At the Maylath Farm and Orchard in Sugarloaf, each member of the family plays a role at the popular fall attraction, from painting signs and baking pies to designing and creating the extensive corn maze.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of Maylath’s corn maze and, in that decade, not only has the maze gotten bigger and better every year, so has the farm’s other family amusements. New this year is a larger kids’ play area and a petting zoo, featuring the farm’s goats and sheep.
“It’s enjoyable watching kids and families have fun here, it’s nice,” related Chris Maylath. “There’s lots of stuff for kids to do.”
Oct. 1 marked the opening of Maylath’s fall season. It is open now every Saturday and Sunday in October, from 11 a. m. to 6 p. m. Birthday parties, special events, and field trips can also be scheduled there.
The Maylath farm began as a dairy operation 60 years ago, started by Chris’s father, Mike, and uncle, Matt. Chris and his eight siblings all grew up on the farm, contributing to the work load and enjoying the country life.
In 1995, the family gave up their cattle and switched to producing small grains, fruits, and vegetables. While they’ve always sold their fresh-market produce and grains, they did online research and, in 2006, decided to build a corn maze attraction.
“We started with a one-acre field and it was a success,” Chris recalled of the first corn maze. “The first year, it was just some paths. Gradually it got bigger and bigger.”
This year’s maze is one of the most intricate yet. It is a spider’s web, with “10 years” cut out in the center, a “2016” cut out in the corner, and an eight-legged spider figure in the other corner.
The corn is planted in a grid, 30 by 30 inches to each grid, Chris explained. He likened the corn field to a large piece of graph paper. By using the measurements of the grid, the Maylaths design the corn maze and figure out where to cut the walking paths.
The corn for the maze is planted