Without the sign by the road, you might not notice the labyrinth at Mepkin Abbey. It’s a 7-circuit Chartres style made of South Carolina prairie plants with a mown grass path.
The plants that make the lines of the labyrinth had been burned in that Southern Fall tradition. But, they have been maintained in that fashion for so long that the grass path is very clear and easy to walk.
There are seats in the center as well as benches on the outside. The monks keep bees and I noticed two pairs of hives passed the live oaks.
The Abbey asks that you stop at the visitors’ center/gift shop to check in before walking.
It’s been a long time since I walked a labyrinth inside. But, a friend let me know that there was going to be an opportunity to walk at the Duke University Chapel on March 6 and I took advantage of the chance.
To my embarrassment, I had to be reminded to take off my shoes, even with the basket of socks at the entrance. It was dark and silent. And there were a lot of people who accommodated each other with grace.
It looks like they roll out the canvas once a year in the Spring.
Parking was an issue. The website gives directions to he Bryan Center parking garage at 125 Science Drive, which was full when we got there. There was some street parking available, if you were willing to wait for someone to move. And not many did. You pay at a kiosk and the payment is for your license plate. So, the person who got my space after I left didn’t get to use the 30 minutes overage I left behind. You might walk from the Sarah P. Duke Gardens (it’s less than half a mile) if the weather is nice. But, there’s no guarantee that lot won’t be crowded, too.
It’s a little bit of a country drive to get to 4880 Elmer Derr Road outside Frederick, Maryland.
They have a well marked labyrinth on the far side of the building.
It’s a lovely place.