From the air, the pathways at Country Corn Maze come together to create detailed images of cows, stock cars, tractors, monuments, presidents, and various other American icons. From the ground, though, they seem to wind endlessly without any sense of reason, providing adventurers with acres of maze to lose themselves in.
Each year, the Martindale family collaborates with Maze Play Inc., which uses computer-aided design software and GPS-directed tractors to carve out intricate pieces of art. The Martindales’ life on the farm and the culture of the rural Corunna countryside inspire the shapes of their mazes, which can range from a pictures of a farmstead to an homage to the firefighters of 9/11. After construction is complete and the maze walls have grown to the proper height, they invite guests to explore the 5-foot-wide pathways during the day or at night by flashlight. To keep patrons energized while they wander the corn labyrinth, Country Corn Maze also provides seasonal produce and concessions in its 1900s-era barn, from warm donuts to cups of hot organic cider or cocoa.
Hot air balloons float into the air from Balloon Quest's idyllic launch location, taking guests on a bird's-eye tour of a stunning natural expanse studded with hills and lakes. Experienced pilots guide the rainbow-colored orbs on languorous tours, sweeping balloons' teardrop-shaped shadows over hills, dales, and the on-site mini-golf course. After their aerial tour, visitors can linger at Balloon Quest for a picnic on the grounds or a thought-provoking discussion of their top 10 favorite gravity-defying experiences. While flights are made year-round, Balloon Quest has very specific weather guidelines for flying, and rescheduling may be common.
With a vibrant red barn and rippling farmland as its backdrop, Three Cedars Farms lures pumpkin pickers of all ages with an eclectic stock of autumn trimmings and full-family hayrides. Decoration packages allow fall enthusiasts to harvest seasonal ornaments from the farm's country store, including an ornamental cornstalk and a half-bale of hay in which to hide proverbial needles, threads, and half-finished quilts. Blossoming mum plants can enliven terraces with the bright shades of fall, and small pumpkins add quirky splashes to stoops with their variegated shapes, tones, and raspy comments in the voice of Ernest Borgnine. After picking out decorations, families can clamber aboard a wagon-toting tractor for a scenic hayride past the property's twisting corn maze and eye-pleasing scenery.
More than 12,000 patients once walked the halls of Saint Lucifer's Haunted Asylum. There, cruel electroshock experiments and unexplained tragedies were the norm, and “release” was nothing more than a laughable concept. It was a place where patients frequently disappeared in five miles of underground tunnels, a place where the body count was abnormally high. It was called evil and said to be haunted. And then it was ordered closed by the state in 1974.
Yet, once a year during the Halloween season, the asylum opens its doors to intrepid visitors. These guests must navigate the ward's halls in the company of tortured spirits—patients who were subject to the whims and tools of a mad doctor. Even after they have braved the hospital, they must then pass the seven gates of 13 Feet Under, where zombies, bloodless corpses, and ghouls devoid of facial features prowl.
The two terrifying locales have earned a spot on Haunted Attraction magazine's "Must See 25 Haunted Houses" of 2011 for their devotion to harvesting screams. According to an ABC feature, they employ professional actors to enact their up-close scares, rather than relying on college improv teams who demand that patrons shout out their greatest fear before entering.
Ann Arbor Aviation Center puts its students through the same training regimen regardless of their long-term goals. This approach ensures that all of its aviation alumni, whether commercial pilots or casual fliers, practice safe flying techniques as they share the air. The outfit's licensed instructors conduct training runs out of Ann Arbor Municipal Airport aboard aircraft by Cessna, Arrow, and Cherokee, guiding students through each step necessary to earn ratings from private pilot to airline transport pilot. Students also perform a good portion of their duties on the ground, both through academic work in ground school and situational practice aboard the Frasca flight simulator.