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September 12, 2013

Elwood Orchards corn maze blazes autumn trail

Corn mazes are open for the season at local orchards

LONDONDERRY — It’s a maze like no other, complete with rows and rows of corn stalks and only a few correct paths leading out.

Elwood Orchards’ corn maze is up and running for the season, offering visitors a change to trek through 14 acres of tall stalks, following twisting and turning trails.

The maze is one of the largest around, a true family affair when it comes to planning and creating it every year.

This year, Wayland Elwood said it’s bigger than ever.

His family has run the farm on High Range Road since 1910, selling produce like apples, vegetables and other seasonal items.

In 2005, it was time to add a corn maze to give an extra boost to the autumn season. That first maze was only about 2 acres in size.

It’s not an easy task to make a maze.

This year, it took 800,000 cow corn seeds to create the massive maze. Elwood said in early June it’s time to cut and pull the rows after making an official maze design on graph paper to get the final product.

That takes up to about a week, Elwood said.

Family members get involved in the planning and eventually test the maze to make sure it works and paths are clear for visitors.

“There are also emergency exits on both sides,” Elwood said.

He said this year’s stalks are high and perfect for the maze.

“Cow corn grows taller and it’s been a great growing season,” he said. “The weather has been perfect for tall cow corn.”

Elwood said it should take someone up to 25 minutes to navigate through the maze.

“But sometimes it will lead you around in a circle,” he said.

Linda McMahon and Marc LeBrun were wandering through the maze on Sunday afternoon, hoping to find the right way out.

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