RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Getting lost in a corn maze on a crisp October evening is a quintessential fall activity. It’s an ideal outing for a group of friends on a Friday night or a way for a family to spend time outdoors together on a weekend afternoon.
The towering stalks can be downright disorienting when you’re in the middle of a maze looking for the way out, but the beauty of the golden corn complemented by the oranges and greens of fall foliage gives you a reason to take your time finding the exit.
Farmland is a staple of North Carolina, so it’s no surprise that the state has some stellar mazes to explore. Here are some of the best:
Kersey Valley has anything you could be looking for when it comes to autumn adventures. A visit to the Kersey Valley maze also includes pedal carts, cow train, kiddie zip lines, a rock wall, a treehouse village, and more. For those looking for a scare, Kersey Valley’s Spookywoods is sure to frighten. It was named one of the 10 best haunted attractions in America by USA Today.
It’s some of the most intricate work you’ll ever see in the form of a corn maze. Gross Farms in Sanford boasts a 10-acre labyrinth with more than 4 miles of twisting pathways, making it one of the largest in North Carolina. For an added twist, try the “Farm Scene Investigation.” The game challenges visitors to get to the bottom of a missing farmer case! There’s also a pumpkin patch, hayrides, and much more.
Whatever you’re looking for this fall, the Shelby Corn Maze has it! You can go for a hayride to a pumpkin patch. Its “Kiddie Korral” offers plenty of entertainment for kids. If you’re looking for something a little spookier, the maze becomes haunted once the sun sets on Fridays and Saturdays in October.
Hubb’s Farm opened in 2008 in Sampson County by Tammy and John Peterson. The land has been in Tammy’s family for generations. Every year, the 10-acre maze is a canvas for some of the most intricate design work in the state. It also features a pumpkin patch, fire pits for s’mores, and much more!
Country Days Corn Maze’s “passport” game puts a unique twist on the corn maze experience. It incorporates trivia into finding your way through the 7 acres of stalks. The farm also has a simpler maze geared toward children that features a reading of “Spookley the Square Pumpkin.” Plenty of other activities, including a corn cannon, are offered, as well.
Ken’s Korny Corn Maze has been a staple of fall in Wake County for more than two decades. The cornfield is turned into 2.5 miles of twists and turns and takes more than an hour to navigate. Billed as a “fall playground,” the Garner farm has plenty of other activities to offer throughout 10 acres.
Galloway Farm’s “Maze Craze” is a perfect fall family destination for those in southeast North Carolina. The main attraction is the 13-acre maze, making it one of the largest on its side of the state. It also has a separate 3-acre maze designed for kids. There are games, scavenger hunts, tractor and barrel train rides, and the “fairy tale trail,” to name a few.
“Maze Mania” at Aw Shucks! in Monroe works in an interesting wrinkle. It combines three mazes into one. A corn maze leads to an indoor pallet maze, which takes you to a fence maze, before having to navigate more corn to make it to the exit. In addition to a pumpkin market, Aw Shucks! also has plenty of other events and attractions available for family outings.
At about 4 acres, the Ashe County Corn Maze isn’t the longest one on this list but it’s challenging enough while still being a go-to for family outings. Sure, you could probably breeze through the maze in a half an hour, but this one is made to take your time. The scenery in Ashe County — and, really, all of the North Carolina mountains — is unparalleled in the fall. And when you make it out, see how far you can launch a pumpkin from a cannon!
If variety is what you’re looking for, pay Odom Farming Company a visit. It has two corn mazes, a playground with a hay jump, wagon rides, pumpkin chunkin’, and more fun for the whole family. One of its objectives is to give kids an open space to run, play, and get dirty, and they’ll have plenty of opportunities for that!