By Diane Chase, author of the guidebook Adirondack Family Time Tri-Lakes and High Peaks Your four-Season Guide to Over 300 Activities (with GPS Coordinates)
Each year Tom Tucker of Tucker Farms, Inc. has a complex pattern designed so my family and many others will be lost trying to complete the Great Adirondack Corn Maze. This year it's "back to school" for the lot of us as Tom brings back the nostalgic one-room school house along with a playground, all depicted in rows of corn.
Each person is given a blank game board and shown the entrance. We are looking for six mailboxes; each holding a partial piece of the puzzle. The youngest stick to the adults like glue while the older kids take off like a shot. Stick to the paths and just muddle through and everyone will eventually find his/her way out. Smaller kids will benefit from handholding but its up to the individual.
My son and friends soon break the "no shortcut" rule. We have a conversation about herd paths and remind them to stay on the straight and narrow. I hear their voices echoing throughout the maze but no visual.
The whole maze can take a few hours at a leisurely pace. There is plenty of opportunity to break out of the maze if a child feels overwhelmed or in need of a bathroom break. There is even an observation tower and huge rock that allows for maximum visibility and a chance to get your bearings. Some of us find all the mailboxes and others don't. We do find our way out of the maze to enjoy a hot drink.
Snacks and hot chocolate may be purchased at the entrance.The grounds are a safe place to allow children an opportunity to explore ontheir own through the maze. Ask to see if a farm tour is available and for an additional $5.00, view the 300-acre property. That works out to be about 2 cents per acre.
Flashlight nights are every Friday and Saturday culminating with a bonfire and s'mores. This Sunday, October 30 will be Fright Night where the maze will be open during the day and reopen at 7:00 p.m. for storytelling and all things scary. Children are not allowed without an adult. Fright Night (7:00 p.m. – 10 p.m.) is $10for all, with $2 of admission donated to First Night Saranac Lake.
Regular admission is $8.00 for adults and $6.00 for childrenages 4-12; anyone under four years of age is free. There is a $1 off admission coupon on the website. To get there from Lake Placid take Route 86 through Saranac Lake north from bout 7 1/2 miles to Gabriels. Turn left onto Hobart Road. The Great Adirondack Corn Maze is about ½ mile on the left, 56 Hobart Road. Enjoy.
Tips: $1 coupon for regular admission, even if weather is warm bring a jacket because the stalks can be scratchy, give older kids money for snacks or prepay at the concession as kids will most likely finish first. Enjoy the view!
all photos and content © Diane Chase, Adirondack Family Time™. Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Time™ guidebook series and co-owner of the the young adult wilderness adventure program, Adirondack Outdoor Expeditions.