Lyman Orchards is a tradition in our state. Connecticut has many orchards, but Lyman Orchards is the best known of them, a destination for the whole family. Where else can you go to feed the ducks, get lost in the corn, take a hayride, pick pumpkins in the field, and select your own apples right off the trees, then stop for a bite to eat and a bag of kettle corn for the road? My kids love it here!
This year, I was invited by Lyman Orchards to check out their corn maze: 2 miles of twisty trails laid out in 4 acres of corn, the design of which changes every year. While we’ve been to Lyman Orchards many times, we haven’t attempted the corn maze before. Blame it on my terrible sense of direction, but I was afraid. Could I really find my way out? Before you enter the maze, you’re given a map (but I can’t read them, so that didn’t help me at all!) and there are helpers at the 10 checkpoints located throughout the maze. Though I’m not sure how helpful they are; their shirts warn you not to follow them, because they’re lost, too! Ha!
Walking through the maze was a mixture of horror movie (Children of the Corn, anyone?) and awe. Stalks rose far above our heads and it was easy to feel miniscule in this world in which we encapsulated ourselves. The kids pressed on, undeterred by dead ends and loops, eager to find the bridges and the end of our journey. We didn’t question them, just followed blindly, hoping they knew better than we did.
We almost bailed at the halfway point (not realizing it was the halfway point), but the girls insisted we get on the 2nd bridge; we had come so close, passing underneath it shortly before. Twists and turns brought us all the way back to the road before we were finally on the right path to the last bridge of the maze, and the way out. We survived! We made it out of the maze!
At the exit you can collect your sticker proudly proclaiming your victory–and drink from a large jug of water. After all the walking, you’ll need it!
The Lyman Orchards corn maze will be open for adventurous souls on Wednesdays through Fridays, 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM, and Saturdays and Sundays, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM, through November 3rd. $1 from each admission paid will be donated to the American Cancer Society.
You can’t go to Lyman Orchards without bringing home some apples. If you’re short on time, you can stop by the Apple Barrel, their shop at the base of operations. There you can find apples by the pound and bag, as well as freshly baked apple goodies and so many other delicious options. Local produce is also available, in season. Outside the shop on the deck they serve warm apple crisp topped with ice cream and hot from the bowl kettle corn. It’s like all the best fair food condensed into a one-stop shop!
We decided to ride up the road a bit to the pick-your-own portion and get our apples straight off the trees. The views from the orchard hills can be magnificent, especially at this time of year. On this day, we had the apple trees to ourselves. The harvest this year is amazing!
On the way back to the booth to pay for your loot, stop and pick a pumpkin. Some are still attached to the vines! There’s a fantastic variety just waiting for you: green and white and orange in abundance! So much beauty everywhere. (And lucky for you, if your kiddo decides to pick a gigantic jackpot of a jack o’lantern, they do accept credit cards at this remote location!)
A couple tips:
- Lyman Orchards can get busy on peak leaf peepin’ weekends. Just be patient and know that there is plenty of parking for everyone. It’s amazing how many people they can accommodate-and how uncrowded the maze, orchards, and pumpkin patch will feel despite the cars in the parking lots.
- If you’re planning on plotting your way through the corn maze, entrance to it closes about a half hour before the maze closes for the day.
- Pick-Your-Own changes on a daily basis. Call 860-349-6015 before your trek to get the latest details on what’s in season and where to get it.
Disclosure: Lyman Orchards provided me with free tickets to the corn maze. I received no other compensation for this post. All opinions and photos are my own.