Jack-o-lantern Trail

Enjoy an enchanting Halloween experience at McConnell Springs featuring hundreds of hand-carved pumpkins as they light up the night. In addition to marveling at the glow of the pumpkins, there will be campfires and s’mores, live owls from Critters in the Classroom and tasty fall food and beverages. Perfect for all ages, this night hike will be a great event for all.

2021 schedule
Oct. 27 – 30
6:30 – 10 p.m.

Preregistration is not required.

Admission (paid at the gate): $5 per person | children 12 and under are free 

Jack-o-lantern donation

Show your pumpkin carving skills and help bring this exciting Halloween experience to the community!

Jack-o-lantern drop-off location & times:


McConnell Springs (416 Rebmann Lane, Lexington)

  • Monday, October 25 | 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Tuesday, October 26 | 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Wednesday, October 27 | 9 a.m. – 5 pm.


When dropping off your Jack-o-lantern, check in with staff to receive your Cricket Press Pumpkin Trail 2021 poster and link to sign up for free admission to the trail! Parks will provide the lights for the lanterns.

Jack-o-lantern carving tips

If possible, cut the access hole in the bottom of the pumpkin rather than at the top. Leaving the jack-o-lantern whole at the stem can help keep it from rotting as fast by sealing in moisture and leaving the stem intact makes it easier to carry. Also, there is no need to keep the cutout piece – the pumpkin can be placed directly over the light! If you've already cut the top, no worries.

Bring the pumpkin inside overnight so it is room temperature when you are ready to carve.

Try attaching a hand mixer beater to the end of your drill and “beat” the inside of the pumpkin to loosen all of the guts and seeds from the pumpkin walls. Then just turn the pumpkin over and dump out the guts – this hands-free method is a lot faster and cleaner! (Side note – don’t throw the remnants away, but place outside to provide a tasty treat for the wildlife in your yard.)

Consider brushing the inside of the pumpkin and the cut areas with vegetable/cooking oil to help seal in moisture and preserve the pumpkin. After the event ends, the pumpkins will be pushed into the woods to compost and forest animals will nibble on the pumpkin remains. For this reason, we ask that you not use chemical-based preservatives that may be harmful to the environment or animals.

Have questions? Contact us at aluallen@lexingtonky.gov or (859) 288-2925.

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