Navigating Vermont's biggest corn maze - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Navigating Vermont's biggest corn maze

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RUTLAND, Vt. -

At the Hathaway Farm Corn Maze, it's easy to get lost in the fun of it all.

"He goes one way, I go the other way, and usually we meet up in a circle. If not, we hit dead ends," said Darlene Rankin of Rutland.

Locals Darlene Rankin and Jeff Bienvenue trekked through the tall corn stalks for hours, trying to find all eight clues hidden along the way.

"Oh, it's definitely worth it. Every year I come. It's definitely a fun time," Rankin said.

Fun for the young at heart, and the really young. A minimaze offers little ones like school groups a chance to read a story along the way.

"This is the one field trip that we do all year that they remember the most," said Pam Hamilton of Grace Preschool. "They love being outside and it ties into our theme and they really have a good time."

Stretching across 12 acres, it's the state's largest corn maze. The theme this year is the Olympics, an idea owner Irene Hathaway sketched out by hand over the winter.

"Then I draw it out-- a lot of people say you have to have math skills and I'm terrible at math, so that can't possibly be it," Hathaway said.

But she definitely has imagination and drive. The entire maze is planned and produced by Irene herself, no fancy tools needed.

"I use a tiller, a little John Deer garden tractor, and I also go in and pull by hand and pull parts of the design that just lend itself better to a little more fine detail and certain aspects of the maze and certain locations of the maze," she said.

And, it draws quite the crowd, from locals to honeymooners from out-of-state.

"It was so much fun. It was a blast," said Renee Melino, a tourist. "It was exactly what we expected and what we were looking for in Vermont."

The maze is almost self-sustaining; the money raised goes right back into the farm.

"Everything adds to the bottom line. If you have a good year in the corn maze, you may have a worse year certainly last spring with maple sugaring for instance. That was the worst production year we've had on record in generations," Hathaway said.

And bottom line or not, Hathaway says it's fun for her to create and to watch everyone enjoy.

"The best part is meeting the people," she said. "No question about it."

Click here for more on the Hathaway Farm & Corn Maze.

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