Last Updated on July 27, 2021 by Jeremy
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At this point, it should be no surprise that we love checking out sunflowers near Pittsburgh when they're blooming. They're Angie's favorite flower and one of mine as well.
So when we heard that there was a sunflower maze at Maple Bottom Farm in the Laurel Highlands, I had to go check it out shortly after it opened for the season.
While you may want to temper your expectations for the maze element of this one, this field checks a lot of boxes for us in that it is quite large, gorgeous, and allows for ample opportunities for photos inside the field itself!
The Maze at Maple Bottom Farm is a Summer Staple
When I visited Maple Bottom Farm for their sunflower fields, one thing quickly became apparent- this farm is not messing around.
Normally, sunflowers tend to only bloom for about two to three weeks each year, making getting out to enjoy these gorgeous flowers a time-sensitive ordeal (we've missed many seasons because of this). Here, they know that sunflowers are popular and planted several fields at various intervals in order to have a sunflower maze open from late-July to Labor Day pending growth rates and interest, of course.
Now, it should go without saying that this means the sunflowers at the farm will be somewhat variable. Your experience in late August could be drastically different than mine in mid-July. But overall we are excited about the prospect of having a sunflower experience run for (hopefully) six or seven weeks as opposed to the more conventional one or two.
So, about that maze.
To be fair, we have to admit that the maze at Maple Bottom Farm isn't terribly difficult. In fact, I found my way out of it pretty quickly- so much so that calling it a maze may be a misnomer if you are looking to get sufficiently lost within the sunflowers.
But what this maze does offer is simply a way to wander inside a sunflower field in random directions if you so choose (all without disrupting the flowers outright). As we are often very cautious around these flowers when visiting fields that you can walk around the exterior, having ample pathways cut into the flowers made this one an enjoyable experience. You really can see the flowers from the front, side, and back with many different angles all while walking through the field (but be sure to watch out for bees- they love these flowers).
Throw in the added props, a zinnia field that was blooming during my visit (and also had part of the maze path carved through it- again note this one may not last the entire season), and the gorgeous views around the farm proper and you have enough to make me happy. Just don't go in expecting a terribly robust “maze” experience overall and you'll be good to go.
Enjoy the Working Dairy Farm
One of the things we love about visiting farms for their sunflower fields is that it gives us a chance to learn about the other activities that go on as sunflowers are only a limited-time venture.
At Maple Bottom Farm, you'll quickly discover that this one is an active dairy farm with Guernsey cows!
While some of the more in-depth experiences and tours at this farm require advanced registration, during my visit I was able to walk over to the baby cow pens and say hello to roughly a dozen- several of which were incredibly attentive, wanted to be petted, and give me ample licks.
From there, the farm also has a small trailer open for dairy product sales including grilled cheese sandwiches, cheese curds (get the everything bagel flavored one if they have it), and even locally made ice cream as well (which was sadly sold out when I visited)! This was a nice surprise for something I wasn't expecting and we're just not going to tell Angie how many curds I ate from the bag on the trip home.
Overall, Maple Bottom Farm is a great sunflower experience in the Laurel Highlands that is projected to last much longer than your average farm. So while you may want to temper expectations for the difficulty of the maze, everyone should be quite happy when visiting this field all the same.
Maple Bottom Farm is located at 1119 Cunningham Bridge Road in Dawson, PA. The maze is cash only. Note that the farm has several sunflower fields set to bloom throughout the season. During my visit, they said they hope the fields would be open through Labor Day, but as the maze opening is dependent on the flowers there could be periodic closures while fields are growing so we recommend checking their website, social media, or calling prior to visiting. The farm also has a B&B available for booking as well!
Looking for more to do in the Laurel Highlands on your way back? Stop at Greendance Winery and Sand Hill Berries to sample some wine and eat some delicious pie!