BY JOE OLENICK
Niagara Gazette — CAMBRIA – A maze – and although it does involve corn it's not that maize – has grown in Cambria.
John and Leanna Ohol opened the 12-acre Cambria Corn Maze on Saturday. Located on Lockport Junction Road, the northern stretch of Campbell Road, the site features two mazes, one large trail and one smaller maze.
"Total, with both of them, it's a little over 3 miles," Leanna said. "The small maze takes about 15 to 20 minutes to go through, the large maze takes about an hour. That's if you're pretty good with directions, I think."
The Ohols bought the property a few years ago to have room to expand a trucking business but ended up using it to plant hay and corn.
"We've always farmed it," John said.
But they wanted to do something different and a little "touristy," so the Ohols worked with a corn maze consultant from Pennsylvania to plant, cut and create a business plan to bring people out to the site. The mazes were cut in July by a lawnmower with a GPS.
"I planted it in two different directions, planted north and south and planted east and west," John said. "I cut the population rate down to go in both directions, 19,000 population this way and 19,000 population this way. I got a total result of about 40,000 seeds per acre, to make it nice and thick so there's boundaries. Typically, a normal field has about 34,000 population (seeds per acre.)"
John is a dairy farmer who runs Loho Farms on Comstock Road with his brother, father and uncle. He built the maze on a piece of land adjacent to his trucking business on Saunders Settlement Road.
Part of the reason for opening the maze is to promote the importance of farming and agriculture while offering a fun family activity, the Ohols said. The plan is to grow the maze into an education site as well, encouraging schools to bring their students to learn about farming.
"He has always brought up to me how he's concerned about schools and whether they’re teaching about agriculture,” said Leanne. "I think it's important for kids to know where they're milk is coming from ... there's a lot to it. Being from Cambria and it's a farming community this is a perfect spot for agri-tourism. And we hope to build on it and make it a fun event."
In addition to the corn maze, the family will offer such activities as a hay bale maze for toddlers and a "corn cannon." With the corn cannon, people can hit targets with corn kernels and win prizes. The business will also have pumpkins, apples and mums for sale from local farms, as well as baked goods, kettle corn, hot dogs and other snacks.
The Corn Maze will be open 3 until 8 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and from noon until 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The maze can also be open for groups or schools. For more information, or to contact the Ohols, people can visit the website at www.cambriacornmaze.com.FOR MORE INFORMATION • People can visit the website, www.cambriacornmaze.com • Or visit the site at 5274 Lockport Junction Road, Cambria Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241 or follow him on Twitter @joeolenick.