ODUM — With 10 acres of corn planted and their new mind-boggling design now created, the Poppell family is bringing the "Maize craze" back to South Georgia. The popular Odum labyrinth that drew thousands of visitors last fall is again getting curious maze-goers lost. It opened to the public Saturday. Part of an increasingly popular "agritainment" trend, it will be joined this year by more than 160 affiliated Maize sites across the United States, Canada and Europe.
The Poppell family, in partnership with maze designer Brett Herbst — the world's leading designer of more than 600 corn mazes — hopes to give even more people a chance to experience the unique source of good farming fun in their newly-designed labyrinth. This year's design is in the shape of Uncle Sam, "I Want You To Vote 2008." Though the correct pathways can be walked in under 30 minutes, most directionally-challenged visitors will require about an hour to travel through more than two miles of twists and turns and 85 decision points.
Ways to enjoy the maze
In an ongoing effort to ensure that the maze experience offers something for everyone, the public will find an increased number of ways to experience the maze this year:
• Open both day and night, the maze caters to school field trips during the day and has created an elementary education campaign that includes customized agriculture-in-the-classroom lesson plans and activity sheets for teachers, discounted field trip opportunities, and on-site educational displays.
• On Friday and Saturday nights, the “cornfield “crazies” will be waiting to give you a screaming good time. Try to avoid the children of the corn.
• Climb on board one of our hay wagons and take a ride in the country down to the pumpkin patch where everyone gets to pick the perfect pumpkin to take home. Propel a rubber ducky while racing with friends down the shoot and into the water trough by pumping an old-fashioned hand water pump. Visit with Bunny the pony, Elvis and Pearl the donkeys, Claude the llama, Henny Penny, Miss Prissie and all of their barnyard friends.
Oct. 4-Nov. 1. Saturday from 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday from noon-5 p.m. Field trip hours, during weekdays, are available by reservation.
The maze is in Odum, about six miles from Jesup.
• Take GA-38/US-84 for 22 miles.
• Make a slight right at N. 1st St./GA-38/US-84 and drive for 1.4 miles.
• Turn right at GA-27/W. Pine St. and continue to follow GA-27 for 7 miles.
• Turn right and travel .6 miles before making a left toward Tank Road.
• Turn left at Tank Road and travel .8 miles.
• Turn right at Maxwell Road, travel .2 miles and continue on Hyma Poppell Loop for .2 miles until you arrive at Poppell Farms.
For the Maize, pumpkin patch hayride (includes a pumpkin) and all farm activities, the cost is $12 each for ages 4 and up. Ages 3 and under are free. For just the Maize, call for pricing.