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A maze through the maize

Slogan says to ‘Come out and lose someone’

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT
(Philip Marruffo/pmarruffo@saukvalley.com)
Guest are greeted by a sign marking the entrance to the corn maze at Blue Goose Run.
(Philip Marruffo/pmarruffo@saukvalley.com)
Vera Stutzke, Blue Goose Run owner, points to the stamps that maze-goers receive at the seven checkpoints throughout the 10-acre corn maze.
(Philip Marruffo/pmarruffo@saukvalley.com)
Choosing the right path at the Blue Goose Run corn maze will help participants navigate the 10-acre maze faster.
(Philip Marruffo/pmarruffo@saukvalley.com)
Corn emerges from its husk at the Blue Goose Run corn maze at 14609 Blue Goose Road near Sterling. The maze covers 10 acres and is open Thursday through Sunday.

STERLING – The corn maze west of Sterling may seem easy to complete, but avoid overconfidence.

Last weekend, a reporter and photographer thought they could navigate the maze at Blue Goose Run, which is in a 10-acre cornfield. With a map in hand, they developed a plan to reach the next section. After a few minutes, they ended up where they started.

The maze includes seven checkpoints, but the Sauk Valley Media team reached none of them. The sun was setting, and they didn’t want to be stuck in a field of corn without flashlights.

It was after 6 p.m. Saturday. No one else was there – more than likely because of the weather.

Some of the paths were still muddy from the storms the day before. And dark clouds hung over the Sauk Valley, though no rain resulted.

Blue Goose Run also includes a restaurant and a gift shop. 

Maze-goers get their tickets in the store. Vera Stutzke, the owner of Blue Goose Run, takes the money. Her son, Kurt, and other family members run the operation, setting up the checkpoints.

The maze started 13 years ago.

Stutzke, 91, has never walked in the maze. 

“I can’t walk really good,” she said. “I don’t know whether I’ll go another year working here. People of all ages come here. The other day, we had parents with a 2-week-old baby come through. And we have people close to 80 come here.”

The maze, she said, fools a lot of people.

“They don’t tell me where the checkpoints are,” Stutzke said. “If I knew, I’d probably tell everyone.”

The maze, which started Sept. 5, is advertised as the largest one in northwestern Illinois. Its slogan: “Come out and lose someone.”

This year’s maze will available through Nov. 3.

Lose yourself

The Blue Goose Run corn maze, which is at 14609 Blue Goose Road near Sterling, will last through Nov. 3. It is open from 5 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

The cost is $7 for everyone 12 and older, $5 for youths 6 to 11, and free for children 5 and younger. School field trips cost $3.50 a person. Groups of 15 or more cost $5 a person.

Groups can also get special hours and bonfires by reservation. Children younger than 12 must come with a paying adult.

Call 815-772-7200 for more information.

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