Provence farm hopes to a-‘maze’

Published 7:24 pm Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Puzzle fans of all ages can get their fix this October, by visiting Spring Hill Tree Farm and taking a stroll through its life-size “crop maze.”

Dan Provence, owner of the farm at 795 Woodhull Road in Bainbridge, said it has hosted many events in the past but he wanted to try something new this year. Provence researched corn mazes, in which rows of tall and thick corn are laid out in specific patterns to develop a labyrinth that people can then walk through.

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Provence said he has wanted to build a maze on his farm for several years, and is excited about the project’s completion. The maze is approximately 4 acres in area, and contains walls that range in size from 5 feet to 8 feet tall.

“I’ve always heard about crop mazes in north Georgia and central Georgia, but there really hasn’t been anything like this in our part of the state,” he said. “This is our initial attempt at it, and I hope that everyone here enjoys it and tries to conquer it.”

The Spring Hill Tree Farm crop maze will be open on all weekends in October. Saturday hours will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday hours will be 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. On Saturday, Oct. 8, the maze will be open until 10 p.m. to take advantage of the full moon. There will also be a haunted hayride and maze Saturday, Oct. 29.

Tickets are $5 for adults, and $3 for children 12 and under who are accompanied by an adult.

Provence explained that the maze is actually a plant called “Sorghum-Sudan grass,” which is similar in size and texture to corn, but does not have the ears. He began planting the crop in July and made some minor “tweaks” as the maze was beginning to form.

There are two ways visitors can enjoy the maze. First, they can simply come through one entrance and find their way to the exit. Or, for more of a challenge, they can search for “answer posts” that list the answers to trivia questions. Puzzlers who find all of the answers can turn in their forms for the chance to win a smart phone — with a month’s free usage — in a drawing.

Provence said there are several “safety exits” for those who feel hopelessly lost.

“We had some of the high-school cross country runners try it out earlier this month, and some of the girls said ‘I don’t think there’s a way out,’” Provence said. “My wife and I also tried it out, and we think it’s pretty tough, but there is definitely a solution.

“There are a few paths that look like dead ends, but they’re really not. You’ve got to be observant.”

For more information on the crop maze and other activities at the Spring Hill Tree Farm, call Provence at (229) 243-8733.