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Friday, September 24, 2004; Page WE33


Baltimore County

HUBER'S FAMILY PRODUCE FARM -- 11898 Philadelphia Road (Route 7 and Raphel Road), Bradshaw, 16 miles from downtown Baltimore. 410-679-1948 (recorded message) or 410-679-1941. www.hubersfarm.com. Open Saturdays and Sundays 10 to 5 through Oct. 31. Admission to both mazes is $6 for adults, $3 for children younger than 13; kids' maze only, $4 for adults, $2 for children. The pick-your-own pumpkin farm's five-acre corn maze features a hayride design, while a mini jack-o'-lantern-shaped maze geared toward young children includes nursery rhymes and characters to guide visitors. Each group visiting the large maze receives an activity sheet and flag to wave for assistance. Other highlights, all requiring additional fees, include an inflatable haunted house, scarecrow making and a moon bounce. Haunted Hayrides take place Oct. 15 and 16, 22 and 23 and 29 and 30, 7:30 to 10:30. $8 for ages 13 and older, $4 for ages 12 and younger. A portion of the Haunted Hayrides proceeds benefits the Pediatric Oncology Friends at Johns Hopkins Hospital, in memory of Daniel Huber. The $2 parking donation benefits a local Boy Scout troop. Visitors also can take a hayride to the pumpkin patch during daylight hours; donations accepted benefit Pediatric Oncology Friends. Weekend concessions include such items as snowballs, popcorn and hot dogs. A picnic pavilion has six tables.

NORTH RUN FARM -- 1701 Greenspring Valley Rd., Stevenson. 410-241-3392. www.northrunfarm.com (includes directions). Open Friday 2 to dark and subsequent Fridays in October from 2 to 10, Saturdays and Sundays 10 to dark through Oct. 31. Admission is $7 for ages 13 and older, $6 for seniors, $5 for children ages 4 to 12 and free for children younger than age 4; military personnel with valid IDs receive a $1 discount. Last maze tickets sold an hour before dark. This Black Angus farm's third annual maze, designed by Shawn Stolworthy of MazePlay Inc., resembles the Maryland agricultural license plate, which has a barn and tree design. Six punch stations tucked along the 2 1/2 miles of trails in the five-acre maze each feature a different shaped hole punch with which to mark your map. Bring a flashlight for Friday night maze walks. Flags are available. The admission price includes a hayride. A hayride to the new, pick-your-own pumpkin patch without a maze visit costs $1. Kids also can navigate a mini-maze constructed with straw bales, recommended for ages 6 and younger, and look at farm animals such as piglets, lambs, miniature horses, a calf, chickens and turkeys. Food for sale includes produce and cider. The farm's picnic area is larger this year.

This year's organically grown Corn Maze in The Plains is carved in the shape of a monarch butterfly. (Roger Snyder)

ROHA FARMS -- 6009 Church Lane, Hydes, 10 miles northeast of Towson. 410-592-8040. www.rohafarms.com. Open Saturdays and Sundays 10 to 5 Oct. 2-31, weekdays by appointment year-round. $3. The farm's new, 4 1/2-acre corn maze features a basic design with no theme. Free hayrides to the pick-your-own pumpkin patch are wheelchair-accessible. Other highlights, most of which cost $1.50 each, include horse and pony rides, pumpkin painting, face painting and a straw climb. Scarecrow making, with all materials provided, is $10. The farm also boasts picnic tables; farm animals, some of which are pettable; concessions; and a market selling the farm's own hydroponic lettuce, eggs and herbs.

Carroll County

GESELL FARM MAZE -- Off Smith Avenue and Agricultural Drive, near the Carroll County Agricultural Center and Carroll County Farm Museum. 410-386-2842 (recording information). No Web site. Open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays starting at 5, with last admittance at 8:30. Admission of $10 for ages 13 and older and $5 for ages 6 to 12 benefits the Gesell Farm Board's farm-related programs for the community; admission is free for ages 5 and younger. The 17-acre maze, planned and created by local residents, features connecting sections representing a windmill, cow's head, silo and barn, along with the words "Carroll County." Numbered posts help people orient themselves along approximately three miles of trails, designed to be easy to navigate for all ages. Visitors can choose a short, medium or long course. Bring your own flashlight or purchase a small souvenir flashlight ($3) on site. Snack foods and drinks are available.

