Lonely Planet Writer

This incredible corn maze in Wisconsin mixes art and science

It’s officially fall and if you’re looking to take your autumnal activities to the next level, a visit to an elaborate Wisconsin corn maze is sure to get you in the spirit of the season.

The incredible corn maze is designed around a trilobite. Image by Angie Lathrop Treinen

Treinen Farms in Lodi, Wisconsin, has created a massive corn maze featuring a trilobite in an art-nouveau style. It is sure to amaze anyone who sees it from above – and will probably astound anyone walking through it as well. Called the Trilobite Cabinet of Curiosities Maze, this year’s incredible design is just the latest in elaborate mazes created at the farm. Previous years’ designs have involved everything from killer baby unicorns to a steampunk theme.

Angie Lathrop Treinen told Lonely Planet that she creates each year’s design in Abode Illustrator herself. “This year, I was approached by the UW-Madison Geology museum, and they suggested a trilobite. We’ve never partnered with anyone in the past, but the geology museum people, Rich and Brooke, are incredibly enthusiastic, so it’s working out very well.” Trilobites  are the official state fossil and lived in Wisconsin 250 million years ago – long before the dinosaurs – and are often found as fossils in the area.

While many corn mazes use a professional service for the design and cutting, Treinen Farms does it all on their own. After finishing the design, Angie then works with her husband Alan to plant the maze in a grid pattern, so the rows of corn go north-south and east-west, while normal corn fields are planted just in rows. When the design is finish, she is able to overlay a grid onto the design and print it out for the cutting crew.

“The crew heads out to the field and uses stakes to mark out major lines in the field, so they can tell where they are at in the field at any point relative to the plan. They then mark the trails on the ground with paint and mow them. After that, they till the trails to completely remove the corn. The entire process is finished within about three days,” according to Angie. The corn maze is open on weekends through the 2nd weekend in November and the entrance fee is $10 for people over 6 years old.