by Rachel Heitzenrater
COLUMBIA CROSS ROADS — Nestled in the country on the Tioga/Bradford County line is Miller’s Corn Maze.
For Amanda Miller, fall has always been an exciting time of year, as well as her favorite. Miller and her family own a farm, Sugar Branch Farms, where they harvest and sell feed for animals as well as dairy farm.
Miller’s Corn Maze is on its 4th year, with the idea coming from some local dairy farming friends. Deb and Rich Howard of Wyalusing had a corn maze of their own for 15 years and Miller was inspired by their love of community and the fall season.
“It’s growing as we have moved along,” said Miller, “The first year, we just had one day and a small one-acre maze. It’s what they call a ‘T’ maze. We invited the community out and had an amazing turn-out. We had 1,000 people in one day. The best part is watching people have fun.”
This year’s theme is “Noah’s Ark,” which Miller says considering the rain this year, seems fitting.
“This year, we flooded here on July 12,” said Miller.
Even without flooding, a lot of time, planning and work go into the maze each year. The Noah’s Ark maze is about five acres of corn. Miller says the key was to flag the corn at an early stage, about knee-high and pluck it, in previous years.
The maze is actually cut out in the shape of a Noah’s Ark drawing. This year, due to the acerage, she was able to invest in software for the planting state, with the design in place and GPS coordinates of the maze, where seeds were not planted and corn would not grow, thus making the maze.
“It’s amazing what technology can do, especially GPS. GPS is a pretty common tool for farmers nowadays,” she said.
The maze leads participants through to find animals set in two, as well as some farming facts and farm jokes.
“They know they’ve completed the maze when they come out from underneath the rainbow. If you’re just trying to get through the maze, it’s about 20 minutes. I think for someone to fully enjoy it and find all of the animals, it can take up to 45 minutes to an hour,” said Miller.
There is a 12-foot lookout to view all of the maze in one spot.
“This is the first year we have opened for four weekends, to accommodate people’s schedules,” said Miller, who noted they also held private parties, such as preschools this year as well.
Now, the maze is in its last week of the year, weekend #4, which will also be the weekend for the glow night, Saturday, Oct. 23.
“You come in your absolute most festive gear that’s glowing,” said Miller, with examples of flashlights, headlamps, glow sticks and more. “We also hand out glow sticks for everyone to go into the maze in. Usually, you see all sorts of crazy sunglasses and tall hats all decked out, with flashing lights.”
The corn maze will be open Friday, Oct. 22, from 1-9 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 23, also from noon-9 p.m.
There will also be food for sale, pumpkins for sale and a soy bean pit for children to play in.
Cost for the event is $10 for adults and $5 for ages 4-18. Ages three and under are free. The cost for admission also includes a hay ride. Cash only is accepted.
Miller’s Corn Maze is located at 931 Sopertown Road in Columbia Cross Roads. For more information, check them out on Facebook or go to www.millerscornmaze.weebly.com.