ALTO, Mich. — We've all heard of the term 'Get Lost,' right?
While it's mostly used as a term to tell people to 'go away,' a pair of Michigan farm owners have created a field where 'getting lost' is happening constantly, in the literal sense.
"June 21st was when the corn maze was planted," said Liv McDaniel, who co-owns Deep Roots Produce Farm with her husband, Stephen. "It's now fully grown and ready for a fun fall season."
The McDaniels opened Deep Roots Produce in 2019. During its first year of existence, it was a produce store, but Stephen decided he wanted to do more with it in 2020.
"We have so much acreage here, so I wanted to figure out a way to take advantage of it," said Stephen. "Back in the spring, I suggested we do a corn maze."
Stephen and Liv decided they wanted the maze to span a total of 12 acres and that it would be formed in the shape of their two dogs.
"When you're looking down on the maze from a higher altitude, you can see images of dogs," said Liv.
The McDaniels gave a specialized planter images of the dogs and the planter then planted the seeds in the field so that the corn stalks would grow in the shape of the animals.
"It's done with GPS monitoring," said Stephen.
The maze has been open since the middle of summer, but the McDaniels are hoping it becomes a popular destination for all ages this fall.
"The maze is made up of three different trails to solve," said Liv. "The kid's trail doesn't have any check points and is a quick in and out.
"The intermediate and advanced trails have 6 check points each and are challenging to figure out."
After purchasing a ticket, you're given a punch card with a map of the maze on it. As you walk through the maze and come upon each check point, you'll see a wooden pole with a swingline hole punch. Punch the check point on your card, then continue through the maze to locate the next one.
Finding all the check points means you've solved the maze.
"The intermediate maze usually takes about 45 minutes to complete but the advanced maze takes, on average, close to 2 hours," said Liv. "A lot of people will get 9 or 10 of the check points then they'll just come out because they can't find the last couple.
"It's kind if like a scavenger hunt and maze at the same time."
With the Halloween season upon us, the McDaniels are creating some fun theme nights through October.
"On October 10th, we're going to do a glow night," said Liv. "Your tickets will come with glow sticks and you can experience the maze after dark."
October 17th and 24th will both be haunted nights at the maze. There will be scary actors positioned at random places inside the maze and as you walk through, they will pop out and scare you.
"On October 30th, we're going to host a social distance trunk-or-treat event," said Liv. "We'll have close to 50 cars spaced throughout the property where kids can walk around and get candy."
If you think the 2020 version of the maze is cool, Stephen McDaniels promises the 2021 edition will be even better.
"Next year's maze will be even bigger and will have added twists," said Stehpen. "Our plans for next year are a secret but we'll be revealing them to the public sometime in the spring."
For more information about Deep Roots Produce and to pre-purchase tickets for the corn maze, visit deeprootsproduce.farm.
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