Find your way through a Corn Maze

Posted on | September 30, 2016 | Category: News, Newsletter

New venues are always appreciated by orienteers. Visiting an already mapped corn maze, one American could not let go of the opportunity to do an orienteering event. Now it has become an annual occurrence.

The classic course. See all 2016 courses here and from previous years here.

Imprints in a corn maze are often associated with aliens, but many places in the USA humans makes imprints themselves, forming a maze. In Massachusetts, a cornfield is made into such a complicated maze that Peter Gagarin back in 2010 got the idea to have an orienteering event in the maze:

– I know the farmer, and also know the maze designer. I had thought about organizing orienteering there for some time, but it never happened. Then I was having dinner with two USA team members who thought it was a great idea. And within a few minutes I decided to host an event, Peter Gagarin says.

After the decision was made, things moved fast:

– Within a week, we had a website, a logo, permission and two rules – No cutting through the corn, and there had to be a party, Peter Gagarin says.

Peter Gargain with the genreal view. Photo: Tim Booth

Peter Gagarin organizing the prize giving ceremony. Photo: Tim Booth


All about challenge and fun

Six years later, different formats have been tested throughout the years. On September 3 2016 the seventh edition of the corn maze orienteering took place, and this year it included a classic, sprint, trail and night event. All in the same day:

– The reason for the Sprint is to give a chance for redemption as lots of people made mistakes in the Classic. Three years ago, I added the night event after the dinner. Now considered the most fun, Peter Gagarin says.

The maze got lightened up at the night event. Photo: Tim Booth

The maze got lightened up at the night event. Photo: Tim Booth

Summarizing corn maze orienteering it is about challenge and fun:

– Corn maze orienteering can be very challenging. It is really hard to do it fast and you have decisions every 5 or 10 meters, but the most important thing we try to do is make it fun, Peter Gagarin says.

There was an extra corn island out there, but not on the map. Can you spot it?

With a maximum of 50 people attending, virtually all experienced orienteers, the event has a friendly atmosphere at both the races and the dinner. The plans for the future are not sure yet. Due to old age, Peter Gagarin has had in mind to stop organizing the event but praise from the participants makes it hard to let go:

– Perhaps I will keep organizing orienteering events in the corn maze. People really seem to like it, many have said it is the most fun event of the year, Peter Gagarin says.

Massachusetts is not the only place in the USA they have had corn maze orienteering. Both Cascade OC in Seattle and the Rocky Mountain OC in Denver among others have organized events.

A drone video giving an overview of the maze:

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