Amazin’ mazes at Amazin’ Acres of Fun

By | October 8, 2001 12:00 am

Emily Moorehead
As Karen McCulley — co-founder of Amazin’ Acres of Fun —
will confirm, mazes have been around for a very long time, and the amazing mazes at her family farm on Old Kentucky Road in White County continue to delight visitors of all age groups.
There are two maze themes at Amazin’ Acres of Fun; the Crazy Maze presents Christian bible verses at junctures on the path, and the Big Leap allows visitors to learn Tennessee agricultural-related history, science, health and agriculture.
In the Big Leap, hints to complete the maze are presented in two forms throughout the labyrinth, with one question posted for adults and a separate one posted for children.
A choice of two answers is provided with arrows pointing opposite directions for each answer.
When visitors choose correctly, the arrow points in the direction of an open path.
Incorrect answers lead to dead ends.
“Last year we had some visitors that were in for three hours,” said McCulley, adding adults and teens preferred nighttime visits, with daytime jaunts through the corn mazes being ideal for smaller children.
A labyrinth is defined as “an intricate structure of interconnecting passages through which it is difficult to find one’s way; a maze,” and mazes have existed in history for over 4,000 years, dating from the time of the Greek myths.
During the heyday of the Roman Empire, labyrinths were found in artwork as well as in floor and road design.
It is commonly accepted the mazes were not meant as puzzles, but were intended for use in religious rituals and fertility processions.
Later, formal garden mazes were developed throughout Europe and included puzzle hedges developed mostly in castle gardens for the amusement of royalty and their guests.
In the nineteenth century, mazes became a popular entertainment in parks and other public areas and, since the 1970’s have become a favorite form of rural recreation.
McCulley attended two classes on the design and construction of mazes before opening Amazin’ Acres of Fun.
“Crazy Maze is the one church groups are interested in because of its Christian theme,” said McCulley.
“The Big Leap is popular with school groups and younger kids.
Some families make it an all day event.”
In the center of the Crazy Maze is Hayloft Lookout, an overlook where the maze may be viewed from above.
McCulley said it was amusing to stand on Hayloft Lookout listening to people discussing, and fussing ,about which way they should proceed in the Crazy Maze.
The cost for tickets is $5 for ages 12 and up, and $3 for children 11 and under.
Included in the ticket price are access to both mazes, and a hayride.
“We offer pumpkin picking for those who want to do that,” said McCulley.
“Pumpkins and other home decorations are priced separately.”
Beverages and snacks are also available for sale at Amazin’ Acres of Fun, and this year McCulley stated they will be offering hot chocolate and hot apple cider along with their regular fare of sodas and chips.
Also offered for sale are mums, pumpkins, gourds, Indian corn and corn shocks.
Bonfires are hosted in the evenings as the weather permits, and portable restrooms are available on site.
McCulley also rents flashlights for assistance through the mazes at night for those patrons who arrive without one.
More and more farmers are becoming interested in corn mazes because of the added income benefits of utilizing farm land to its fullest potential year round.
“It is a lot of work,” said McCulley.
“From the time you plant the corn to keeping the mazes maintained, it’s a full time job.”
Amazin’ Acres of Fun is open Monday through Friday for daytime or nighttime visits through appointment only, open to the public on Friday nights between the hours of 6:00 and 10:00, and on Saturdays all day from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Groups of 20 or more receive one dollar off the ticket price.
Interested people may phone 761-2971 for more information.
The mazes will remain open to the public through October 31.

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