Discover Michigan: Getting lost can be a-maze-ing

By: Jennifer Sigouin, | Advertiser Times Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle Farmington Press Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle Grosse Pointe Times Macomb Township Chronicle Madison - Park News Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal Rochester Post Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider Royal Oak Review Shelby - Utica News Southfield Sun Sterling Heights Sentry St. Clair Shores Sentinel Troy Times Warren Weekly West Bloomfield Beacon Woodward Talk | Published October 6, 2017

From sprawling apple orchards to pick-your-own pumpkin patches, Michigan offers plenty of ways to spend a crisp autumn day. But if you’re looking for something a little more active — and you’re up for a challenge — it’s time to get in on the corn maze craze.

Now that fall has arrived, farms across the state are turning their cornfields into labyrinths of all shapes, sizes and difficulty levels, from beginner to downright corn-fusing. According to Corn Mazes America, an online guide to corn mazes across the United States, mazes started to crop up in the 1980s, and by 2008, there were more than 800 nationwide.

“Corn mazes appeal to all age ranges,” Corn Mazes America owner Scott Skelly said in an email. “A family can take a toddler through it, teenagers are not ‘too old’ to enjoy it, and even adults without children can have a good time.”

Early mazes were fairly simple, but they’ve become more elaborate over the years, with many farms using global positioning systems to carve out complex designs. Farms are also enhancing the experience by adding a cornucopia of extras, like clue hunts or nighttime hours that allow more adventurous mazegoers to find their way out by flashlight.

For those who are new to corn mazes, there’s nothing to fear. Mazes typically have employees on hand who can help directionally challenged guests get back on the right track.

“For first-timers, if you are offered a map, make sure to take it with you. You don’t have to use it, but it’s always good to keep it with you,” Skelly advised. “If you choose not to use the map, it doesn’t hurt to look at the map before starting so you have a concept of what you are about to walk through.”

Are you ready to put your puzzle-solving skills to the test? Here’s a look at some popular corn mazes in southeast Michigan:

Corn Fun Family Farm
www.cornfun.com
9391 Lindsey Lane, Casco

The 20-acre Corn Fun Family Farm in Casco Township offers two mazes with a combined 4 miles of trails. This year’s theme is “Go Red Wings,” and the family-friendly mazes are open during the day and at night for flashlight challenges.

“Our 8-acre (maze) is special because, unlike a maze where you are just going in and trying to find your way out, ours is actually broken into two mazes, and each maze has six checkpoints hidden in the maze,” said owner Sue Coppens. “The object is to locate all the checkpoints.”

She added that the smaller maze includes a “Monster Mystery Game” that challenges visitors to find clues at all six checkpoints to solve a mystery.

Coppens advises guests to wear comfortable shoes, and she recommends that families with small children bring a wagon rather than a stroller, as strollers are harder to push in the maze. She also noted that visitors should give themselves enough time to not only complete the mazes — each maze takes about a half-hour — but also to enjoy all of the farm’s other activities, including pedal carts, a hay bale maze, games, a bonfire, hayrides, a pumpkin patch and, of course, cider and fresh doughnuts.

Farmer J’s World Record Corn Maze
www.cornmazefun.net
16405 Pherdun Road, Dundee

Now in its 17th year, Farmer J’s World Record Corn Maze in Dundee offers 9 1/2 miles of trails across a 35-acre maze. Each year, the venue picks a new maze design — usually animals — and this year, it’s a dinosaur theme.

“One thing cool is our tickets are considered season passes for the person who purchases (them),” said Jenny Jaworski, whose family operates the maze. “This way, people can visit more than once if they need more time to finish the maze.”

Jaworski added that the maze includes 18 hidden checkpoints for visitors to find. In addition, Farmer J’s offers a “Farm Scene Investigation” maze, as well as corn cannons, pumpkins, giant slides and concessions.

The Blast Corn Maze
www.blastcornmaze.com
6175 Daly Road, Dexter

The Blast Corn Maze in Dexter is a 14-acre corn maze with three exits, designed so visitors can choose short-, medium- or full-length maze adventures. 

Within the maze, there are eight checkpoints to find. Guests can also purchase a “Corn Maze Express” map to help make navigation a little easier.

According to spokesperson Jenna Nixon, The Blast also offers several other family-friendly activities, including a 15-acre u-pick pumpkin patch, a corn cannon, a cow train, a corn pit, a straw maze, farm animals and duck races. 

“We have plenty of photo props to enjoy with friends and family,” she added. “We have homemade doughnuts and caramel apples, along with a variety of hot food options.”

Nixon also offered a word of advice to maze newcomers.

“Have fun and make sure you check out different mazes, because no two are the same,” she said.

DeBuck’s Corn Maze
www.debuckscornmaze.com
50240 Martz Road, Belleville

When viewed from above, this year’s 15-acre maze at DeBuck’s Corn Maze in Belleville is a creative tribute to Mike Ilitch.

The sprawling maze is actually three mazes in one, providing options for people of various skill levels. Younger visitors can try out the starter maze, which is an easygoing 0.4-mile section; everyday mazegoers can try out a 1.6-mile medium-difficulty section; and anyone who’s up for a more serious challenge can opt for a 3.5-mile version. Those who get lost in the cornstalks can call on one of the maze’s “Corn Cops” for help.

Other activities at DeBuck’s include a 20-acre pumpkin patch, human foosball, a community campfire, a tire play area, swings, duck races, pedal go-karts, a bounce house, a super slide and more.

To search for more corn mazes throughout Michigan, visit Corn Mazes America at www.cornmazesamerica.com.


Our Discover Michigan series explores Michigan’s most road trip-worthy destinations and events. Where’s your favorite place to travel in the mitten? Leave us a comment or email jsigouin@cangnews.com. We may use your suggestion in an upcoming feature.