Anatomy of a Corn Maze

10:23 AM, Sep 30, 2012   |    comments
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  • Aerial view of the daytime corn maze at the Witches of New Salem in Dorr, MI.
  • Aerial schematic of the corn maze at Fruit Ridge Hayrides in Kent City.

Grand Rapids, MI (WZZM) - Even though the summer weather is behind us, Michiganders are still trying to squeeze out those last drops of outdoor fun before the frost settles in.

Enter the corn maze... hours of entertainment for the whole family!

But, have you ever wondered how long it took to create that design in the field?

We spoke with Jeff Lenhart, Owner of Witches of New Salem and a life-long farmer who's trying his own brand of agri-tourism.  He explains, "We're starting to stake this thing out when the corn's coming out of the ground; it actually gets away from us it'll grow so fast early in the season."

Corn is typically planted in 30 inch rows which makes it pretty easy to find a lane and get out.  To make it tougher, corn maze maestros plant double the corn in a criss-crossed pattern.

Once the corn is planted, they design a maze and stake out the pattern in the field.

"Then as the corn starts growing, we get out here with just simple old John Deere lawnmowers and start mowing the paths you know like connecting the dots." said Lenhart.

Others are trying new technology to get more bang for their husk!

Nancy Briggs, Owner of Fruit Ridge Hayrides said, "We use a system that's designed on the computer.  And it uses GPS coordinates that are attatched to a tractor and a five foot roto-tiller on the back of the tractor.  And it's all mowed using GPS.  So, the trails are a lot tighter, the design is a lot neater and tighter and we can fit a lot more maze in a smaller area."

Whatever the method, the result is the same; good, somewhat clean fun for the whole family!

Click the links above to find their websites with location, hours and prices.

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