Keeper of the Plans

Massive treehouse — open to the public — near Wichita is one of the largest in the state

It’s safe to say every kid (or kid at heart) has dreamed about playing in a treehouse at least once.

Now, even if you don’t happen to have a mighty oak in your backyard, you can still have the experience this fall.

Walters Pumpkin Patch, at 10001 NW U.S. Highway 77 in Burns, recently completed construction on a massive treehouse that’s likely the largest in the state of Kansas.

The treehouse will open to the public on the pumpkin patch’s first official day this year, Sept. 21.

The structure has 960 square feet on its open-air main level and more yet on its second floor — which includes an enclosed treehouse.

Becky Walters, who owns the popular pumpkin patch with her husband, Carroll, said it’s “bigger than the first houses either one of us ever lived in when we first got married.”

After gauging people’s response to the treehouse this fall, the Walters are considering renting out the treehouse for “wine and cheese parties, overnight stays — who knows where this is going to take us.”

“It will be part of the attraction at the Walters Pumpkin Patch, and we’re excited about the newness of it,” she said.

A winding ramp up to the treehouse ensures it is accessible to all.

“We’ve designed it so that people in wheelchairs or with walkers ... can still get up here and enjoy the view of the treehouse,” Becky Walters said. “I’m probably most proud of this ramp.”

The tree to which the structure is affixed is an oak that’s 13 feet in circumference at its base.

The treehouse was built by contractor Nathan Brenzinkofer over a span of two months.

Walters Pumpkin Patch is about 45 minutes to the northeast of Wichita — and during its annual Pumpkinfest season, it has pumpkins, jumping pillows, a zipline, corn mazes, trains, and other farm fun.

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Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said where Burns was located.

Matt Riedl covers arts and entertainment news for the Wichita Eagle and has done so since 2015. He maintains the Keeper of the Plans blog on Facebook, dedicated to keeping Wichitans abreast of all things fun.