Despite battling a cold and wet spring and summer, floods, and the never-ending annoyance of ravens, the corn crop is still a-maze-ing.
Stretching in some places close to three metres tall already and so thick you can barely see a few feet off the trail, it is easy to see how someone can get lost in McNab’s Corn Maze.
But, Murray McNab insists, everyone finds their way out of this maize maze, eventually.
“I’ve never found any bones here in the springtime, so everyone gets out,” joked McNab.
The corn maze started its tenth year of operation on Friday, Aug. 26 — a little later than usual thanks to the weather. Picking a new theme every year, maze master McNab went back to their roots and are doing an alien/crop circles theme this year — first done in their inaugural year.
“Because it’s the tenth year, the aliens are back with some more crop circles,” McNab said. Past themes have included a Mayan temple and the space shuttle (still visible when looking at the property on Google).
Spread over seven acres off Yellow Point Road (4659 Yellow Point Rd.), just off the Chuckwagon Market interchange, the farm also boasts a pumpkin patch, other vegetables, a petting zoo and hay rides.
While the maze is open from August to the end of October, planning for the maze starts earlier in the year.
Just after the corn was planted the 100-acre farm was pelted by weeks of rain, flooding fields and part of the cabbage patch.
“The spring hasn’t been great, but the corn has turned out spectacular as far as height. It is going to be one of the better years for that,” said McNab, pulling weeds from between the stocks. By the time the maze is closed, many of the stocks will reach almost four metres, he boasted.
Once the corn is ready and the maze plan is in place and plotted from a tower stretching high above the field, McNab uses a gas-powered trimmer/blade to cut out his pattern — a process that takes a few weeks.
McNab said most of the people who try to navigate the maze are respectful, but there are still a few who make their own shortcuts, crashing through the stocks.
“It’s all fun to crash through it, but it’s pretty hard to stand the corn up again,” said McNab.
Whether they do a Halloween feature towards the end of October will depend on the weather.
After the maze the corn, known as cow or silage corn, is pillaged by animals such as trumpeter swans (close to 300-400 of them said McNab), Canada geese, ducks and others.
“By this spring, I couldn’t find a kernel of it anywhere,” he said of the aftermath.
The remaining stocks are tilled back into the soil. That process has, in McNab’s opinion, been improving the soil year after year.
Admittance fees are: Kids up to age two get in free; kids age three to 12 pay $4; adults pay $6; and a family can enter for $20. Throughout August and September, the maze is open Friday-Sunday, plus holidays and Pro-D Days.
Once October rolls around the maze is open daily.
“From 10 a.m. till dusk,” McNab added.
You can also book time as a group and come after the sun goes down.
For more information, call 250-245-0666.