Country Heritage Community

Country Heritage Community (CHC) is a community-based heritage tourism initiative representing Allamakee, Clayton, Fayette and Winneskiek counties in beautiful North East Iowa.

Country Heritage Community is part of Iowa's first National Heritage Area that showcases the American agricultural revolution of the 20th century.

Country Heritage Community


Welcome to Maize Maze!


MAIZE Maze Field Day

Sunday, Oct. 2
1-5 PM
½ MILE EAST OF Elgin on 22580 A AVE
Learn why and how barns were built
See how our ancestors built barns 150 years ago-Dale Kittelson
See a real steam driven tractor –Vernon Oakland
Grind your own corn for bread -Clint McClintlock
1 lung gas engine-100 years old
Corn sheller-shell your own popcorn
Fanning mill- clean your popcorn
Provided by: Clayton County Dairy Promotion


2016 Maize Maze news release

"AMAZING IOWA BARNS" is the theme in 2016.
Preserve and tell the story of our agricultural past, by plowing with horses on Sat. April 23, weather permitting, or Sat. April 30. Also plan to demonstrate planting with a horse drawn or small tractor drawn 2 row wire check corn planter like our ancestors used, before we had herbicides to control weeds, in the corn. How did wire-checking help control weeds, come and see!!!

2016 Maize Maze

The Maize Maze, ½ mile east of Elgin, is again planning to open for the 17th year on Sat., July 30. The theme is “AMAZING IOWA BARNS” and will promote and tell the story of the BARN and it’s importance to agriculture since farming was started by our ancestors in the 1800”s.
The maze will be open  Saturday, and Sunday, July 30 and Sunday July 31. each Friday-Sunday through August from 1 to 5 pm.

The Maze will be open Monday, Sept.5, Labor Day.
Starting Sept. 10 & 11 the maze will be open on Saturday and Sunday till Halloween.

Cost is free for children age 4 and under.
Age 5 to 11- $5.
Age 12 and over cost is $7.
Groups any time, day or night BY APPOINTMENT.

Field trips that include the Gilbertson Nature Center, petting zoo and historical barns can be scheduled  for any time. CALL 563-419-1133.


The maze was designed by maze master, Laverne Swenson

At the maze you can solve the maze and find 15 mailboxes with answers to questions about IOWA BARNS, Iowa crops, historical places in NE Iowa and other interesting and educational facts. Also placed in the maze are 30 pictures of barn info and barn pictures so a total of 75 things can be found if you can manage getting lost and then solving it. Field trips starting Sept.1 include picking your own popcorn and Indian corn and hearing about how corn was planted 100 years ago. This includes demonstrating old machinery used at that time.   
Maze address is 22580 A.Ave.Elgin, Iowa. At the Gilbertson center is also a fishing pond, 5 miles of hiking and horse riding trails, a nature center and farm tool museum, a camp ground and Turkey river access. Phone 563 426 5740.


Click HERE for 2016 School Field Trip Group Forms.
Click HERE for Notice for Group Leaders form


Goal of the Maize Maze

The maize maze goal is to Preserve and tell the story of our agricultural past, for kids and visitors to have a place in NE Iowa to get out in  a corn field and have fun and an attraction that draws visitors to NE Iowa and learn about the many sites and attractions we have.

The Maize maze is non-profit with a cost of about $15,000 annually. To meet our budget, the maze depends on grants and donations to subsidize the cost for kids to attend the maze. Still there are some who will not visit the maze because of the $4 cost.

So we will again be asking for grants and donations from persons and organizations with an interest in PRESERVING AND TELLING THE STORY, and who want to help get kids get out to learn about corn, pork, and it's value to NE Iowa and other outdoor activities in NE Iowa.

If we could generate the $15,000 through donations we could allow for all visitors and kids to visit the Maze. free admittance for the year.


Nina Taylor
907 Rosa Dr
Decorah, IA 52101


CHC’s Maize Maze is located at the Gilbertson Conservation Education Area, just east of Elgin on Highway B64. Last year over 3,000 people visited the site including families, school and church groups, young adults and visitors from other states.

Contact Laverne Swenson for more information and scheduling - cell (563) 419-1133 or email

$5 gift certificates to local restaurants will be given away to all who go through the Maze and find the 14 mailboxes. Valley student, Brian Hemesath painted the signs posted throughout the area drawing attention to the Maize Maze.

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About the Maize Maze

The Maize Maze represents the four counties of North East Iowa that also make up the Country Heritage Community (CHC). The counties are Allamakee, Clayton, Fayette, and Winneshiek. Additional sponsors
of this years maze include:

Fayette County Conservation Board
Hawkeye Telephone
Alpine Communications
Century Link - Postville
Federal Seed Corn Hybrids - Elgin
Viafield Co-op - Clermont
Albert Lea Seed Company - Albert Lea, MN
Upper Iowa University - Fayette
Country Heritage Community