MAIZEFEST AT RIVER VALLEY RANCH -- 4443 Grave Run Rd., Millers. 410-922-0602 or 800-285-0122. www.rivervalleyranch.com. Open Oct. 2, 9 and 16 from 10 to 6; Oct. 23 and 30 from 10 to 9. $7, $5 ages 3 to 11, free for ages 2 and younger. This Western-themed, Christian camp facility boasts a 5 1/2-acre maze shaped like a cowboy on a horse. As they wander the 9,945 feet of paths, mazegoers search for nine hidden map pieces, including the final piece in the "Lost Canyon." Bring a flashlight for evening visits. The admission price also includes an 80-foot zip line, hayrides, a hay wagon filled with corn kernels in which to play, a mini straw maze and straw crawl, a treehouse and playground. Activities available for additional fees include pony rides ($3), a pick-your-own pumpkin patch, a corn ear launcher ($3) and assorted concessions such as sandwiches and fries. The site includes picnic areas.

Charles County

ZEKIAH FARMS -- Booth Place, off Bryantown Road, off Route 5 (Leonardtown Road), across from Mount Eagle Estates. 240-216-4065. www.zekiahfarms.com (includes directions). Open Saturdays and Sundays 11 to dusk through Oct. 31. $7 for two mazes, free for ages younger than 3. This farm, which first opened to the public last autumn, boasts Charles County's only mazes. Designed and constructed by Missouri-based Precision Mazes, a three-acre, right-angle maze features 1 1/2 miles of straight paths. A one-acre maze created from sorghum, a grain plant similar to corn, features a half-mile of paths cut in the design of the fire department's Maltese-cross-shaped badge. Geared toward children, the maze includes five scarecrows accompanied by EDITH (Exit Drills in the Home) fire safety tips. Other farm highlights, covered by the maze admission price, include hayrides, animals, scarecrow making (bring your own clothes), face painting and a straw pit. Visitors can pick pumpkins in a three-acre patch, buy seasonal produce and purchase refreshments such as sandwiches, chips and sodas. Picnic tables are available.

Frederick County

CRUMLAND FARMS -- 7612 Willow Rd., Frederick. 301-845-8099. www.crumland.com (includes directions). Open Saturdays and Sundays noon to dusk through Oct. 31; also open Friday, Oct. 14 and 15 and Nov. 1 and 2 from 10 to 4. $8, $6 for ages 5 through middle school and free for ages 4 and younger. The former dairy farm's fourth annual cow-themed corn maze features an eight-acre design cut in the shape of Maizy the bovine, the farm's mascot, masquerading as "Cowzilla." Ryon Grau, a family friend, designed and helped cut the maze. Visitors try to locate 12 stations, where they can stamp a worksheet to complete a maze map. The maze includes a bridge. Signal flags are available and can be viewed by staff from an observation deck. Visitors to the grain farm also can slide down a 40-foot tube, feed goats on a "goat walk" platform and look at additional farm animals, including Princess Grace, a new miniature horse. Young children can ride a free tractor-pulled barrel train. A hayride to a six- to eight-acre pick-your-own pumpkin patch is free with the purchase of a pumpkin. The farm also sells fall decorations. Refreshments include sodas, snacks and, on some weekends, hot dogs and sandwiches. Bunny Bingo takes place Oct. 9 from noon to 4, requiring a small fee, as a benefit for the Volunteer Frederick volunteerism organization. Rabbits raised by 4-H members hop around a large numbered grid topped with feed; the person whose designated number is the last to lose its feed pellet is the winner. The farm also boasts an upright silo resembling an ear of corn, as well as several seasonal- and farm-themed murals, all painted by family friend Emily Chesley.

