logs, boards, tires, and other everyday farm materials make up this course fit for children and adults alike. Put your ninja and balance skills to the test and conquer the course before the end of the season! 

Tunnel Slide Races

Standing tall at the entrance to the ranch, visitors cannot miss the pair of giant 30-foot tunnel slides towering high in the sky. Take a ride down solo or race against your family and friends for a memorable experience.

Fall in Beautiful Madison County

Set against the stunning backdrop of Madison County, the simple fall drive to The Pumpkin Ranch is a treat in itself. After an afternoon at the ranch, visitors may enjoy a scenic drive around the county in search of iconic bridges featured in “The Bridges of Madison County.” The Holliwell Covered Bridge, the longest of the county’s covered bridges, is a mere three miles from the ranch. Clark Tower in Winterset’s City Park is also a worthy stop while in the area and provides beautiful views for miles. 

With less than two weeks left of the season, fall pumpkin farm enthusiasts should make sure to include The Pumpkin Ranch on their must-visit list one last time. The Pumpkin Ranch is open on Fridays from 10 am-5 pm, Saturdays from 10 am-6 pm, and Sundays from 12-5 pm. Friday admission is $9 per person. Saturday and Sunday admissions are $13 per person at the gate or $11 per person online

At the conclusion of the season on November 5, The Pumpkin Ranch will be auctioning off the supplies that make the ranch come to life, including the corn pool bin, slides, tractors, and more. 

Michelle Jarnagin

Michelle Jarnagin

My name is Michelle Jarnagin and I live with my husband Dave and our son Devic in Des Moines. We have two Chihuahuas - Loki and Ollie. I work full time as a social worker and Dave is the stay-at-home parent in our household. Devic is currently in Kindergarten and will be entering 1st Grade this fall. In our free time, our family enjoys walking with the dogs, exploring parks and playgrounds, and visiting bowling/arcade centers. This summer you're likely to find us at the baseball fields for Devic's second season or enjoying one of the many festivals/activities Des Moines has to offer.

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