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Finding Minnesota: Stoney Brook Farms, one of world's largest corn mazes, goes "Jurassic" this year

Minnesota is home to one of the largest, toughest corn mazes on earth
Minnesota is home to one of the largest, toughest corn mazes on earth 02:52

FOLEY, Minn. — One of the largest and most intricate corn mazes in the entire country manages to get a little more amazing with each passing year. The maze can be found at Stoney Brook Farms, near the town of Foley in Benton County.

"Definitely small-town USA. Everybody knows everybody," Foley resident Monica Shaw said. 

That's because many of the families that live in Foley have been here for generations. They are as rooted as the crops they grow.

"We start in the spring with asparagus. We do sugar snap peas, green beans, broccoli. We roll into sweet corn, which is our biggest crop," said Brad Chmielewski.

Chmielewski and his family run Stoney Brook Farms. They grow vegetables for grocery stores, but not all of their corn ends up in a supermarket.

"Our first year we started it was just basically a pumpkin with kind of a maze in there," Chmielewski said.

From a simple pumpkin in 2016, to one of the largest mazes in the world. Last year, Stoney Brook put together an extremely detailed maze full of scary movie characters. And they did it all in 110 acres of corn — totaling 15 miles of pathways.

"We had Jason Voorhees, we had Freddy Krueger, Pennywise the Clown from 'It.' We had Chucky," Chmielewski said. 

They also saw their number of visitors jump 500% from the year before, with people coming from around the world. This year, there's a "Jurassic Park" theme.  


After he gets an idea, Chmielewski works with a company called MazePlay to design his autumn adventure. Then he uses the best of farm technology to get the labyrinth just right.

"If you actually zoom into it a little bit, you can actually see there's lines, and each one of those little lines there is a planter pass," Chmielewski said.

Going a steady 3 mph, the program tells his tractor where to drop seeds in the spring so he gets results in the fall. This year, instead of strolling through Freddy Krueger's head, visitors can walk through the neck of a brontosaurus.

They also made the maze cheat-proof by planting the corn stalks tightly together and in two different directions so you can't bust right through it.

The record for getting through the most difficult maze last year was 40 minutes, but some people can spend hours trying to find their way. Many claim they've never gotten lost in the maze.

"You just keep going in one direction and you'll hit a road eventually [laughs]!" Shaw said.

But for most visitors, it's less about the end result and more about the journey.

"It's a ton of fun," Chmielewski said. "We're blown away by the way people who just say 'thank you for doing this.' Really, next year we don't know what we're gonna do, so if you have any suggestions, let me know."

A QR code is available at the maze to show you where you are at and to how to get out quickly if you need to. Stoney Brook also has pumpkin basketball and a corn pit. So if you don't get lost in the maze, you can get lost in the corn pit.

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