PINE GROVE, La. - It's become a fall tradition in some parts of Louisiana, where farmers turn a corn field into a giant maze. Near the small farming community of Pine Grove, one such maze has added a few extra attractions to become a big family attraction. FOX 8's Dave McNamara takes us to St. Helena Parish and the Cajun Corn Maze in tonight's Heart of Louisiana.
Whoever imagined that walking through a corn field could be so much fun?
"It's down there, all right. We lost everybody."
It's really an adventure, trying to avoid the wrong turns and getting lost.
"Where are we right now? No, we would be like around there."
And it's easy to understand the confusion when the puzzle of paths is carved into a cornfield that covers 7.5 acres and the corn stands a couple of feet taller than mom and dad.
"Didn't we just come this way? I think so."
"I farmed the grain crops for 30 years," said maze owner Donald Courville. "We raised soybeans, corn, wheat and oats. The first year that we did the maze was 14 years ago, and people had a blast and had a wonderful time."
In their first few years, the Courvilles would cut the corn themselves and create the maze. Now they use a corn maze company, where they can come up with much more intricate designs.
And the maze has grown beyond the cornfield. There is the homemade cow train where riders bounce over hills, target practice with corn cobs, a little combat with foam balls, a paintball safari looking for zombies in the woods, and bouncing on a giant air pillow.
"It's families doing something together," Courville said. "They are making memories. That's what they are really doing."
And the highlight of any visit is the pig race.
"Do I have any volunteers?" Courville asks the crowd.
Teams are chosen to cheer for a pig. Winning teams get a small prize, and the losers get a sloppy kiss.
"It's not that bad," Courville said. "He's not that ugly!"
There's even a little bit of farm humor for visitors who've never seen a three-eyed pig.
Courville also uses the attraction to teach youngsters about where their food comes from.
"They are at an impressionable age, and the message sticks whenever you can do something special where they can remember it," Courville said.
Families return year after year to Pine Grove for an adventure in the Cajun Corn Maze and an afternoon that's plain and simple down-home fun.