SUMMERS FARM -- 5614 Butterfly Lane, near Interstate 70 west, Frederick. 301-620-9316. www.summersfarm.com (includes directions). The farm holds its seventh annual Fall-For-All Festival Saturdays and Sundays and Columbus Day in October, 10 to 5. $5, free for ages 2 and younger. Visit the Web site for a $1 discount coupon. The five-acre, locomotive-shaped corn maze, designed by a family friend and built by Summers family members, features two miles of trails cut through 250,000 corn stalks. Visitors solve a mystery phrase by visiting several checkpoints. Flags are not available. Other highlights include giant slides, tunnels, mini mazes, hayloft jumping, a tepee, a farm heritage museum and cut-out boards for photos. New this year, a Kids Korral features a cattle slide, pedal tractors, a straw pile jump and a corn-filled sandbox. Additional activities, some requiring extra fees, include pony rides from noon to 4, barrel rides, scarecrow making and goat feeding. Featured foods include apple-cider doughnuts and other fresh baked goods. Visitors also can take free hayrides to the 15-acre pick-your-own pumpkin patch weekdays 3 to 6 starting Oct. 4 and weekends 10 to 5. The site has picnic tables. Chow for Charity, Oct. 9 at 1, showcases local media celebrities in a pie-eating contest.

MAYNE'S TREE FARM/PUMPKIN PATCH -- 3420 Buckeystown Pike (Route 85 south), Buckeystown. 301-662-4320. www.maynestreefarm.com (with directions). Take Interstate 270 to Exit 31-B (Route 85); the farm is four miles south of I-270, on the right. Open during October weekdays 10 to 6, Saturdays and Sundays 10 to 5; reopens in December for Christmas trees. $5, $2 for ages 4 through 12, free for ages 3 and younger. A five-acre wagon-wheel-patterned corn maze, designed and built by the Mayne family, is geared toward elementary-school children. Five checkpoints feature corn and pumpkin questions to answer to determine which way to turn. Flags aren't available. Other October highlights, Saturdays and Sundays 10 to 4, include free hayrides to the 10-acre pick-your-own pumpkin patch, a straw jump geared toward young children, ducks, face painting ($1) and scarecrow making ($5 if you bring your own clothes, $8 all materials provided). Fling little pumpkins from a pumpkin slingshot, $1 for three shots; get one in a water-filled tub and win a large pumpkin. Watch apple butter being made on Oct. 16. Homemade pumpkin pies, apple dumplings, hot caramel apples and chicken corn soup highlight the food selection, proceeds from which benefit Buckeystown United Methodist Church. The farm also sells apple cider and homemade Indian-corn and pumpkin decorations. Picnic tables are available.

LAWYER'S WINTERBROOK FARM -- 13001 Creagerstown (Route 550 South), Thurmont. 301-271-4826. www.mazeplay.com/showmaze.php?maze=50 (includes directions). Open Fridays and Saturdays at dusk, with last tickets sold at 10, through Oct. 31. Also open Saturdays and Sundays noon to 5 and Oct. 14 and 15 from 1 to 10. $6 for ages 13 and older, $5 for ages 6 to 12, free for ages 5 and younger. Volunteer fire and rescue personnel and their immediate families who present active member status cards receive half off admission Friday night. The fifth annual Lawyer's Moonlight Maze features a 17-acre complex of four connected baseball-themed mazes, designed and built by Shawn Stolworthy of MazePlay. From an entry area representing home plate, visitors can venture into a diamond-shaped maze with 1.3 miles of trails, connecting to 2.6 miles of pathways in a script "Orioles," 2.2 miles of trails in the Oriole mascot and one mile of walkways in the smaller, player-shaped maze. The entire maze and its corresponding map contain 24 checkpoints. Visitors must bring their own flashlights. The farm does not have pumpkins for sale, but visitors can catapult provided pumpkins toward targets 2,000 feet away using a huge, bright orange "pumpkin cannon," Friday and Saturday nights 6 to midnight, $3 a shot or $5 for three shots. Pick-your-own mums should be on hand through mid-October. Concessions available during nighttime maze hours include hot dogs, hamburgers, crab soup and french fries.

