Visitors to Single R Ranch soon will have a chance to find their way through Hillsborough County's first corn maze.
The Fox Squirrel Corn Maze debuts Saturday and be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every Saturday; and from noon to 6 p.m. every Sunday until Nov. 11. Groups of 20 or more people can make Friday reservations during that period.
"It's a working, active ranch, but we wanted to do more than herd cattle," said Janet Futch, who is organizing the event along with brothers Carson and Wayne. "The corn maze is something that really goes back to the rural days."
The Futch family in the 1920s and '30s acquired 2,000 acres and developed it into their cattle and citrus ranch. The founder's son, Alvin Futch, bought the business in 1972, and the Futch family still operates a portion of the original ranch. Janet Futch said the ranch now covers about 300 acres, and five generations of the Futch family have worked the land.
The family settled in Florida — less than 10 miles from the current property at 3002 Charlie Taylor Road N. —after moving from Georgia in 1845.
Janet Futch now lives in Atlanta; Carson Futch is a citrus consultant in Polk County; and Wayne Futch lives in the family home at the edge of the Plant City property.
Although the maize maze is the main draw to the fall weekend events, the ranch offers additional activities to keep visitors busy.
There will be a pumpkin patch, steer roping, horseshoe and corn-hole games, and hay rides. Visitors might see grazing cattle, a wild turkey or one of many Sherman's fox squirrels that populate the area. Squirrely's General Store will offer food and drinks, including catfish sandwiches, kettle corn and more.
"We did a lot of research as to the type of activities people might enjoy," Janet Futch said. "Something like a hay ride isn't a big deal to us, but it's very popular with city people."
Children age 13 and younger must be accompanied by an adult. Admission is $8.50 for adults and $7.50 for kids. Anyone interested in out-foxing the squirrelly maze can visit www.foxsquirrelcornmaze.com or call (770) 862-0655 for more information.