Maize Maze

updated 09/07/1998 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/07/1998 01:00AM

Between Milwaukee and Sheboygan, there's a wooden bridge. Cross it and you're somewhere in Wisconsin, wandering in eight-foot corn, wondering if you'll ever get out.

No, it's not some David Lynch-inspired nightmare. It's a 10-acre maze on Randy Hughes's farm in Rock County, carved out to commemorate the 150th anniversaries of Wisconsin's statehood and of the first Hughes family farm. It opened on July 25 and already has drawn more than 20,000 visitors at $6 each. "We got lost several times and found several times," says Russ French, 77, of Janesville, Wis.

The maze takes wanderers along 2½ miles of paths, some of them outlining a barn, or a silo, or a sunburst. "So much of the state's prosperity grew from the land," says Adrian Fisher, 47, the British maze designer who drew up the plans, "and so a taste of the countryside such as this maize maze is perfect."

Fisher was recruited by Randy, 42, and his sister Andrea, 37, an events planner. "I'd gone through mazes in England, and I loved them," says Andrea. "I thought this would be far better than a parade."

Following Fisher's plans and using the satellite-guided Global Positioning System to ensure accurate measurements, the Hugheses enlisted 50 friends and neighbors to plant the corn and cut the maze, which is shaped, of course, like Wisconsin. "If you cut it incorrectly," says Andrea, "you'd end up with Iowa."

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