Besides fall foliage, cooler weather, apple cider and pumpkin spice everything, corn maze season is here. If you’ve never been to one it’s a fun way to spend a fall afternoon with your family, and some even have nighttime hours. Here’s a few happening in the area:
Hathaway FarmThe infamous Hathaway corn maze began at a family dinner almost 20 years ago, after Irene Hathaway read about corn mazes in a farming magazine.
“I thought it seemed like such a fun thing,” she told me last season. “My kids were young at the time. We just did it to see if we could.”
It started as a smaller, three-acre maze at the farm at 741 Prospect Hill Road in Rutland, with the giant 1881 emblazoned in the roof of the barn. It grew to six acres, then seven, every year with a different theme. Today the 12-acre maze has several bridges and a snack shack inside and draws thousands of visitors every year.
One family told Hathaway they’ve been coming every year for over 10 years to tackle the maze, which Hathaway estimates takes around two hours to get through.
“Nobody’s told me under two hours,” she said. “It can be three, it depends.”
You actually can get lost inside it, which is part of the fun, but there are plenty of measures to help.
“We have the postcard with the aerial view and we also offer a smart phone option,” Hathaway said.
“I plan it all out in the winter,” she said about how the maze is built. “You have to draw to scale so it’s a lot of measuring, I use some GPS and some hand-measuring, and then I pray a lot that everything fits in there.”
Admission is $12, $10 under 12 (3 and younger free), and includes all mazes, the livestock barn and weekend wagon rides; for more information, go online to www.hathawayfarm.com.
Sam Mazza’s Corn MazeIt’s a drive, but up in Colchester The Sam Mazza Farms’ three-mile corn maze at 277 Lavigne Road is open seven days a week from Labor Day Weekend through October, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays.
Each year a new maze design is cut by Shawn Stolworthy of MazePlay, a design and GPS consultant firm from Idaho. Once the year’s design is approved, Stolworthy arrives, unloads his tractor and cuts the field in about three hours, sometimes after dark, completely directed by a Global Positioning System device that he designed as part of his maze-cutting business. He cuts more than 80 corn mazes during the season all over the country including five at Mazza Farms in as many years. This is one of only three of Stolworthy’s in New England.
For more information, go online to www.sammazzafarms.com.
Great Vermont Corn MazeThe Great Vermont Corn Maze is another drive away, but it boasts the largest maze in New England. Located on a fifth generation family farm at 1404 Wheelock Road in Danville, the maze covers 24 acres in approximately a two-plus hour hike. Three miles of dirt trails are lined with 10-foot walls of corn, and it’s peppered with unique things from past mazes.
There’s an Emergency Exit trail that covers most of the maze which gives visitors a chance to take a break, grab a snack or use the restrooms without having to start over from the beginning. The maze is open at 10 a.m. Monday-Friday with the last guests entering at 2 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. with last guests at 3 p.m.
For additional information, go online to www.vermontcornmaze.com.