Lilley Farms corn maze returns

Published 10:18 pm Thursday, October 6, 2016

Lilley Farms returned with its popular corn maze, located at 2800 Tyre Neck Road, on Sept. 30. The owners, the Lilleys, originally began the maze last year along with their pumpkin patch.

“We had been wanting to do one for years,” said Carolyn Lilley, one of the co-owners of Lilley Farms.

One of Carolyn’s daughters, Lauren, served as an escort through the maze — ironically it was one of her first times through.

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That was a very unsettling feeling.

The tall, intimidating corn stalks obstructed my view for several yards in all directions. We trudged precariously through the muddy trails with dark gray skies and light drizzle overhead.

A few minutes in, we spotted a family of three with the mother bearing a maze map in her hand. Lauren and I exchanged glances, shrugged our shoulders then decided to follow the family.

After several left and right turns around strikingly similar pathways, we lost track of the family. I was panicking slightly on the inside, as I had to meet deadline and couldn’t afford to be lost.

Fortunately, Lauren took charge and managed to decipher the confusing map provided to us.
As we continued on, I noticed sections of the corn stalks laid in a jumbled mess, which exposed the outskirts of the maze. The stalks had buckled from the heavy rain from a few weeks back.

This was slightly reassuring because, if I wanted to, I could’ve taken a detour through the stalks and ran through the border.

It took a ton of willpower to take the higher road.

A few dead ends later, Lauren questioned whether we were going the right way. I tried to analyze the jumbled maze map and responded with empty reassuring remarks that we were in fact going the right way.

Lauren sensed I didn’t know what I was talking about and continued to lead us forward.

We managed to catch up with the daughter from the family we saw earlier and followed her on our way to freedom.

In preparation for the maze, the Lilleys planted the corn in the summer. Then, Carolyn mapped out a grid for the maze and the other co-owners modeled the maze after the grid.

Last year’s maze resembled a house, while this year featured a harder, more intricate design.

The Lilleys also have a pumpkin patch on display. The farm’s heirloom and carving pumpkins are all available for purchase.

The farm has been passed on for nearly a century, according to Carolyn. The family grows a variety of trees, wheat, soybeans and strawberries. The family owns property at various locations in North Suffolk and Chuckatuck.

Lilley hopes to continue the pumpkin patch and corn maze for years to come.

“It’s a fun, family thing,” Lilley said.

From now until the end of this month, the corn maze’s hours of operation are Wednesday through Friday, 3 to 6 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission prices are free for ages 3 and under, $3 for ages 4 to 12, and $5 for adults. However, an adult must accompany children under the age of 12.