The Australian Ranch south of Quesnel offers seasonal fall fun for everyone.
Since 2004 Cariboo families have visited the family-owned and operated farm to try and escape their corn maze and go through a haunted house.
Lenore Yorston recalled how it all began in 2003 with a practice run followed up a year later during a family reunion that drew 160 people needing something to do.
“They said ‘this is too good just to drop and that you got to open it up,’” Yorston said.
“That was at the beginning of August, and then we kept it open for a couple of months, and we were hooked.”
In 2005 a haunted house was added after Yorston’s daughter in Edmonton, AB suggested they give it a try.
Yorston said they only did it for one night and could not believe the number of people that came.
“So it just grew from there,” she said.
The haunted house, complete with creepy decorations to send chills down your spine and a Halloween animal cemetery in the front yard, was the home of Bob Yorston’s grandmother.
His father was also born at the home now used for storage.
The couple was recognized with a Century Farm Award for 100 years of ranching in B.C. in 2019.
Last year the popular attraction was closed due to COVID-19, and there was uncertainty when it would reopen.
It wasn’t until mid-August this past year they decided to go ahead with Yorston’s son-in-law cutting the field of corn used for cattle feed with a brush saw into a maze.
While the maze is not as long as it would typically be, Yorston believes the larger attraction is the overall atmosphere of the farm that also offers sandhills for children who might be less interested in the spooky activities.
Sandhills are outside the entrance to the corn maze with toys and an outdoor fire pit. Chickens, donkeys, turkeys and more can also be viewed by taking a short walk through the property.
“Just the laughter,” Yorston said of what she enjoys most of having the farm open to the public.
“You got your windows open in the summer, and just hearing kids and laughter is just the best thing.”
Until mid-October, the Cariboo Corn Maze is open every day from dawn until dusk. In the evening, it will be available from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Oct. 9 and 10.