Pumpkin farms and corn mazes are the staples for a fall in the Midwest. Illinois boasts one of the largest, and most creative, corn mazes in the US at Richardson Adventure Farm in Spring Grove, IL. The layout for the maze changes every year, making this farm a destination worth traveling to every fall.
The Richardson farm story dates back to 1836 when Robert Richardson emigrated here from England. What began as a small 240 acre farm, has now expanded into over 500 acres. In addition to the traditional crops of corn and soybeans, they are also known for having one of the best Christmas tree farms in the US (over 50,000 trees of many varieties).
The corn maze is the most popular attraction here. Consisting of 9-10 miles through 28 acres of corn, this is a challenge you will not soon forget. If you only hit the checkpoints, which is how most visitors navigate it, you will only cover about 3.5 miles. The maze is usually made up of 4 smaller, connected mazes and no dead ends. So, you can call it quits at any time without needing to call on search and rescue.
Richardson Adventure Farm started its corn maze challenge back in 2001. It takes a considerable amount of planning and, with the help of a graphic arts design team, a different layout comes to life each season. Click here to see the previous years’ designs. This year’s theme is the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. There are 24 checkpoints along the way. When you pick up your punch card at the entrance, you will see where each checkpoint is so that you can map out your plan of attack:
There is so much more to do at Richardson Adventure Farm. Wagon rides, train rides, zip lining, zorbing, and a giant pumpkin patch to choose a souvenir of your visit. Live music and pig races are available on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. One of our favorite activities is the pumpkin toss from the 50-foot observation tower.
For $3.00, you can choose a pumpkin, lug it up to the top of the tower, and toss it over the edge into the pumpkin graveyard below. They do have some targets on the ground to make it more interesting.
Full disclosure – the pumpkins are heavy. You will think you want to grab a bigger pumpkin in order to get a bigger splat, but, about halfway to the top you will be regretting that choice. While you are up there, you can get a glimpse of the whole farm and you can even see portions of the maze from somewhat of an aerial view.
Food and drinks are available including fresh, hot donuts and delicious fudge. You can even do a wine tasting on your way out.
General Admission is $18 during the week and $20 on the weekends. Richardson Adventure Farm is open through November 8.
909 English Prairie Rd
Spring Grove, IL 60081