Type “corn maze” in the Google search box and you get 669,000 results. So many corn mazes–who knew?! Corn mazes are a riff on the old hedge mazes which were a popular garden element for the royal and aristocratic European residences. The North American farm version starts with a field planted with corn and a maze carved out through the stalks. To create more of a challenge there are often tricky loops and dead ends to ensure getting lost. (And since the corn is usually taller than you are, it is easy to lose your way.) Often corn mazes are designed in a picture or design.
The biggest corn maze is at the Cool Patch Pumpkin farm in Dixon, California–their whopping 43-acre maze was designated the “Largest Corn Maze in the World” in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2007.
I think the addition of corn mazes to agritourism is very cool. Pumpkin patches, apple picking, hayrides–they are great, but there is something especially intriguing about getting lost in a cornfield.
From Corn Mazes America comes this checklist of what you may need if you visit a maze:
• Good walking shoes.
• Appropriate clothing. (Remember, you will be walking through a cornfield.)
• Water. Walking will make you thirsty, especially if it is a hot day.
• Insect repellent.
• Flashlight, if you will be visiting at night. Some mazes will sell these also, and others will not even allow visitors after dark. Be sure to check hours before you go.
• A watch. It is always fun to see how long it takes.
• Two-way radios. Not necessary, but can be fun so your group can split up, or in case you get split up.
• Food and picnic lunches can make the day extended and more enjoyable. Again, check on the policies of the farm you are visiting since some will not allow carry in food. Also, keep the over-21 drinks at home. Mazes are meant to be family establishments and other visitors want to get the full experience too.
To find one near you, visit the corn maze directory.