Discouraged by her students saying they always felt they had to leave the county to have fun on weekends, Pocahontas County High School librarian Michelle Wilfong decided to combine her love of agriculture and the beauty of autumn to create a destination for all ages to enjoy.
With the help of her husband, Charles, Wilfong came up with the idea of a corn maze and other agriculture related activities to offer this fall.
“I just felt that if we could have something here in the community, maybe [my students] wouldn’t have to travel as far,” she said. “I also strongly believe in Agri-tourism, and I want more people to learn about agriculture. I want to open up our farm to other people.”
Wilfong searched online for corn maze designs and found an example that, when seen from above, creates the outline of a barn, silo and round hay bale. With design in hand, the corn was planted and once it grew, the Wilfongs moved in to cut out the maze.
“You’re actually supposed to cut the corn maze out with a GPS when it’s two or three feet tall, but you know the Wilfongs, we always do stuff late,” she said, laughing. “So Charles and I went in, in the middle of summer, when it was five or six feet tall.”
Charles used a circular blade on his weedeater and followed Michelle’s lead through the corn. After she measured a line, she would wave the measuring wheel in the air and he would cut in her direction.
Despite the longer stalks, the Wilfongs were able to finish the design and haul out the cut corn which they will feed to their cattle.
Along with the corn maze, visitors will have several other activities to enjoy.
“We have a lot of other stuff planned besides the corn maze,” Wilfong said. “Under the tent, we’re going to have a petting zoo and a large corn box, which is basically a sand box filled with shelled corn for the kids. There’s toys in there for them to play with. Then we have big culverts that the kids can go in. It basically looks like a hamster wheel.
“We have a few photo cutouts where they stick their head in the hole to have their pictures made,” she continued. “Ty Cochran painted a lot of those, so I’m anxious to see how those turned out.”
There will also be a barrel train ride. The train cars are blue barrels cut open with a place for a seat for children to ride in as it’s pulled behind a tractor.
The corn maze opens September 14 and will be open every weekend until October 6. After October 6, the maze will become a haunted maze in which Wilfong’s students will add the extra element of fright.
“I can tell you I’m not going to be in the haunted maze because I don’t like scary stuff,” she said. “I’m going to be out taking tickets, but we have a lot of high schools kids that are going to be helping with it. I don’t know what they have up their sleeves.”
Whether to go for the regular maze or for more of a spooky experience, the corn maze is the place to be this fall.
CW’s Corn Maze is located on Route 66 near Cass and will be open Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Entry fee is $8 per person and $10 per person for the haunted maze.
Part of the proceeds from the event will go to the Discovery Junction located next to the Pocahontas County Opera House in Marlinton.