By Melissa Beth Ruiz
According to Elwood, the Orchard has upwards of 15,000 guests come through the premises each Fall. One of the main attractions is its corn maze, open to the public during its operating hours, and until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday for those in search of a challenge.
Elwood worked for 43 years as a commercial Lender before retiring and joining his brother at Elwood Orchards. Though the orchard has been in the family for much longer.
First operating in 1910, Elwood Orchards has been one of the places that helps make Londonderry, Londonderry. Elwood’s father, Wayland H. Elwood, passionately bore the responsibilities of the family farm from the age of 12 serving families until his passing in the summer of 2012.
Trends come and go, but the novelty of a good, old-fashioned tractor ride, pumpkin patch, and corn maze never seems to wear off. Elwood weighed in on why that might be the case.
“It’s something that gets the whole family together,” said Elwood, agreeing that shared activities like navigating a large corn maze makes for a great opportunity for family bonding.
When Elwood Orchards first opened its corn maze, it only took up about an acre of space. Now, the maze stands as a 15-acre labyrinth for guests of all ages and skill levels to try to solve.
“We have families with young kids that go with them, teenagers, senior citizens, it’s something different to do.” said Elwood.
15 acres may seem intimidating to some, but those concerned with getting lost need not worry. Emergency exits are available should the need arise, and Elwood said that worst case scenario guests can call the main line and staff can find anyone who needs an extra, experienced set of eyes.
The Elwood Orchards website states that the night maze is not haunted, though not for lack of trying.
Elwood explained the Orchard had made attempts to partner with the Londonderry High School drama club to hold a haunted corn maze of sorts, but the groups could never quite sync up availability.
However, should there be an organization willing to work together with the Orchard to put on such a maze, Elwood said the Orchard would be welcome to the idea of hosting a haunted maze.
In addition to its large corn maze, the orchard of Elwood Orchards grows an impressive 15 varieties of apples, and offers pumpkins, mums, gourds, cider, preserves, honey, and more. The property also houses chickens, which customers are welcome to visit, who lay eggs for the Orchard’s farm store.
Though the flock loves having visitors, customers are asked not to feed any of the chickens.
Corn mazes are here to stay, to provide families and friends with an activity that will help them to build, trust, and grow closer for years to come.
Elwood Orchards is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m., and the night maze is open until 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult in order to participate in the corn maze, day or night.