Howard County

SHARP'S AT WATERFORD FARM -- 4003 Jennings Chapel Rd., Brookeville. 301-854-6275. www.sharpfarm.com (includes directions). Open Saturdays and Sundays 10 to 5 through Oct. 31. $7 for ages 13 and older, $5 for ages 5 to 12, free for ages 4 and younger with a paying adult. The farm and produce stand's five-acre maze, designed by manager Cheryl Nodar and built by owners Chuck and Denise Sharp, features three adjoining designs: a chicken, sheep and cow. Flags are not available. The chicken is designed for young children. Interspersed along the pathways of the sheep and cow, signs display facts about the animal parts (such as a cow's four stomachs) depicted in corresponding sections of the maze. Mazegoers can exit from the cow's ear and continue their walk on a one-mile nature hike. Other farm highlights include a 30-acre pick-your-own pumpkin patch, free hayrides, animals, face painting ($1 to $8 depending on the design), observation beehives and a small farm museum. Scarecrow making workshops ($7, $5 if you bring the clothes) take place Saturdays and Sundays noon to 3. Visitors also can pick gourds, mini pumpkins and popcorn. The site also houses a country store and greenhouses. The farm has a few picnic tables, along with a pond-side picnic area on which to spread blankets. As part of Howard County Farm City Week, the maze is open Friday from noon to 5, and a free hayride takes place at 4:30. On Saturday, the "Howard County Iron Bridge Hounds" and riders visit the farm for a fox chase.

Montgomery County

ARORA HILLS CORN MAZE -- 22900 Ridge Rd., Clarksburg. 240-686-0206. www.arorahills.com (with directions). Open through Oct. 31, Saturdays and Sundays 11 to 5. Admission by suggested donation of $10 per family or $5 per person benefits Hospice Caring Inc., a nonprofit volunteer hospice organization in Montgomery County. Arora Hills holds its second annual charity maze, sponsored by the new community's land developers and homebuilders. Situated on neighboring farmland, the 3.3-acre, house-shaped maze includes 2.35 miles of pathways. Lost visitors can wave provided flags to signal hospice volunteers stationed at a raised lookout. Designed and built by Maize Quest, the maze features a Fingertip Fortune Game: Five checkpoints each include a different color of chalk powder, into which a mazegoer dips a fingertip. A walker who visits every station ends up with fingertips of five colors, creating a pattern. A board posted at the end of the maze displays all possible patterns, each of which corresponds to a fortune. Each visitor also can look at four possible designs for next year's maze and vote on a favorite. Every child age 12 or younger who completes a free game sheet -- available on site from hospice volunteers -- receives a prize. The site has no food or beverages. Radio station Hot 99.5 FM will be on hand to give away prizes on Oct. 23 from 2 to 4.

HOMESTEAD FARM -- 15604 Sugarland Rd., Poolesville. 301-977-3761 (recording with directions). www.homestead-farm.net. Open daily 9 to 6 through Oct. 31. $3. The pick-your-own apple orchard and pumpkin farm's six-acre maze is geared toward kids ages 4 through 13. The maze includes accents such as plywood gravestones, a bridge and possibly a tepee. Hayrides, $1.50 per person, take place Saturdays and Sundays from 9 to 5 through October. Other highlights include farm animals, caramel apples and apple pie.

St. Mary's County

BOWLES FARMS -- 22880 Budd's Creek Rd., Clements. 301-475-2139. www.bowlesfarms.com. Open Fridays 4 to 9, Saturdays 10 to 9 and Sundays 11 to 6 through Oct. 31. $8, free for children 5 and younger accompanied by an adult. Now in its fourth year, the St. Mary's County Corn Maze & Pumpkin Harvest features a 15-acre corn maze cut in an F/A-18 Hornet jet design, a tribute to nearby Patuxent River Naval Air Station. Created by the Maize design company based on the Bowles family's design, the maze consists of two sections, one of which is larger. The pathways include two bridges. Visitors who get lost along more than three miles of trails can wave flags to signal for help from employees stationed in three towers. The admission price also includes a straw maze, straw mountain, hay rides and a farm animal petting zoo. Pick-your-own pumpkins also are available. The farm boasts a large picnic area, souvenirs and concessions, including snacks and country-style meals. Restrooms are heated and air-conditioned. Special events include lawn mower racing by the Mid-Atlantic Lawn Mower Racing Association Oct. 2 at 2; live music on Oct. 3, 17, 24 and 31 from 2 to 6; an antique tractor pull and parade on Oct. 16 at 11, followed by a lawnmower pull at 4; an antique tractor pull on Oct. 17 at 11, followed by a tractor parade at 2; and the Southern Knights Rod & Custom Car Show on Oct. 24, starting about noon. A free bike rodeo with prizes is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 31; check the Web site for further details.

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