Sunflowers bloom for Leatherberry Acres season opener in Baraboo

August 4, 2018

Leatherberry Acres’ sunflowers are blooming just in time for the start of its late summer season.

The agritourism destination near Baraboo is home to a seven-acre sunflower maze that pays homage to the country’s military veterans. The scenic destination opens for visitors Wednesday and will remain open until the sunflowers start to dry out in about three weeks.

“This is our second year with the sunflower maze, and word is getting out,” Karalee Leatherberry said. “It’s a whole different atmosphere.”

Leatherberry Acres owners Karalee and Tyler Leatherberry said the sunflower maze has an aesthetic that’s perfect for date nights, senior pictures and other photo-worthy events. Photographers are encouraged to use the site for photo-shoots at no extra cost beyond general admission.

“I look forward to that most of all – just seeing the photos people take,” Karalee said. “That’s my favorite part about it.”

Leatherberry Acres also is home to a 12-acre corn maze that will open Sept. 28. While both labyrinths honor veterans with intricate, patriotic designs and pathways, Karalee said visitors are more likely to get lost in the corn.

“It’s bigger, and a lot of times there are families with kids,” she said. “When people run out of patience they run out of map skills.”

Karalee designed the mazes after the corn was planted in May and the sunflowers in June. She drew the designs on a grid and uploaded the coordinates onto a computer program. Her husband, Tyler, then used GPS coordinates to cut the paths with a mower.

Tyler said it took about six hours to cut the sunflowers and almost 10 for the corn. The designs include a badger, the state of Wisconsin, the American flag, an eagle and other patriotic imagery.

“They say it takes 60 days after you plant the sunflowers for them to bloom,” Tyler said. “We’re right on schedule.”

Visitors are encouraged to play a mystery game while they navigate the seven-foot sunflowers. Similar to the Clue board game, “Who Done it?” invites participants to gather information at various destinations around the maze to solve a mystery.

Leatherberry Acres attractions also include a petting zoo, zip line, straw bale maze, seed chute slides and tractor tire jungle gym. There also are concessions, pizza and Cedar Crest ice cream available to purchase. Groups can rent out a bonfire area for parties throughout the summer and fall seasons.

“We want people to come out here and relax,” Tyler said. “Just enjoy the view with the sunflowers.”

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