Whether it’s hot apple cider and pumpkin pie or the chance to dress in the most ridiculous outfits imaginable, the autumn season has special significance for everyone. For explorer types, nothing is more appealing about fall than the opportunity to navigate a corn maze. Here are some of the craziest corn mazes you’re likely to find in the United States.
Cool Patch Pumpkins
Where: Dixon, CA
Why it’s great: In 2007, the 40-acre Cool Patch Pumpkins broke the Guinness World Record for ‘World’s Largest Corn Maze’ – and this year’s maze is 13 acres larger. Brothers Matt and Mark Cooley, lifelong Dixon natives, have enjoyed local celebrity status since they constructed their first corn maze in 2000. Other festivities at Cool Patch Pumpkins include scarecrow look-a-like contests, pedal cart races and “one of the single largest pumpkin smashes in the world” during the final week.
When it’s open: Sept. 15 to Nov. 5
Great Vermont Corn Maze
Where: Danville, VT
Why it’s great: According to the proprietors of this epic labyrinth located an hour from the Canadian border, the average person takes two hours to complete the maze. Thankfully, this diabolical, 10-acre spread is filled with benches to rest your weary behind. Unfortunately, the GVCM isn’t open on Halloween; the owners predict weather will force closure of the maze by mid-October. But on the upside, it opens in late July.
When it’s open: July 28 to TBA
Kraay Family Farm
Where: Lacombe, Alberta
Why it’s great: While the agricultural sector is not necessarily known for its technological contributions, the Kraay Family Farm is a definite exception. These mad Canadians entered the record books in 2012 for creating the world’s largest QR code, measuring more than 300,000 square feet. As innovative as this achievement is, there is also a philanthropic side to the Kraay Family maze — proceeds from maze navigators will go toward the World Food Programme.
When it’s open: Sept. 4 to Oct. 20
Where: Chickasha, OK
Why it’s great: This year, the owners of Oklahoma’s largest corn maze decided to pay tribute to the state’s only major pro sports team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, who reached the NBA Finals earlier this year (but lost the trophy to the much-maligned Miami Heat). Spanning a gargantuan 35 acres, this athletic achievement of a completely different sort takes anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour to complete. The Reding establishment also provides accommodations for a number of organized gatherings, from birthday parties and family reunions to wine tastings — and even weddings.
When it’s open: Friday through Sunday for the general public, Tuesday through Thursday by reservation only.
Where: Lodi, WI
Where: Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to locate seven mailboxes dispersed throughout this eye-popping labyrinth. The good news: you’ll be given a map at the entrance. The bad news: the map is blank. Wah wah! Extra points for those who locate the maze’s eight ‘secret’ locations – according to the owners, only “2 percent” of those who enter the maze find all of them.
When it’s open: Friday-Sunday throughout October
If you need help getting out of any of the mazes (except some people might not want to escape. How cool would it be to live in a corn maze?) pick up a Wenger Swiss Army Knife to cut your way out.
By Brad Nehring