For the sixth year in a row, the Carroll County Agriculture Center will host a weekend corn maze.
This year's maze, which is open each weekend from Friday, Sept. 23, through Sunday, Oct. 23, is Maryland-themed, and participants will have the opportunity to answer Maryland trivia while exploring the more than 10-acre grain labyrinth.
"It's a fundraiser for the Ag Center," corn maze manager Nichole Porter explained. "It gets a lot of kids out here that maybe wouldn't normally get to see a corn field."
Porter said visitors who answer the maze's trivia questions will be entered in a drawing for a family four-pack to the Kennedy Krieger Institute's Festival of Trees at the Maryland State Fairgrounds. She recommended participants bring flashlights and wear field-appropriate clothing.
Don Watts, of the Corn Maze Guys in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, cut the maze as he has done for years.
"Nichole called me early in the spring and said she wanted a Maryland theme," Watts said.
"She gave me a few graphic elements to include, like the crab. We also put in the state flower, a Baltimore oriole, and their name and year."
Watts said he strives to make the maze visually appealing and designs it to be challenging.
"They have an advantage because their field is fairly large and it's a rectangle," Watts explained. "I make random maze paths to give the maze a traffic flow. You start on the lower left side and go around clockwise."
Watts said visitors should expect the maze to take 45 minutes to an hour to complete.
"We find that if you make the design too challenging, you end up with families that grow tired of it," Watts said. "We like to cut the corn when it's 2 feet tall. We use a zero-turn mower that allows us to get very sharp 90-degree angles and use a GPS designed for farming to allow us to get a high degree of accuracy."
Missy Marlin, of New Windsor, said she often takes Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts and their families to the maze.
"We enjoy that it's fun and safe. The kids love it," Marlin said. "We take them out at dusk, and they like to use their flashlights. The kids enjoy the exploration part of it."
Marlin said the maze is "good for their decision-making skills."
"They have to come to a decision as group about whether they're going left or right," Marlin said. "It's good for team building, and it's fun to have something local and family-oriented to do."