By Lorri Schrieber
Fall time is a great time to visit Michigan farms as they are exploding with activities including pumpkin patches, wagon rides, cider and donuts and the ultimate fun - corn mazes which are growing in popularity.
Spending an afternoon maneuvering through the fields is fun education for the kiddos but also great for family and friends of all ages. It encourages problem-solving, communication and working together.
Corn mazes have been around for 30 years when Earl Beal created the first maze in Annville, Pennsylvania in 1993. Beal’s father designed mazes for a local amusement park, and Earl got the idea to create a large-scale version of the maze by cutting through the corn fields. The design consisted of three different paths that met in the middle and took more than a month and more than 10 people to pull corn stalks by hand.
Eventually, corn mazes were created by a farmer with his tractor before GPS technology took mazes to today’s sophisticated designs with precise paths. Many farmers create a new design each year to wow their guests and attract more and more visitors.
In Michigan, there are more than 50 mazes scattered all over the state ranging from simple to complex. Designs include farm logos, playful dinosaurs, children’s cartoons, sea themes, sports teams and more. Others include messages like supporting your farming, getting out to vote and current events like “COVID go away.” And, for some added fun, many have even created haunted mazes for spooky thrills.
Plan for some farm fun this fall by finding corn mazes nearby.