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!

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Click here for "Barn Stories" zip file!


The Maize Maze theme for 2017 is "FOWLING AROUND IN THE MAZE". Our goal is to tell the story and promote the importance of the chicken and turkey in agriculture.

Plans are to open Saturday and Sunday, July 29,1-5 pm and open every weekend through the Gilbertson Nature center,1/2 mile east of Elgin. email:

Cost free for ages 4 and under,
students age 5-11- $5
age 12 and over $7. 

open any time by appointment-563-419-1133.

Thank You,

Laverne Swenson


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.

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
Federal Seed Corn Hybrids - Elgin
Viafield Co-op - Clermont
Country Heritage Community

Albert Lea Seeds
Elgin Bank
Freedom Bank -Postville
Bank First-West Union
Erickson Law
Easton Water Conditioning
Clayton and Fayette County Farm Bureau