If you love that crispy fall weather and your palate has a taste for corn dogs, turkey legs and fried strawberries, Uncle Shuck’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch is now open to mark the 16th consecutive season for the 20-acre agritourism complex in Dawson County. Open from Sept. 9 to Nov. 19, 2017, Uncle Shuck’s is the longest-operating corn maze in the state of Georgia. This year’s design features outdoor elements to support a partnership with the Georgia Forestry Association (GFA).
Trails are cut within the 12-acre cornfield in a different pattern each year. Maze explorers can venture through two main trails that provide a total of four miles of exploration, and a third one-mile trail will be used for The Dark Rows in October, a haunted hike. Checkpoints are placed throughout the trails to engage visitors and provide a way to track progress. This year the serpentine paths connect to form outlines of a pine forest, pine cone and a squirrel entwined with the GFA logo.
“GFA is thankful for the budding partnership with Uncle Shuck’s and their mission to offer affordable family fun for all,” said GFA President Andres Villegas. “We are proud to partner with the Georgia forestry Commission to educate all who enter the maze about the ‘Number One Forestry State in the Nation’, Georgia.“
Corn Mazes across the country are created using GPS technology and highly advanced corn field cutting techniques to produce a process you just won’t find anywhere else. From basic designs to the most intricate and elaborate creations, these mazes turn corn fields into an attraction people will be talking about for years.
It starts as a graphic designer or illustrator designs the maze in an application likeAdobe Illustrator, a process that takes 10-15 hours, depending on the size of the field. Then the design is converted into individual points that can be read by a GPS. Mowers precisely make the cut and do the maintenance.
The fall season will operate on weekends in Sept. and Nov., as well as every day in October. In addition to maze trails, Uncle Shuck’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch offers hayrides, bonfire area, weekend food tents, free festival area activities and special events. The special events planned for 2017 include:
Foster Family Day (free admission) – Sept. 16
Boy Scout Weekend (special admission includes custom patch) – Sept. 29-Oct. 1
Girl Scout Weekend (special admission includes custom patch) – Oct. 6-8
The Dark Rows (haunted maze) – Oct. 6-7, 13-14, 20-21, 27-31
Election Day (free hayride with vote sticker) – Nov. 7
Veteran’s Weekend (free admission for U.S. Armed Forces personnel) – Nov. 10-12
Scout Weekends return with a collectible patch, admission to the maze trails, hayride and featured activities. A demonstration will be provided by GFA for scouts and their families on both weekends (daily 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.). A Boy Scout Camp Out will return for a third year on Sept. 26. There is no additional charge for the Camp Out, but advanced reservations are required due to limited space. Girl Scout Weekend will feature a program for girls to earn a Brownie Hiker Badge or Junior Gardener Badge.
The Dark Rows attraction runs for 11 dates in October. This one-mile haunted trail, operating from dusk to 10 p.m. on select nights, takes groups on a spooky adventure through part of the cornfield. The cost is $15 per person. Combo tickets are available for $19-22 per person, including regular maze trails, hayride and/or bonfire area.
The popular Kiddie CORNer on the festival grounds offers free activities for young children and their families – Tire Mountain, Tower Goat Walk, Kiddie Maze and the Picnic Pavilion. Corn-ference Rooms are available for birthday parties, school field trips, or corporate events. The festival grounds are open for families to view pumpkins and take fall photos with our fall decorations. Pumpkins are priced separately and you only pay for what you want to take home. Additional fee-based activities include the Bonfire area with marshmallows for roasting (weekends), festival food vendors (weekends), pony rides (weekends in October), face painting (weekends in October), corn cannon, and weekend hayrides. The tractor-drawn hayrides along the Etowah River feature a 60-passenger wagon with wood benches and hay bales.
Admission to the corn maze is $11 for anyone five years old and older; maze admission is free for children four and under. The tractor-drawn hay rides are $5; Friday and Saturday evening rides include access to the bonfire area and marshmallows at no additional cost. The Cob Combo is a ticket for $14, which includes admission to the maze and a hay ride. Cost for the Haunted Trail is $14 per person. All prices include tax. Discounted tickets are available for groups of 20 or more. Evening visits for church groups, school groups, and college date nights are growing in popularity.
Uncle Shuck’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch is located only 40 minutes from metro Atlanta, just two miles west from the North Georgia Premium Outlet Mall on Georgia Highway 53. For more information, visit the web site – www.uncleshucks.com. For more information on GFA, visit the web site – gfagrow.org.