GLADE SPRING, Va. — It may take close to an hour to walk through the twists and turns of a corn maze at Haynes Greenhouse in Glade Spring, but for business owners Jared and Kristen Haynes, it’s a yearlong endeavor.
The couple recently purchased more than 17 acres off Fleet Road in Glade Spring from Bob and Judy Holmes, who also operated a greenhouse business on the property for many years.
Jared said developing the corn maze is a form of agricultural tourism — or agritourism —that he hopes will result in profits for their young business.
“It’s a win-win situation,” said Jared. “People are looking for an authentic farm experience, and the additional income will help us expand our business.
“A lot of farms have branched out into agritourism mainly to supplement the incomes on the farm because it’s hard to make a living on a farm anymore, especially a small farm,” he said.
The owners said the corn maze attraction just may be the ticket to set them apart from other greenhouse businesses in the area.
“Many businesses do either corn mazes or seasonal items,” added his wife, “but our plan is to be all-inclusive, allowing families to return throughout the year.”
The couple sells flower and vegetable plants in the spring and summer and chrysanthemums and poinsettias later in the growing season.
“We raise 95 percent of what we sell. We sold 1,500 hanging baskets this spring,” said Jared, who left a job last year teaching agriculture and horticulture at Chilhowie High School to pursue the family business.
The couple’s two young sons, Ryan and Lucas, help with odd jobs, and Jared’s parents, Toby and Terry Haynes, are supplying growing space at their Saltville home until the couple can purchase more greenhouses.
“There are a few corn mazes in the Bristol and Rural Retreat areas this year. I want to keep my prices reasonable so people can afford to go to more than one,” said Jared.
Corn Maze Fun
The corn maze opens Sept. 21 and operates through Nov. 4, weather permitting. Hay rides around the corn maze are available, as well as a toddler maze and an assortment of kids’ games, including oversized corn hole boards. A small playground and picnic area are available for school field trips and group tours.
If you’re not afraid of the dark, you can take the flashlight maze from 9 to 11 p.m., offered on Oct. 19, 20, 26 and 27 and Nov. 2 and 3.
The greenhouse owners turned to Don Watts, owner of Don the Corn Maze Guy in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, to design and cut the 4 ½-acre corn maze.
This year’s design, which can be seen as an aerial view from a drone, is a barn with a silo, a tractor, a pumpkin and the Haynes name.
The fun begins for visitors when they receive a map of the corn maze, indicating the locations of 10 checkpoint stations. Each location features a sign containing a clue. Once you complete the maze, the clues will help you solve a crossword puzzle on the back of the map.
“All of the questions are agricultural-based, such as, ‘What’s a baby cow called?’” said Jared.
“It makes a game out of the corn maze, and it’s even more enjoyable. And you have more chances of getting lost since you have to wind through the entire maze to get all 10 questions.”
Jared confessed he’d never been through a corn maze until his was built. “It can be confusing if you’re not watching the map and paying attention.
“The corn maze is not haunted, but seeing the corn blowing in the wind can give you a little eerie feeling.”
Other activities at the greenhouse during the fall and winter include pumpkin-painting and wreath-decorating parties. Check Haynes Greenhouse on Facebook for dates as they are scheduled.
The couple also sells straw, fodder, mulch, sand, stone and seasonal items, including pumpkins and Christmas trees. For every $25 spent at the greenhouse, you get a Spring Buck to use next spring.
General admission to the corn maze is $8; hay rides are $2. Flashlight admission is $10. The corn maze operates 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday; and 1 to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
This year, multi-attraction combo tickets are available for $21 that allows ticket holders a $4 savings to Haynes Greenhouse Corn Maze and the Nickerson Snead House Haunted Mansion, also in Glade Spring.
The couple is also inviting craft vendors to set up their wares any weekends during the corn maze season. Call for booth reservations.
Haynes Greenhouse is located off Exit 32 on Interstate 81. Call 276-780-0529 for field trip and group pricing.