Van Hemric was looking for a way to key in on Hamptonville’s wine industry when he and Jason Walker came up with the idea for a corn maze on Cheek Road.
After an early setback, Alpha and Omega Corn Maze opened Friday, Aug. 30.
The maze held a noon grand opening ceremony with members of the Yadkin County Chamber of Commerce and other county officials. Jennifer Hemric cut the ceremonial ribbon before the guests ate hotdogs and homemade ice cream she prepared.
Actual tours began at 1 p.m.
“We’ve just been thinking about it for a couple of years,” Walker said.
“I’ve been trying to figure out a way to get involved with the wine traffic here at the house,” Hemric said. “He [Walker] called me one day and said ‘I’m going to put a corn maze at the house.’ I said ‘I’ve got the perfect place for the corn maze.’”
The maze is located at 1105 Cheek Road in Hamptonville, near the intersection with Old Highway 421. The maze sits on six acres of former cow pasture.
The course is laid out in a name - “Briley,” after Walker’s child.
The men were not sure the corn maze would be up and ready for the opening at first.
The two planted what they thought was Roundup-ready corn earlier this year. It wasn’t until after they sprayed for weeds that the mistake was realized.
Within a day of spraying all of the corn was dead.
They worked quickly to replant the maze and hoped it would be tall enough by the opening, which it did. The corn is well over the height of all those who visited the maze Friday.
A surveyor came out when the corn was still young and laid out the course. Walker followed along behind him with a zero-turn lawn mower and cut the course.
Dead-ends and other features inside the course were added later.
The maze will be resurveyed each year as the corn is replanted, with a different layout used each year.
Jennifer Hemric said the maze takes the average person around 15 minutes to complete.
She has pushed a stroller with kids through the maze in roughly 25 minutes. Wheelchairs are able to navigate through the corn as well.
Visitors are given a two-by-two board with a rag attached to it in case they lose their way inside the maze. A spotter sits on the edge of the field in a deer stand at all times when someone is inside and can assist if anyone experiences a problem.
The price is a flat $5 cash for everyone, with children four and under admitted free. No cards are accepted.
The maze is just one piece of a much larger enterprise. They also have a pumpkin patch, hay rides - even packaged meat, which is available at the front office building when you enter the parking area.
Eventually they hope to build cabins behind the maze for visitors to stay in. A pond sits over a low hill behind the maze, the perfect spot for the added attractions.
Alpha and Omega is now open from 1 p.m. until dark on Fridays and 9 a.m. until dark on Saturdays.
No one will be admitted 45 minutes before dark to insure everyone has time to finish and exit the maze by dark.
The corn maze will be available to youth groups only by reservation on Sundays. Reservations for school groups can be arranged anytime through the week.
The maze is closed in the event of rain.
For more information visit www.yadkinvalleycornmaze.com. You can reach Van Hemric at 336-468-2979 or Jason Walker at 336-466-1003.
To contact Taylor Pardue call 336-835-1513 ext. 15, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.