By CHRIS HARRIS, CJ Staff Writer Commonwealth Journal
Not all who wander are lost ... but if you’re in the Hettmansperger corn maze, you probably are.
For the second year, the Hettmansperger Farm and Greenhouse in the Mintonville area, around the county line of Pulaski and Casey Counties, is holding a “spooky” corn maze, a favorite fall attraction.
The unique thing about it? It’s a nighttime maze. Once the sun goes down, brave souls venture into the all-natural labyrinth — and hope to make it out alive. Or at least by bedtime.
“Most (mazes) in the state do it during the day,” said Barb Hettmansperger. “Everything’s different at night. ... It gets your heart racing with extra excitement.”
Open Friday through Sunday to the general public, the maze is one of only a handful in the state of Kentucky to be held in the evening — Hettmansperger knows of only four or five others — and there are only two or three more mazes of any time of day in this area.
It’s the result of the changing face of Kentucky agriculture. As many tobacco farmers have been transitioning over the last decade or so to different opportunities, many have had to be creative. For the Hettmanspergers, a seasonal attraction fit the bill nicely.
“With the climate of tobacco, it’s just something else we have to help make the farm profitable,” said Hettmansperger, who runs the business with her husband Jay. “We’ve always been interested in it.”
Despite the “haunted” nature — you’re sure to find some gruesome ghouls or chainsaw-wielding maniacs appropriate to the Halloween holiday — it’s family-friendly, noted Hettsmansperger, though probably not appropriate for very small children (generally those under 7 or 8).
“For teens and young adults looking for something fun to do, they’re definitely too old for trick-or-treating, but the spooky theme makes it a fun activity for that age group,” she said.
Plus, the scary characters are actually quite helpful — “If you absolutely cannot find your way out, we can go in and help; the spooks out in the corn can help if needed,” she said.
The maze — spread out over eight acres — takes approximately an hour to get through, but for some, it might be two or three hours, or not even on the first try.
“Most people make it through eventually,” said Hettmansperger. “We had a group come in for the third time (the other night) and make it through for the first time.
“There are signs that help people they’ve been (to a spot) before and they know to turn around and go the other way,” she added.
The maze opened the last weekend of September and runs through the month of October. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for children ages 12 and under, and special group rates are available. Hettmansperger noted that the maze is open on Wednesdays for church groups which may want to take their youth through the maze as an activity.
The Hettmanspergers partner with Kentucky Proud and the Farm Bureau website market to help promote their own brand of agro-tourism, which also includes the spring greenhouse and fall mums. They also work with the Y Club at Casey County High School, which helps with the maze; a portion of the profits will go to the school club, serving as a sort of fundraiser for them.
For more information, call 606-423-4668 or 606-224-3804. You can also go to the Hettmansperger maze Facebook page (www.facebook.com/837HauntedCornMaze).