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Toad Mountain Ranch will be the site of October gatherings this year. Submitted Photo

Pumpkins on Toad Mt. - October events open to the public

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Toad Mountain Ranch owner Susan Schlossman said her ranch isn't just a private haven, but one that she wants to open up to the public with various activities throughout the year -- including a Fall Family Festival this month.

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On Oct. 20-21 and 27-28 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, the ranch will be open with a pumpkin patch, petting zoo, pumpkin carving contest, face painting, hay rides and more.

The hay rides will take people to the top of the mountain, Schlossman said, weather permitting. There are also hiking trails for people to utilize.

At the petting zoo, "we have a little miniature horse and a very miniature baby that was born in July. It's curling and looks kind of like a poodle," she said.

They will also have a little potbelly pig, two bunnies, two pigmy goats -- "they're pretty cool. They look like they are from Africa with unique markings" -- a puppy and two miniature mules.

There will be some vendors at the event, including a food vendor.

For the pumpkin decorating contest, people are asked to decorate pumpkins ahead of time, bring them to the ranch and then the public will vote on their favorite.

"I would display it and then the people who come to the festival would be given like a poker chip or something to vote. They can put it in the can of the best pumpkin and then the person with the most chips will win a free trail ride," she said.

Cost for the Fall Family Festival is $12 for adults and $10 for kids 12 and younger. The admission cost includes any of the activities. There is a $4 per pumpkin charge though, and food is extra.

"We're just excited. We want people to know we exist because everybody thinks we're just all to ourselves," Schlossman said.

"We've started doing trail rides to the public, but of course that's seasonal, and now we're going to be offering weddings and getting married on top of the mountain would certainly be glorious," she said. "It's one of the highest peaks (in the area)."

There are also cabins for rent, Big Toad Lake frontage, 700 acres "to play in," and an indoor riding arena.

Toad Mountain Ranch is located along Highway 34, east of Detroit Lakes. There will be signs for the event, marking the entry.

For more information, visit www.toadmountainranch.com or call 701-261-1305.

Follow Pippi Mayfield on Twitter at @PippiMayfield.

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