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Pick your Pumpkin, Then Get Lost (in a Corn Maze)

Ticonderoga corn maze photograph courtesy of Fort Ticonderoga

In Adirondack valleys the fields of orange pumpkins rival the brilliant foliage on the hillsides, while corn mazes offer another kind of hiking—sometimes in circles. Here are harvest destinations for fall family fun.

It’s About Thyme Farm set out 6,000 pumpkin plants last spring. They’re thriving, producing DIY jack-o’-lanterns in all shapes and sizes. The Olmstedville greenhouses, garden center and scarecrow-decorated trails are open daily through October 30, with hay rides, cider and donuts on the weekends.

Pray’s Farmers Market, in Keeseville, has eight acres of pumpkins, open daily 9 a.m.–6 p.m. for picking. The farmstead features plenty of produce plus baked goods.

Folks flock to Rulfs Orchard for u-pick Macintosh apples and pumpkins plus a corn maze. The big action is on Saturdays and Sundays, with wagon rides (behind a tractor) to the pumpkin patch. Small pumpkins are priced per pound, but the huge ones—16 pounds or better—are $8. Rulfs also has a bakery in the farmstand, with homemade pumpkin, blueberry, apple cider and cinnamon-sugar donuts.

Applejack’s Orchard, in Peru, boasts a maze made of hay bales, a glass beehive, apples, u-pick pumpkins and what owner Jim Murray calls “goat mountain,” a series of ramps and platforms on which his herd entertains. Open daily.

The corn maze at Tucker Farms, in Gabriels, has been open since late August and remains open Thursdays–Sundays through the end of October. On October 12 you can unscramble the maze after dark, using your own flashlight.

At Fort Ticonderoga the six-acre Heroic Maze adds history to the mystery of finding your way amid the tall stalks. There are eight hidden stations that relate to 18th-century forts; collect stamps from each spot on “quest cards”  for an extra challenge. On October 17 and 18 you can explore the maze in the moonlight. The maze is open weekends through Columbus Day.

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