Finding the path in the Eliada Corn Maze

“Do you know where number 11 is?” The little girl asked. “Sorry, I’m only up to number 6”, I politely replied. Then I looked down at the map and realize d I’d lost my place. Oh no!

I’ve driven solo across the country, but finding my way through this corn maze was proving quite challenging. A friend and I were finding our way through the Eliada Corn Maze, in Asheville North Carolina. The first maze was listed at 2.7 miles in length. Definitely a larger challenge than my last corn maze!!

The corn maze has numerical check points and you punch your card at each checkpoint. The goal is three-fold; find all the checkpoints and find your way out, preferably before dark, and have fun.

We embarked and found the first couple of checkpoints relatively easily. Then there was a long stretch on the map. Actually it was a section where several trails made a circle all together. One trail was correct and the others wrong.

Right turn, then left, and the next check point should be right here. Except it’s not and I can’t see anything that looks close to where I think we should be. Uh-oh…….

My friend and I take another look at the map and then back tracked some. The trail still didn’t look familiar; we back tracked more. In a corn maze, you can’t see out or around; you have to follow the map. If you lose your bearings, like we did, it’s challenging.

Shoot, we were doing so well too!! Fortunately, it is the south and everyone was more than friendly mainly because we’re all in the same boat. “What number are you looking for?” a gentleman asked. “Six” I replied. “Oh that’s over there” as he pointed in the opposite direction. That’s nowhere near where I thought; obviously….

We said thanks and promptly found number six. Ok, now I’m concentrating on this map much harder because it’s a long stretch to the next one. For me following the map, took all of my concentration and I became “the map”. I wasn’t getting lost again.

We managed to find our way through not just one, but all three of the mazes. It was fun and a great sense of accomplishment. However, the corn maze was just the beginning of the fun.

As we were in the corn maze, I kept hearing this “whoosh” sound periodically and wondered what it was. Once I saw it, my eyes lit up. Lined up, three in a row, were air canons. You put a corn cob in the end, aim, and fire. Sometimes the corn would fall a few feet in front and other times, it sailed off into the forest. Oh yeah, I’m so doing this!!

Who knew something so simple could be so much fun!! I could’ve spent a few hours launching corn cobs into the forest. After that we hopped on the adult hay ride and took a leisurely tour. There is also a hay ride for the kids so whatever the age, anyone can enjoy a hay ride.

All of these activities benefit the Eliada Homes which are dedicate to helping kids succeed. Having been a kid myself, I’m all for helping kids succeed. It can be tough sometimes and a little help goes a long way.

If you’re in the Asheville area, come have some fun, support a great cause, and spend an afternoon at the Eliada Corn Maze.

For more information: http://www.eliada.org/get-involved/eliadas-annual-corn-maze

Here’s a very short, no frills video I took:

Corn Maze fun…at night

It had been one of those cerebral days, aka: too much thinking. I called my friend and said it’s time to do something more fun with our mind, let’s do a corn maze…at night.

This will probably sound obvious, but just to keep everyone on the same page: a corn maze is a field of corn that the owners plow paths through in the form of a maze.  Just like a normal maze, the corn maze has dead ends, paths and often specific designs. If viewed from the air, it’d probably look similar to a crop circle.

I’ve wandered through ones in North Carolina and the corn was so tall you couldn’t see over it which makes it very challenging.  Here in the Florida winter, I wasn’t sure how high the corn would be, so I knew the night time option would be best. Plus, being outside and wandering around under the stars is just the ticket.

The corn maze covers seven acres and is located at D&D U Pick Family Farms in Palm City which is one of the largest UPick-em farms on the Treasure Coast of Florida.  We had to watch a video that described the different features of the corn maze including word games, educational games and the most important: a red gel holder that reveals the map on the flyer. The map is hidden with that funky ink (technical term, I know) that you can only see with a red light.

We had to bring our own flashlights so I brought  “man” flashlights; two Eveready tactical LED flashlights which have blue, red, white and infrared beams.  Did you catch I had a red light? You know what I’m about to say next…..I took the red light, shined it on the flyer and voila! The map of the maze was revealed!

The kids next to us thought it was the coolest thing ever, so we let them borrow one of my flashlights. They just loved playing with all the different LEDS and exposing the map. If you want to add some excitement to your adventure, just add a couple of kids. Especially when they’re not yours!!

The parents politely told us we didn’t have to stay with them, but they were fun to lead us around.  Nothing like child- like wonder to remind you to have fun.

It was a perfect night to be outside; cool and crystal clear with the sky dotted by stars and the familiar constellations.  It was fun to go where you think you should and then figure out where you really are. Oops! How’d we get over here?

At one point we crossed a bridge that had a view of the entire maze. It was pitch dark and you’d see little beams of light around from other people all over the maze.  With seven acres to explore, sometimes those lights were way out there.

We found our way out and said good bye to the kids and parents, but the adventure continued. As we walked back, there was another maze that we just had to do.

It was the fortune maze and the objective was to find the five different color stations. At each station, dip a different finger, from the same hand into a color. Once you had all five fingers colored, exit the maze and match the colors to see your fortune.

This maze was smaller in size and a little easier, but we still found a couple of dead ends. For me, the hardest part was matching my finger colors to the pictures on the board. Five fingers with five different color combinations was quite a selection to choose just one match.

One of the guides who had stopped to give us a ride made it easy; start with your thumb color and then work it backward.  My fortune was friendship comes easy to you. That works, I’ll take it.

We definitely enjoyed exploring the corn maze at night because of the mild challenge and being out under the stars. Next time you get a chance, check out a corn maze and enjoy a family fun way to enjoy the outdoors.

Here’s more info for D & D Family Farms:

http://www.danddfamilyfarms.com/maze.php