CLEAR LAKE | After 15 years in operation, Fort Custer Maze will be closing its gates in October.
Owner Jack Kennedy will be 91 years old in November. Kennedy has been maintaining the maze for more than 1,000 hours every summer and decided it was time to stop.
"I've been very happy, happy every hour I've spent here," Jack said.
The maze will remain open until late October, weather permitting.
Fort Custer is a wooden maze made of pallets that replicate an old Western fort. The complex is almost 2 acres with close to 2 miles of maze paths.
There are bridges, a lookout tower and stations to help guests find their way out so no one could be lost for good. Inside the office, the decor is reminiscent of the Old West with pictures of Doc Holliday and stuffed bears.
Jack Kennedy wanted the name to be recognized and thought there was no other fort by that name. It wasn't until later that he realize there was a Fort Custer used as a Michigan Army National Guard training facility four miles west of Battle Creek.
"People come out here looking for a fort and asking if there was an old fort here," Jack said.
According to Scott Kennedy, the owner's son, the maze has attracted 100,000 visitors from all 50 states and some foreign countries.
"Two days ago, we had some people come in here from Kuwait," Scott Kennedy said.
He decided that he wanted to do some traveling and other things he hasn't been able to do because of the time spent with the maze.
"We did it, (and) it's been successful," Jack said. "But it's time to move on."