Portsmouth resident and maze book compiler Adrienne Fisher was the maze's designer. The owner was Jack Kennedy, who wanted to have an original name for the fort, but he found out later that there was already a Fort Custer Training Center for National Guards. It was built with more than 250,000 feet (76,000 m) of wood pallets. The maze was spread over close to two acres with paths totalling nearly two miles in length. To show visitors out of the maze if they had trouble, there was a lookout tower and stations. It took 90 minutes on average to clear the maze, but some visitors could complete it within 30 to 45 minutes.
The maze had a different design each week. It included pictures of Doc Holliday and of stuffed bears. The maze also had an inflatable bouncer for children to play on. During Halloween, there was a haunted maze, and during the summer, weekly prizes for participating in a competition within the maze.
A visit to the maze was positively reviewed by Roadside America, and although its writer Kara S. McCoy did not recommend the maze for children, it was recommended by Family's Day Out as a place for children.
The near-91-year-old owner Kennedy stated that he maintained the maze "for more than 1,000 hours every summer" and that "it’s time to stop". He said, "I've been very happy, happy every hour I've spent here". It was in operation until late October 2015.
- Spence, Charlie. "Mason City—The Music Man's Home". World Travelers of America. Retrieved April 12, 2017.
- Fiorini, Courtney (August 21, 2015). "Fort Custer will close: 90-year-old owner finds the end of the maze". Globe Gazette. Retrieved April 12, 2017.
- Erickson, Lori (June 5, 2010). Iowa Off the Beaten Path: A Guide to Unique Places. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 146. ISBN 9780762765614.
- S. McCoy, Kara (July 3, 2015). "Clear Lake, Iowa: Fort Custer Maze (Closed)". Roadside America. Retrieved April 12, 2017.
- Whye, Mike (2004). The Great Iowa Touring Book: 27 Spectacular Auto Tours. Big Earth Publishing. p. 68. ISBN 9781931599351.
- "Fort Custer Maze". Family's Day Out. Retrieved April 12, 2017.
- "Fort Custer Maze in northern Iowa to close after 15 years". Omaha World-Herald. Associated Press. August 24, 2015. Retrieved April 12, 2017.