How the Mighty Maze at KOA is made

| October 10, 2019

COSHOCTON – McPeek’s Mighty Maze is in full swing for its fifth season! Fall festivities, pumpkins, and the African Safari-themed corn maze are all part of the family fun in Coshocton. The corn maze is located at Coshocton KOA campground and has been entertaining campers and the community since 2015.

Coming in to their fifth season at McPeek’s Mighty Maze, still one of the most common questions guests ask is, “How do you make a corn maze?” No matter how entertaining it may be to blame it on aliens, the truth is it comes down to agriculture, technology, and good old-fashioned hard work.

The maze creation all starts in the middle of winter. Ryan and Camille McPeek, owners of the maze, pick a theme for the season and contact Maize Quest Corn Mazes out of Pennsylvania who specialize in creating spectacular corn maze experiences. Maize Quest even has a professional maze designer, “Designer Dave”. Designer Dave is a professional maze creator, not only for corn mazes, but also maze books. Yes, he has quite a specialized skill. Dave designs a maze just for the McPeeks and saves it on the computer.

Each spring, six acres of corn get planted in a field; however, it goes in a little differently than other fields. Farmer Brian Mason from Pew farms dials back the planter population to only have about half as many plants as a typical corn field would have. He plants the field like normal, but then when he’s all done, he goes back and does it again. This time, he slides over 15 inches. This means there are twice as many rows of corn and they’re only 15 inches apart so you can’t easily see or walk through them.

The corn sprouts like normal and grows like normal but sometime around the fourth of July the maze is created. The corn is just about knee high and still young, tender, and easy to cut down. Farmer Tim, also from Maize Quest, shows up with his tractor, rototiller, and top-secret GPS unit. He loads Designer Dave’s maze into the GPS and sets out into the corn maze. About four hours of rototilling and viola, a corn maze is created. Farmer Tim cuts about 60 corn mazes per year around the country and has even cut them in the middle of the night so he can get to the next maze by sunup. He knows how to get work done!

You might think the work is done at this point but there’s still more to do. Jerry Hamilton, who’s worked at the KOA since 2015, keeps the pathways trimmed throughout the summer so they don’t grow up with weeds and corn. He keeps it mowed and ready for the fall season. Around the end of August, the KOA team takes to the maze and drills holes for game stations and mounts them so families can play. The same team puts colored ribbon along the miles of pathways to help you know where you are in the maze. Maps are put out, the toys are set up, and then McPeek’s Mighty Maze is ready to go!

The corn maze team hits it hard through October putting smiles on the faces of thousands of people. When the maze season wraps up, the team takes it all down and the field is harvested by Pew Farms combine, just like all of the other corn fields. They get to wipe the slate clean and come up with what the next season will be.

“It takes a hard-working team”, said Ryan McPeek. “We’ve been getting more efficient each year in setting up the maze but somehow we always end up doing the hardest work on the hottest day of the year. We couldn’t do it without the team.”

McPeek’s Mighty Maze is now open on Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 27. Different food trucks are featured on each Saturday. More info and discount tickets can be found at They are located at Coshocton KOA, 24688 County Road 10 in Coshocton.

Tags: , , ,

Category: Arts & Entertainment

About the Author ()

Article contributed to The Beacon.

Comments are closed.