Annual Caribou corn maze takes on patriotic pattern

Posted Aug. 28, 2012, at 4:20 p.m.

CARIBOU, Maine — In Aroostook County, August means many things — back to school, the start of fall sports at the area high schools, and, of course, the annual corn maze at Goughan’s Berry Farm.

For the eighth year, Mark Goughan has designed a new theme for his popular corn maze, which this year is a depiction of the Liberty Bell with a Freedom Eagle on top. The theme is a tribute to the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, his wife, Gloria Goughan, said Monday.

Each year, the couple invites members of the public to navigate their way through the 6-acre creation.

Gloria Goughan said that they planted the corn in both directions in the spring so that people could not look down the rows for a way out. After fertilizing and other normal cultivating practices throughout the season, Mark Goughan cuts the design into the field when the corn is about knee-high.

At this point, the corn is 8 feet tall.

Each year, Mark Goughan designs a new theme for his maze. One year it was a moose theme, another Spuddy, the Maine Potato Board mascot. In 2009, he highlighted the culture, crops and history of Aroostook County with a maze shaped like the region. Last year, it was the UMaine black bear.

Mark and Gloria Goughan started the farm in 1976 and grow all kinds of crops, including potatoes and strawberries. Hayrides, pumpkin patch treks and other seasonal events also are popular as well as the farm’s homemade ice cream.

Gloria Goughan said Monday that she has spent the past three weeks designing and painting the different signs needed to navigate the maze.

“Some people make it through just fine and some people simply perish,” she quipped.

There are four games available at different points throughout the maze, each with a Constitution and Bill of Rights theme. Those who finish the maze and complete one of the games will win a free farm-made ice cream cone. It takes 45 minutes to an hour to get through the maze, according to the family, longer if you want to try to complete all four games.

This year’s theme of political science was picked because of the presidential election year.

The design was placed on paper two years ago.

“Regardless of political opinions, revisiting the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, one understands why our country is the best in the world,” said Mark Goughan. “A little education with a lot of fun is what Gloria and I hope to create and over the years it has been successful.”

The Goughan’s said that they view their maze as an agritourism tool by which small family farms can help market their agricultural products and allows for the public to enjoy the way of life on the farm.

The “Let Freedom Ring” corn maze will be open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily Aug. 31 until Halloween. It is located on Route 161 south of Caribou on Fort Fairfield Road. For more information call Gloria or Mark Goughan at 498-6565.