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Children of the corn mazes
Get lost in fun this fall at area farms' annual offerings
A couple works their way through the North Georgia corn maze in Cleveland. - photo by Tom Reed, file

Like trips to the lake during the summer, for some folks, no fall season would be complete without navigating through a corn maze.

If you fall into that category, consider yourself lucky because there are quite a few options nearby.

"My family has a 300-acre farm, so a corn maze was a natural fit for us," said Heath Biggers, of the North Georgia Corn Maze in Cleveland.

"It's really a beautiful area and people were already driving up the road to have a look, so we decided to open the maze in 2004."

Being a family farm helps put the corn to good use at the end of the maze season — it is used to feed the farm's 200 heads of cattle, Biggers says.

Uncle Shuck's Corn Maze in Dawsonville sprouted from a random observation nearly a decade ago.

"I'm originally from the midwest and in the fall all of the farmers would always put in a couple of acres of pumpkins and sell them on the side of the road. When I transferred down here as a corporate person, I noticed that there wasn't a lot of that here," said Mike Pinzl, Uncle Shuck's owner.

"When I left corporate America, I thought it would be a blast to have a pumpkin patch with a corn maze. I thought that would be a great thing to do for the fall."

Although corn mazes have become synonymous with autumn, preparation for the fall fun actually starts earlier in the year.

"Like most things in life, a lot more goes into it than people realize," Pinzl said.

Among other things, proprietors have to get busy replanting the corn, which grows around a foot each week, Pinzl says.

Next up, a decision has to be made about the design of the maze.

"We try to mix it up each year," said Drew Echols, manager of Jaemor Farms, about the farm's corn maze design.

"For the last four years we kept it (agriculture) oriented, but this year we had it cut into the shape of the United States."

In addition to taking a "Walk Across America at Jaemor Farms", the Alto corn maze also provides participants with a few geography lessons. Each ticket for the maze comes with set of U.S. themed trivia questions - the answers are sprinkled throughout the maze.

"If you go into the maze and walk straight through, it'll probably take around 40 minutes to find your way out," Echols said. "But if you stop to look for every answer, it'll probably take around an hour and a half."