Corn maze opening this weekend offers a message for local heroes

Apple Country Farm Market in Spring Valley is home to one of the largest corn mazes in the area. This year, the theme of the farm's corn maze is "Thanks to Our Heroes."

Credit: Apple Country Farm Market

Credit: Apple Country Farm Market

The Apple Country Farm & Corn Maze is a double threat: a host for family-friendly activities and a marketplace for luxury outdoor furniture. Marcie Hagler started the farm with her husband in 1998. The farmers market was opened immediately, with the annual corn maze added five years later.

Here’s what you need to know about this destination for fall fun for all ages:

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Apple Country Market's corn maze features a “Clue”-like mystery called “The Day Farmer Joe Went Missing.” CONTRIBUTED

Corn Maze

The seven-acre corn maze has a different theme every year. Hagler said they spend hours and hours making the design, then planting, making the paths, and hoping rainfall occurs at the right times.

The theme this year is “Thanks To Our Heroes,” with an aerial shot showing healthcare workers, a police badge, and a fire department badge outlined in the corn.

There are usually three game options for the maze. Due to COVID, however, there is only one this year, a “Clue”-like mystery called “The Day Farmer Joe Went Missing.” You take a card through the maze, find location scenes that will help you eliminate suspects, locations, and weapons from your card until you finally nab the animal that caused Farmer Joe to have an unfortunate accident.

If you want to just beat the maze, be warned it’s no simple task. The maze will take the average adult 1½-2 hours to get through. “We have hardcore maze-goers who every year are asking us to make it harder,” Hagler said.

If this sounds too stressful, there is a kiddie straw maze, too.

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Apple Country currently grows and sells 30 varieties of apples. In season, the Farm Market sells apples, squash, pumpkins, gourds and more. CONTRIBUTED

Farm Market

For those ready to shop, the products on sale at the Apple Country farm market include gazebos, pool houses, pavilions, pergolas, Weaver barns and sheds, children’s playsets, and outdoor tables, chairs, benches, and swings.

Some of the animal friends you might encounter at Apple Country Farm Market in Spring Valley. CONTRIBUTED

Family Activities

The KD Mining Company is a 40-foot wooden panning sluice with a 16-foot water tower and five waterfalls. Kids can choose their stone package and pan for their treasures. There are also duck races, a corn cannon (fire three cobs of corn for $2), photo boards, and barnyard animals, starring the goats Lily and Leah.

Why Go?

“We have a wide variety of offerings and seasonal products,” Hagler said. “Typically, we do field trips and team-building exercises. There’s something for all ages.”

Best Time to Go?

Unpredictable. The farmers market is open seven days a week, but the maze is open only on weekends. “If the weather is good, all three days can be popular,” she said. “We usually get (teens) and their friends on Friday nights and Saturdays. On Sundays, families will come out after church.”

Apple Country Farm Market's corn maze offers an adventure for all ages. CONTRIBUTED

COVID Restrictions?

At the farmers market, masks are required for anyone entering the sales office, and only two people will be allowed in the sales office at a time. All tickets will be sold online, with limited attendance for each time slot. Due to COVID, the usual hayrides and campfire gatherings will not be held.

Deals or Promotions?

Due to COVID restrictions regarding large groups, the usual large-group discounts will not be available this year.

Places to Eat Nearby

“There aren’t too many restaurants around here, unless you want to go up into Xenia,” Hagler laughed. But Apple Country sells snack foods, candy, popcorn, and lots of drinks, including apple cider and slushies.

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How to Go

What: Apple Country Farm & Corn Maze

Where: 2323 US Route 42, Spring Valley

When: Sept. 19-Nov. 1. Farm market hours are noon-5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Saturday, and noon-5:30 p.m. Sunday. Maze hours are 4-8 p.m. Friday, 1-8 p.m. Saturday, and noon-6 p.m. Sunday.

Cost: Maze admission is $9.99 for kids and adults 13+, $7.99 for kids ages 4-12, and free for children 3 and younger.

More Info: 937-750-1005 or www.applecountryfarm.com

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