The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times

The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times

The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times

Pumpkin picking pleasures abound at Mahaffy ranch

When walking into the Mahaffy Ranch cider shack, the first thing you may notice are the delicious smells of apple cider and donuts wafting from behind the counter. This pumpkin patch and coastal fall favorite is most known for their apple cider slushies–they only make an appearance once a year. This is the only place you can go to get this fall delicacy. 

“When I think of Mahaffy Ranch I think of the apple cider and donuts,” said Willow Caddle, who enjoyed the pumpkin patch in October. 

 Along with the cider slushies, the hot apple cider and mini donuts sprinkled with sugar provide the perfect combination of fall sweetness. There are also other food options in the snack shack. The donut boat contains about six donuts with an apple pie filling, and includes whip cream and caramel drizzle on top. There is also an espresso bar available for those that need a caffeine kick. Hats, hoodies, and other apparel are also common purchases at Mahaffy Ranch.  

The ranch is also known for fall activities such as hayrides, a challenging corn maze, pumpkin picking, and even pony rides for kids. 

“Mahaffy Ranch is a great place for the community to spend time together,” said Harper Godley, a freshman at MHS. “It’s a peaceful place to bring your family.” 

After grabbing a hot cider, the hayride is the quintessential fall activity. Riders climb onto a covered trailer and sit on hay bales that are comfortably covered by fuzzy flannel blankets. The tractor, pulling the trailer, snakes it’s way along the upper portion of the Coos River, with colorful trees lining the riverbanks. The hayride bounces right past the fire pit, maintained throughout the day to provide warmth while kicking back with a hot apple cider or cider slushie.

At the far end of the pumpkin field is the corn maze, which can be eerie but challenging. It is easy to get lost in the corn maze with its multiple dead ends and switchbacks.

From the snack shack, it’s common to hear a popping noise near the river–that’s the corn cannon, which is an air gun with a corn cob jammed into the shaft. The corn is then shot into a field, with several targets to aim for, including a University of Oregon ducks sign, or an Oregon State University beavers logo. 

The main highlight of Mahaffy ranch are the pumpkins. They grow in all sizes, shapes, colors, and varieties. They can be used for making pies and sweet desserts, along with carving, painting, and more. They also sell other home-grown vegetables such as corn, winter squash, and green beans. This year, they even had sunflowers available at the beginning of the season. 

Community events, such as wreath-making, are often taking place, and school groups are common during the fall season. The Coos Bay Public Library even picks pumpkins to use in library programs.

“We love that our community takes part in the patch and all that it has to offer,” said Shawna Mahaffy, one of the owners.

There is a children’s play section at the patch that features a molehill slide, a small hay maze, and a petting zoo with many baby farm animals. Some of the animals you can hold and pet. They have small activities and games for the whole family like bull ring toss, cow milking races, and rubber duck water pump racing.

The fall leaves, peaceful setting, and the sunflowers swaying in the breeze makes it a great opportunity for fall-themed pictures. For some families, it’s a tradition to take annual photos there. 

“We appreciate photographers bringing their clients out and enjoying the ranch’s beauty,” Mahaffy stated. “We’d love it if photographers sent their work [to us] so we can upload it to our website.”

                Mahaffy Ranch has all sorts of special events going on. One of these events is a car show, where senior citizens can go and show off their old cars and spend time around the ranch. This is an occasion to see and take some pictures of vintage cars. Most weekends, the local horse 4-H clubs offer pony rides to the community to earn money for their clubs. The pony rides are a chance for 4-H members to help showcase their own safe horses for the community’s enjoyment. This is another very popular activity most younger kids enjoy.      

Mahaffy ranch always needs help, around the property and the ranch activities. This is a chance for young college students or older high school students to come out and help the community. For those wanting to visit Mahaffy Ranch, simply head out the Coos River toward Allegany and follow the pumpkin signs on the way.


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About the Contributor
Ivette Bouthillier
Ivette Bouthillier, Reporter
Freshman Ivette Bouthillier, is a first year member of the Marshfield Times. She enjoys riding horses in her free time, and going to the beach. She loves taking her anger out by playing tennis and describes herself as a girly girl. She also loves spending hours on her makeup, hair and her outfit. She can't stand when people interrupt her or don’t listen. Ivette is excited for journalism and after highschool wants to attend University of Oregon to become a dispatcher.
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