Have fun getting lost in Virginia’s corn mazes this fall

GLOUCESTER—David Hand and his family are hoping that people from all across the state will come to their farm to get lost.

This October, the family will open their first corn maze at Green Hand Farm Park, a project that Hand said combines the highest levels of computer technology with the ancient practice of planting corn.

"I have been telling people this is complicated," he said. "We planted around 40,000 seeds, north and south then east and west, to create a grid. After the corn is knee-high, we bring in a GPS system to cut out the design using a tractor with a GPS screen right on board. The worker loads the program with the design and follows the screen and makes the maze pattern."

Hand partnered with Maize Quest Corn Mazes, which designed a 5.5-acre tribute to the U.S. armed forces.

"This maze is great for this area, where we have a lot of servicemen and -women and their families that can come and celebrate what they have done for their country," he said.

The average trip through a corn maze that size should take 45 minutes to an hour.

Hand has operated a landscaping and nursery business for years and said the maze seemed to be a good expansion venture.

"The economy has been tough for famers, so we are diversifying into the agritainment industry," he said. "I think it will prove itself a viable agritourism feature. It is a growing field in the state and throughout the country and is good, simple, inexpensive fun for the whole family."

Like many other corn maze attractions, Green Hand Farm Park also will have hayrides and a hay castle.

The Virginia Tourism Corp. has listings for corn mazes throughout the state at virginia.org.

Contact Hand at 804-761-6188 or Sherri McKinney, VFBF senior video producer, at 804-290-1148.

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