A-maze-ing fun in Exeter
Corn Maze offers new attractions, more space
Anyone looking for a corn maze this fall does not have to look outside of Barry County, as the Exeter Corn Maze was listed as No. 6 in the country on Country Living magazine’s ranking of top 25 corn mazes in the U.S.
On 140 acres in Exeter, Robyn and Artie Cole are getting ready to open up all the fall filled activities at the local corn maze.
The corn maze will span eight acres, and the pumpkin patch is 50 acres. Artie Cole said, in addition to the new activities, they have expanded the barn yard area, added more fire pits, freed up space for the visitors to enjoy and built a new Go-Kart track.
The new Go-Kart track is asphalt, and there are 12 gas-powered Go-Karts.
“We think this will draw more people in,” Cole said. “We added more trailers to the zombie paintball and hay ride this year, also making them wheelchair accessible.”
In addition to more people coming for the new attractions, Cole said he thinks the growth rate could increase by 5-10 percent because of the Country Living article.
“We are pretty proud to be featured in the article, but we will always have new people,” Cole said. “I’d say 85 percent of visitors are non local and drive at least an hour to get here.”
Cole said there was a lot of preparation work this year, and the efforts were not only put into the new additions.
“We revamped this year, and we are building to be better,” Cole said. “The corn pit is twice the size, we now have 18 fire pits and we offer more room to help people flow better.”
The Maze is opening up with all other activities one week earlier than it did last year, and with extended hours. The event times are located on the Maze’s website, www.exetercornmaze.com, and the haunted barn, haunted corn maze and zombie paintball will be available each night throughout the season.
“We try to create a friendly and positive atmosphere,’’ Cole said. “Guests coming back to have fun is what we want.”
While visiting the maze, people may see the Coles walking around and engaging with the guests. Artie Cole said they want to come say hi, and see the guests so they come back next year.
The challenges that unfolded on the farm this year were brought on by the summer drought. Cole said they were irrigating for 24 hours a day for nearly two months straight.
“Not to worry though,” Cole said. “We have plenty of pumpkins, and the corn is tall.”
The haunted barn has been an attraction in Exeter every year for the last 18 years, and eight years ago, the corn maze and pumpkin patch were added. Cole said the corn maze is always cut into a fun design, with many different themes over the years.
“This year, it is Halloween themed, we wanted to change it up,” Cole said.
The design is always kept top secret until it is released.
“We love seeing all the smiles each year,” Cole said. “But mostly, we like seeing kids playing outside and having fun on a farm.”