Great Vermont Corn Maze: Exit And Explore Near I-91, Danville VT
There’s a Great Vermont Corn Maze?
Yes, emphasis on GREAT and VERMONT.
It’s late August, and corn stalks are nodding, waving, swaying, flailing… Anyway, whatever it is that full-height cornstalks do in late summer, it’s getting done aplenty up and down the Connecticut River valley. This day’s adventure is more up than down, since it’s just off I-91 in Vermont, most of the way to Canada. And the plan is to take full advantage of the corn, sunshine, scenery, a last-of-the-summer fling. In a maze. Chased by a dip at in a Vermont pond.
Wits well-sharpened, find yourself
in a maze, between 10 am and 12 pm.
Namely, the Great Vermont Corn Maze.
Why? We can instantly dispense with that (foolish) question, since Muddy Boots makes a habit of turning fun into exercise. And ha! This’ll be exercise no one else can compete with.
Whaaaat? Is Muddy Boots joking? No: dead serious. It’s the Great Vermont Corn Maze. A corn maze is a labyrinthine puzzle with pathways cut into a large stand of corn. 20 acres, to be exact, the largest in New England and one of the top-10 in the US. This one also happens to be located at a 3rd generation dairy farm. Every year, there’s a new design.
Who? You, natch. And bring water, hat, safari shirt, and sturdy shoes. Swimsuit for later. Maybe your trekking poles too. The ground is level with some spots a little uphill, but the maze may take 2 high-energy hours to complete, and it could be very sunny.
Not so quick. There are emergency exits, just in case you have to bail. Plus, if you’re not up to the full course, no problem. There’s a Scenic Maze which takes about 45 minutes. It takes you to the most photogenic spots. The maze is not wheelchair compatible, but there are farm animals, a barnyard…. lots to be active with.
Where? Now we’re getting real. Veering off I-91 at Route 2 and then to the green in Danville is EZPZ. Don’t even THINK about Googling directions from there, or you’ll likely find yourself on a tractor trail and dead-ended in a manure heap. Instead, follow the signs towards North Danville and the Great Vermont Corn Maze and religiously study the map.
How much? Friendly pricing for 60+ limited-budgeters: $10 in 2017.
Ooops, senior moment. When? Muddy Boots neglected to insist that corn-maze goers double-check the Corn Maze website for dates the maze will be open. Bet you didn’t know you can get corn conditions, too.
When you’re through finding yourself,
Buy picnic lunch fixings at Marty’s. To get there, drive back the way you came, to the center of Danville. Meet up with the traffic light and take a left going downhill on Rte. 2. Most of the way down the hill, on the north side of the road, there’s a gas station and convenience store that’s a lot more than a convenience store. If you’re unsure where to go, follow the stream of cars zooming into Marty’s busy parking lot: they’re construction workers, farmers, folks just passing by. Everyone and their brother, so to speak. Buy your lunch stuff here and get gas if your tank is low.
Hop in your car and
Tootle back up the hill
Keep going when you come to the green. In 4 miles or so, you’ll be in West Danville, and Joe’s Pond will come into view. That’s your picnic spot and afternoon leisure time. To find the town beach—and all-important picnic tables—when you get to Hastings store, take the road north heading to Hardwick. You will arrive at the beach in less than a minute, even if you run into commuter traffic.
Eat, paddle, swim, kick back, cool off prodigiously.
Muddy Boots leaves you in the throes of washing off corn-maze sweat…
Oops, yet again, senior moment.
Joe’s Pond Ice Out.
When you’re ready to leave West Danville, stop in at Hastings store. This is “local color” par excellence. Buy an “ice out” ticket—for the vast sum of $1. You will take a bet on the day and time the ice on Joe’s Pond softens up just enough to dump a purpose-rigged cinder block into the deep. You will spend the entire winter checking in with the “ice out” cam on the Joe’s Pond Ice Out website (no kidding) and more-than-daily status reports. This to-do is far more prolonged, cheaper, and more world-famous, than betting on March Madness and watching every single game. Veeery competitive.
If you still have energy to spare and want to do some sightseeing, go the back way to the interstate via Peacham, Groton, South Ryegate, and Wells River. Spectacular scenery awaits. Or, check the bulletin board at Marty’s for a church supper location.
Photo credits. Featured image, Corn maze in foggy morning: Corn maze photos, ©www.vermontcornmaze.com, all rights reserved, used with permission. Vermont Corn Maze sign: CC BY-ND 2.0 by Ann-Dabney via Flickr. Hands waving in corn: Public Domain by Felix Russell-Saw via Unsplash. Ice Out: Rights uncertain: 2013 page at Scenes of Vermont, link on photo. Joe’s Pond: ©DustyCarMuddyBoots.com, All Rights Reserved.