I used to draw lots of mazes. I dug up a couple of my favorites and scanned them for your enjoyment. Click on a maze image to view a full-sized version. You’re free to print and share them if you’d like (see license terms below).
Here’s a simple maze, originally drawn with crayons on a Friendly’s paper placemat. Start near the birdie in the fallen nest, and try to return to the tree up above. You may “walk” through any white space, and may not cross any solid (magenta or black) lines.
This is a bridge maze, a special genre of maze with more complex rules, which I will explain below. Warning: this can take hours to solve, even if you’ve solved it before. You’ll probably want to print it out to solve it.
Here are the rules for my bridge mazes. They make more sense if you think of the maze as a massive tangle of interconnected highway ramps. Pretend you’re driving in Boston and everything will be clearer.
- Start at the “S” arrow. You’re trying to arrive at the “F” arrow. Never mind that these are right next to each other.
- The paths go under and over each other like highway bridges. You can follow a path even if it appears to “break off” because it goes under another path; there are no dead-end roads (although some of my mazes have an inescapable Endless Loop of Doom). Obviously, you can’t “jump” off a path onto another path even if one crosses over the other.
- Once you’re on a path, you can’t turn around or back up. Thus, just because you happen to be going in one direction on a given path doesn’t mean that you could easily get going in the other direction on the same path.
- Intersections are either merges or splits depending on which direction you are going. If the path splits into a Y, you can bear in either direction. However you can’t make sharp-angle turns, just like with highway exits. Thus, an exit might not be “available” to you if you’re going in one direction on a path, but later become available if you manage to get on the same path going in the opposite direction.
- (Right Angles has one really wide intersection. The same rules still apply.)
- The black wedges are arrows. You can only pass through them if you are going in the direction in which they point. Thus, they turn certain paths into one-way paths.
- You haven’t mastered the maze until you can confidently find your way to the finish line, obeying all the above rules, on demand.
This is another bridge maze, and I think the most difficult maze I have ever composed. All the general rules for bridge mazes apply (see above) but this maze has an extra catch: at any point in time, you can fold the maze up in different directions, creating new interconnections between the paths. Here’s how:
- You’ll need to print this one out to solve it, unless you are really good at measuring distances in your head.
- You’ll notice 2 sets of vertical and horizontal lines which separate the maze into 2 rectangles of various sizes. These are crease lines. The magenta creases fold out, the teal creases fold in.
- Take the printed sheet and fold the paper along the vertical creases such that the circular “rotunda” in the middle, as well as a similar-sized area of the maze to the right of it, is not visible. Thus the teal vertical crease will not be visible, and the magenta vertical crease will reach over to near the right-hand side of the maze. This makes the maze much smaller horizontally. Notice that all the paths which crossed over the magenta line, now connect to different paths near the right-hand side of the maze.
- Do the same with the horizontal creases, folding up vertically such that the teal crease is hidden and the magenta crease reaches near the top of the page. The page will now be vertically shrunken. Notice again that all paths should line up, and no “dead ends” are created.
- You can even fold in both directions at the same time, making the maze really tiny. I’m pretty sure there’s no specific advantage to doing this though.
- Now that you’ve established the creases, you can fold to transform the maze at any point in order to open up new paths. Obviously, don’t do this if you are in a location that would disappear if folded over!
- Good luck. I promise you that this maze has a solution, even though I’m not going to tell you what it is. Recently I tried to re-solve it, having composed and forgotten about it years since, and it took me over 2 hours.
These images are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. You may: copy, redistribute, and distribute modifications on my work as long as you: give me credit as origin, do not commercially profit from the use, and license any derivatives under Creative Commons under these same conditions. Vague credit to my cousin David Senft for inspiring me to try my hand at drawing mazes.