Fayette County

Getting lost in Lincoln ... literally

Abe Lincoln has appeared on Old Richmond Road.

The 16th president has grown some over the years. He's so big now that you can walk around in his head. So big, in fact, that you need to be in an airplane to really get a full view of him.

This Abraham Lincoln is made of corn. To be specific, it's an 8.7-acre corn maze on John Kelley's farm at 6483 Old Richmond Road. And it depicts the familiar face of the Great Emancipator, with his name and Kentucky's name also proudly displayed, all carved out of the field of corn. For a fee, you can visit the farm and literally lose yourself in Lincoln.

Corn mazes have become a familiar part of fall celebrations around Central Kentucky, and several commercial orchards and farms have mazes open to the public this year. The one at the Kelley farm, however, is perhaps the area's most elaborate.

Kelley's son-in-law, Jack Lane, had the design prepared by The Maize, a Utah firm that bills itself as the world's largest corn maze company. Lane then used a large zero-radius mower to carve out the maze, following the Utah company's complex design.

"I made three mistakes," he confessed. "But you can't see them unless you look really close."

The Lincoln maze was opened to the public for the first time last weekend, but pilots have been enjoying it for weeks. According to Lane, helicopters and planes began buzzing the farm to see the maze almost as soon as he carved it back in July.

It's the second year the Kelley farm has offered a maze open to the public. Last year's design, also by The Maize company, featured Daniel Boone. The mazes are part of the farm's new business model as it shifts away from tobacco production.

They've been popular so far. Owner John Kelley estimated that about 2,000 people visited last year.

This year's design actually features two complete mazes, one on either side of the central Lincoln figure.

If you plan a visit, here's a hint. Lane says the maze on Lincoln's right side is the harder to decipher.

For those who want a real challenge, night visits to the maze are available and the farm will even provide flashlights.

John Kelley says that some folks who ventured into last year's maze after dark needed help to find their way out.

"When people go in after dark, we give them our cell phone to call if they need help," he said. "But we had to go in and get somebody out last year.

"I guess everybody got out, though. When we picked the corn at the end of the season last fall, we didn't find any bodies."