Now in its second year, Pike’s Corn Maze opened Sept. 19 to sunshine and warmth.

That was the family’s vision: Create a simple, relaxed outdoor space for kids to explore.

“We want people to relax in the sun and enjoy the good, old-fashioned fun that we all grew up with,” said co-owner Jena Vogtman, a 2007 Park Rapids Area High School (PRAHS) graduate.

2020 highlights include a eight-acre corn maze, petting zoo, hay rides, hay bale castle, mini-corn play pits and more.

Adjustments were made to minimize the risk of spreading the coronavirus, yet allow families to spend time in the open air.

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In order to social distance for COVID-19, the large corn pit was modified into multiple, individual ones, utilizing large tractor tires. “It’s always one of the popular things with kids,” Vogtman said of the activity.

This year, Pike’s added a “spooky tree trail” to search for trees with not-so-spooky faces and a fairy house. The nature walk takes about 15 minutes at a leisurely pace, Vogtman said, adding “it was an easy one to add to space people out.”

Hay rides are limited to small groups.

The animal farm is another favorite, too, she said. Goats, donkeys and a new breed of cow greet youngsters. A reindeer is expected to make a guest appearance one day this fall as well.

“Most families spend 10 to 20 minutes at each activity, with one-and-a-half to two hours total at the farm,” Vogtman said.

Pike’s Corn Maze is definitely a family affair. Jena and husband Dean, a 2001 PRAHS graduate, purchased the property at 16303 Dovetail Road. Their son, Henry, plays host to the other kids who visit the farm.

Jena grew up on a farm in the Hubbard Prairie. Her parents are Jay and Marlene Pike, who co-own Pike's Corn Maze. Her brother, Nate Pike, helps with the hay bales and animals. He’s renowned for Pike’s sweet corn. He originally started Pike's Corn Maze in 2015 at his farm on the Hubbard Prairie. The event moved closer to town two years ago.

Four generations picked the pumpkins, gourds and squash that are for sale in a heated building.

“It’s really an extended family project,” Jena said.

The 200-acre property is half wooded and half field and homestead. Her great-grandfather used to have minnow ponds near where the land adjoins the Fish Hook River. Dean used to hunt across the road.

“It felt like home when we got here,” Jena said.

Located two miles south of Hwy. 34 on County Road 6, Pike’s Corn Maze is open every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Oct. 25. They will also be open on Thursday and Friday, Oct. 15-16 due to MEA weekend.

More information is available at https://www.facebook.com/pikescornmaze.