Minus Frightland, pumpkins still aplenty

By Sue Vorenberg, Columbian features reporter



Clark County pumpkin patches

Bi-Zi Farms: 9504 N.E. 119th St., Brush Prairie, 360-574-9119.

La Center Farms: 31215 N.E. 40th Ave., La Center, 360-573-8965.

Joe's Place Farms: 701 N.E. 112th Ave., Vancouver, 360-892-3974.

Velvet Acres Gardens: 18905 N.E. 83rd St., Vancouver, 360-892-0434.

Pomeroy Living History Farm: 20902 N.E. Lucia Falls Road, Yacolt, 360-686-3537.

Walton Farm: 1617 N.E. 267th Ave., Camas, 360-834-2810.

For more information, see the map below.

The haunted forests of Frightland won't be open this year, but there's still plenty of spooky family fun at Clark County's many pumpkin patches.

Stephen Boynton, who owns La Center Farms with his wife, Lissa, decided to close down his Frightland attraction for the next year or two due to tight finances.

But Boynton's pumpkin patch is bigger and better than ever, expanding from 5,000 square feet to 20,000 square feet. Visitors will also get to check out a small tree maze and some other attractions while they hunt for the perfect jack-o'-lantern, Boynton said.

"This year I put part of the haunted woods into the maze," he said. "But we had to discontinue Frightland."

Frightland's haunted woods were a popular evening attraction, with a large maze through the trees that hid actors in costume. The event also included a movie screening, among other things.

"We'll probably bring it back in a year or two," Boynton said. "To be honest, the economy has killed everything, and I have to focus my efforts where I can (get better results)."

That said, he decided to keep one of the coolest kid's events. That would be a potato gun range, well stocked with potatoes and guns, so kids can take aim at a set of target monster heads.

For those looking for a fun evening event to fill the void left by Frightland, Walton Farms in Camas may have just the thing.

Jeff Walton, the farm's owner, has expanded his corn maze to over five acres, about three times the size of last year's maze. The interior is decorated with skeletons, grave sites, spiders and other spooky stuff, and visitors can come anytime during the patch's regular hours or for flashlight tours on Fridays and Saturdays in October from 5 to 10 p.m.

"This is my first time with a night corn maze," Walton said. "It's my third year with a maze, and I keep making them bigger. I also put in more parking."

If the attraction continues to be popular, and he thinks it will, he will double the size again next year and invest about $10,000 in equipment that will let him carve images into the corn field, Walton said.

"It's expensive, but think about how great it would be to carve any picture you want into the corn," Walton said, with a tinge of childlike excitement in his voice.

The farm has also expanded its patch with five different pumpkin varieties and more land. Last year, Walton Farms sold 2,500 pumpkins. This year, there should be about 7,000 of them, he said.

"This is the best harvest I've ever had," Walton said.

And there's even more to check out at the county's other patches.

Brush Prairie's Bi-Zi Farms, the largest pumpkin patch in Clark County, gets about 25,000 visitors each October. The patch has a carnival-like atmosphere with a corn maze, hay bale maze, animal petting farm, bale pyramid and pumpkin launcher.

Joe's Place Farms in Vancouver isn't as big, but it has more pumpkin varieties. In its 37th year, the patch has somewhere between 20 and 30 different types to choose from. Its attractions include a corn stalk teepee, hay rides and a permanent fort maze made of eight truckloads of old tree props from Hood River, Ore.

Velvet Acres Gardens in Vancouver has a petting zoo and corn maze, with about 5 acres of pumpkins. It also has a barn available for Halloween and birthday parties this season, said owner Gary Boldt.

And Pomeroy Living History Farm in Yacolt has a tractor ride along Pumpkin Lane, with pumpkin-headed scarecrows set up to mimic scenes from films or doing activities like fishing.

It also has goat petting, a log house tour, a hay bale maze, a sandbox filled with oats, a pumpkin flume with foam pumpkins on a water track, and games like corn cob darts and leather horseshoes.

Clark County Pumpkin Patches

Click on a push pin for the farm's address, phone, cost and other information.