SHAFER, Minn. (WCCO) — On TV, actors Ted Danson and Elisabeth Shue solve mysteries on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Here in Minnesota, you can track clues of your own, with something called Farm Scene Investigation.

It involves the mysterious disappearance of “Farmer Joe” about an hour north of the Twin Cities. But instead of analyzing forensics in a lab, you’re collecting clues in a cornfield.

For the tenth straight year, the Miron family of Chisago County has a large field carved up for adventure. It’s the Shafer Corn Maze, a 12-acre puzzle that can feel like a trap.

Co-owner Larry Miron said not everyone makes it out without help.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

“We did have a few people call from cell phones at the end of closing time, saying, ‘Come and get us,’” he said.

Larry’s wife, Dana, said visitors can choose their level of adventure, with two mazes and various extra challenges.

“The younger ones like it a little simpler,” she said. “They like to just find the checkpoints. Older ones like the mystery, the extra story.”

That’s where Farm Scene Investigation comes in. It’s a game in which contestants try to solve the disappearance of Farmer Joe by finding clues in the maze that help them eliminate suspects.

“You need to go around and find six checkpoints throughout the maze that are hidden and not on the map,” Dana Miron said. “You get a game card and you will go along and at each checkpoint you will punch a location, suspect and weapon.”

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

The Miron family hires a national maze designer, MazePlay, to provide the games and till the field when the corn is about knee high.

Their son, Josh, plants the corn in two directions in the spring so the rows will be extra thick. All the family members are involved on weekends when the maze is open.

It takes several months of work for just two months of enjoyment, but the family is used to hard work.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

“My favorite part of doing this would be seeing how happy people are when they come out,” said Dana Miron.

Shafer Corn Maze is right off Highway 8, just east of Center City.

It also has activities like a petting zoo, human foosball court and corn bag toss. It features a haunted trail starting in mid-October.


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