The Corn Maze at Tanners Orchard: A Midwestern Folk Adventuring Activity

Corn is one of Illinois’s number one exports. Agribusiness is one of the cornerstones of the Midwestern Economy. This is especially true in Illinois outside of Chicagoland. Corn Mazes are a byproduct of this agricultural wonder. Corn mazes are a worthwhile activity and if you have never done them, you’ll enjoy them if you give them a try. If you have never experienced them you’re ignorance is holding you back from an activity I have savored since childhood.

You can read more about corn mazes at this wikipedia page. You can also learn that these are not just featured in the Midwest. These are also worldwide as you’ll find in the wikipedia page.


Tanners Orchard is where Amanda and I enjoyed our first corn maze of this Fall. Tanners Orchard is a place I had not been to since I was eight or six years old. A lot has changed in decades. The opportunities for a good time there are endless, and they range from playground attractions for kids, the gourmet food (try the apple fritters), and the farm animals themselves. The goats are showstoppers.

The Corn Maze of course, is an attraction at the farm that we could not pass up. We were given maps of the maze with built-in checkpoint cards. We were instructed to locate checkpoints where hole punches were located to punch our checkpoint cards. There were two sets of checkpoints. One was the FSI set of checkpoints. FSI (Farm Scene Investigation) is a neat game where one has to find out what happened to Farmer Joe. While it was interesting, we focused on the other set of checkpoints. I’ll call these the main checkpoints.

A map at the checkpoint we reached. The maze to the left appears to be depicting folk hero: John Henry. The maze to the right is shorter in length and is depicting a locomotive engine.

We began with the longer maze depicting John Henry. I enjoyed this exercise of my map reading skills. I quickly identified a landmark that aided in our navigation of both mazes. We spent roughly ninety minutes in the first maze. We reached four checkpoints before we transitioned to the shorter maze. Between both mazes we had a breather and we both split four bottles of Glacier Mist water from the Crazy Goat Cafe on the Orchard’s grounds.

Amanda punching her card at the checkpoint.

After our breather we tackled the smaller maze. We were present there for no more than fifteen minutes.

The author punching his map checkpoint card. Photo Credit: Amanda Hovey

We then returned to the larger maze and obtained the final two checkpoints. Overall, Tanners Orchard is a must stop in the Peoria, IL area. The corn maze is a golden attraction for anyone wanting to test their map reading skills. I recommend you make a trip to Tanners before Fall’s end. Visit their website here.

Our completed checkpoint cards. Mine was damaged due to a hole puncher jamming. I removed it crudely.

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