Is there anything better than a fall afternoon spent lost deep within the bowels of an epic corn maze? I think not. While there are plenty of corn mazes (with designs of varying complicated-ness), the corn maze at Richardson Adventure Farm in Illinois is one worth adding to your bucket list… because with almost 10 miles of twisting pathway, it’s the world’s largest.
If the thought of walking 10 miles, let along 10 miles through a complicated maze, is a bit overwhelming, fear not. Their maze is actually made of 4 smaller mazes, each with a designated in and out path. As you explore each, make sure to find all of the checkpoints for an added challenge. You’ll get a map to help you find your way through, and there are three overlook bridges to help you get your bearings. And, unlike some corn mazes, you can leave and re-enter at any time, in case you’re in dire need of a funnel cake break. Each bridge has an easy exit path, so it’s simple to get in and out. They also suggest climbing to the top of their 50-foot observation tower to scope out the lay of the land before diving into the maze.
This year’s design was inspired by the Chicago Cubs’ historic World Series win. One maze features a batter; another, a pitcher; the third depicts the Wrigley Field sign and the iconic ivy on the outfield wall; and the fourth is dedicated to legendary announcer Harry Caray, with his catchphrase (“Holy Cow!”). It’s an impressively detailed, 28-acre masterpiece. It was designed by Shawn Stolworthy, who owns MazePlay.com, and his staff, who went through tons of drafts of ideas to reach the final design.
Making the maze is a process that starts when the corn is only 10 inches tall, usually in May. That’s when the trails are tilled, using a GPS-guided tractor. The pathways get another tilling in July to clean everything up, and then the corn is left to grow. Richardson Adventure Farm is especially fond of mazes honoring special anniversaries. The 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln (an Illinois resident), the birthday of the Star Spangled Banner, and big anniversaries for the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts have been commemorated with corn mazes here. Chicago sports, of course, are another popular theme, with Black Hawks and Bears mazes making appearances, and they even make the occasional pop culture corn maze, too; the Beatles maze and the Star Trek maze from years past are pretty freakin’ awesome.
It’s not hard to spend a full day at the farm (and I’m not just talking about spending hours lost in the maze.) They also have all of the typical fall fun you want from a farm, like a pumpkin patch, hayrides, community bonfires, and petting zoos. And that’s just the beginning. While here, you can also take advantage of their zip lines, bungee bounce, jumping pillow, Zorbs, 100-foot slide, air cannons, and paintball shooting gallery. Whew. They’ve basically built the perfect fall wonderland. Now, all we need is to get the weather to cooperate….
More fall fun…