From Amanda Mochan in Idaho, USA

On Saturday, October 1, I was in Rupert, Idaho for a record attempt for the largest temporary straw bale maze. The maze (coined the Mega Maze) is located at Garden Cents, a fully-stocked shop for planting and nursery needs.

As this was a new record category, our records management team did some research and set the minimum requirements at 1,200 square meters (12,916.7 square feet). Bryan Jentzsch, who created and the construction, designed it to be quite a bit bigger than the requirements, although it had to be measured in order to be made official.

Before measuring the maze on-site, I reviewed the maze plans to see what sections would count towards the record total. According to Guinness World Records guidelines, the maze must be continuous (i.e. empty spaces such as parking lots do not count), and had to have walls that adults were not able to see over.

Straw bail maze 3.jpg

The majority of the maze fell under these guidelines, although the kiddie maze (with 3-ft. high walls) and the entranceway with go-karts, a bean pit, and bouncy horses weren't included in the measurements. In addition to the standard maze pathways, the MEGA MAZE boasted some unique features, including a straw bale pyramid with interior pathways that reached several stories high, and a 3D maze with paths built on several levels, one on top of the other.

Once I confirmed which sections would count towards the official total, I walked the sections with a measuring wheel, and the final area was an impressive 96,847 square feet (8,997.380 square meters) - approximately eight times the size of the minimum requirement, and a new Guinness World Records achievement!

Straw bail maze 2.jpg

Some additional statistics and figures:

- The maze used 3,202 bales of straw, with each bale weighing an approximate 1,100 lbs.
- The maze features 1.6 miles of pathway, both on the ground and in the elevated 3D section
- Bryan Jentzsch constructed the majority of the maze by himself using front-end loaders with forks on front. It took two weeks to design and three weeks to construct.
- This is the third year a maze has been constructed on the site, but this year was by far the biggest (last year's maze consisted of 2,000 straw bales).
- After the maze is dismantled, the straw will go to local dairies to be used as bedding for dairy cows.

If you find yourself in southern Idaho this month, be sure to stop by and check it out - the maze is open daily and on October 14 it transforms into the Haunted Maze, a spooky experience featuring zombies, a mad scientist, witches, trolls, scary clowns, and much, much more.

For more information visit