Whether it’s a fall afternoon with just the right amount of sunlight and snap to the air or an evening navigated with flashlights and glowsticks, local corn mazes offer a fall activity with a focus on local agriculture.
And fall farms are important business in Maryland.
According to a release from the state’s Department of Agriculture, the most recent agricultural census completed in 2012 by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service found 307 agri-tourism farms in the state with revenues of $7.2 million. Several perennial favorites are located in and around Carroll.
Carroll County Ag Center
The Ag Center’s maze, located behind their headquarters at 706 Agriculture Center, Westminster, is an option for those looking for a maze with acreage.
Joe Linthicum, who retired as an agriscience teacher at Francis Scott Key High School in 2017, is the coordinator for the maze this year and said the theme uses symbols from the FFA emblem: an owl, plow, rising sun and eagle.
The Francis Scott Key FFA Alumni & Supporters have volunteered hours to get the corn maze off the ground this year, he said.
It spans just under 20 acres and there are multiple paths to reach the end. Linthicum has seen guests finish in 20 minutes and he’s seen one group take more than an hour and a half to find its way out without a map, he said.
Adult tickets are $10, children are $5 and children under 4 are free. Discounts are available for groups. The cost goes to benefit the Ag Center.
Younger visitors may also enjoy the straw bale maze, bean bag games and corn box. Refreshments are available to purchase.
The maze is in the back behind the Ag Center building.
“If the gate is open, that means we’re there,” Linthicum said.
The maze is open every weekend through Nov. 11, on Friday 6-10 p.m., Saturday 2-10 p.m. and Sunday noon-5 p.m. For more info, call 410-848-6704 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cornfusion at Quality Evergreens
On the northern end of the county, this year’s Cornfusion Adventure dips into the world of spying and espionage with its secret agent theme.
“Journey into a world of intrigue and espionage. From the Cold War to James Bond, the world’s nations play the dangerous game of misdirection and double agents. This year’s maze design includes iconic imagery from spy movies,” according to the website.
Other activities include a mini kiddie corn maze, hay bale maze, farm stand, petting zoo and pumpkin picking.
Located at 2020 Garrett Road, Manchester, the attraction is open through the first weekend in November. Daylight hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Flashlight hours are 7-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
On Saturdays, daylight guests can return at night for half price off the flashlight maze.
Victoria Hoff, co-owner of Local Homestead Products, said that she and Trevor Hoff both grew up through the fair and were eager to give back this year. Last year they donated to the renovations of the Westminster Boys & Girls Club.
Special theme nights throughout the rest of the month will shake up the experience for repeat visitors.
Oct. 20 and 21 are fall fest weekend, featuring live music, food and a new section of the pumpkin patch.
Every Saturday is Glow Night, where guests can bring flashlights to try their hands at the maze in the dark.
On the final weekend guests can unleash — or rather keep leashed — their pooches during doggie days on Oct. 26, 27 and 28.