Rutledge Corn Maze Partners with the American Heart Association

American Heart Association Logo at Rutledge Corn Maze
American Heart Association Logo featured at the Corn Maze at Rutledge Corn Farm. Photo credit: Rana Longworth

Traditions were a big part of my life growing up. As I have had my own children, I have wanted to create and continue some of those traditions with them. One of our favorite fall traditions is to check out some of the businesses and attractions that are featured on the Thurston Bountiful Byway. One of these stops has always been the Rutledge Corn Maze. We visit the farm as a family, take part in all of their fall activities and purchase our pumpkins to carve for the season.

Rutledge Corn Maze has been in business for the past 30 years. Richard Rutledge, Sr. started off by selling his delicious, local corn at the Olympia Farmers Market. “In 2000, Rick Rutledge, Richard’s son came up with the idea of starting a corn maze. Since then, we have grown into the business we are today,” Robby Rutledge said.

Cow and Corn train at Rutledge Farm
The Cow and Corn Train is a favorite among kids and adults at Rutledge Farm. Photo credit: Rana Longworth

Beginning in late July, the farm starts selling corn at the market, and on August 31 the farm opens for all the fall activities.

Each year, the farm highlights a different organization and has different corn maze designs. Themes in the past have been in partnership with Thurston Bountiful Byway, Obee Credit Union, American Cancer Society and many more. In 2019, they have partnered with American Heart Association and the maze design is the Heart Association’s “Life is Why We Give” logo.

The mission behind the American Heart Association has personal meaning to the Rutledge family. They have had multiple family members battle heart disease, and several who have had heart attacks. This past March, Richard Rutledge who started the corn maze, passed away from heart disease.

“Many people probably don’t know, but heart disease is the number one cause of death in the US,” Robby said. The farm will be donating 2% of all their maze ticket revenue to the American Heart Association. Their hope is that they are able to help fund further research to help prevent this disease from affecting future generations. By supporting the American Heart Association, they are able to make a dramatic impact in the fight against the top two causes of death globally.

Corn Cannon at Rutledge Farm
Corn Cannon at Rutledge Farm provides fun for guests of all ages. Photo credit: Rana Longworth

I had the privilege of seeing the 2019 corn maze design from inside a helicopter about 1,000 feet above the field along with my seven-year-old son. Although I’m petrified of heights, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to ride in my first helicopter ride next to my son who aspires to be a pilot. This helicopter ride was made possible by Glacier Aviation, which has partnered with the Rutledge farm for the past 20 years. The Rutledge family believes in partnering with local businesses and building lasting relationships.

While on the helicopter, I couldn’t help but wonder how the design is created. “We were the first corn maze in the world to be planted in the maze pattern by using a GPS and a laptop in the tractor,” Robby says of how their five-acre maze is planted.

Along with the corn maze, the farm offers many more fun and engaging activities that are appropriate for all ages. One of the most popular attractions is the cow train. Kids of all ages are able to take a ride in this super fun ride and enjoy the farm. For those who want to explore the corn maze, hop a ride on the corn train. The corn cannon is another fun attraction and there is a cash prize given to those who hit their targets. My boys who are seven and five-years-old can’t wait to participate in Zombie Paintball.

Rana and Grant in the helicopter above Rutledge Farm Corn Maze
Rana and Grant Longworth checking out the corn maze from the helicopter provided by Glacier Aviation. Photo credit: Rana Longworth

“This is a great activity for individuals who are five years old and older,” Robby said, “because it is all the fun of paintball without the paint.” As a mom, I can definitely appreciate this. Guests are loaded up on a wagon and they are able to shoot the actors and targets, but the actors won’t shoot back. Sign me up.

Looking for a haunted corn maze experience? Check out Rutledge’s haunted maze. It is recommended for ages 10+, so make sure to stop by for this one-of-a-kind experience.

If you are wanting to start your own traditions or find new local businesses to visit this fall season, make sure to visit the Thurston Bountiful Byway website for a list of 100 local attractions and small businesses. Don’t forget to add Rutledge farm to your list and enjoy this family owned business, and help give back to the American Heart Association.

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