Halloween and fall festival events at Wisconsin state parks
Published: October 16, 2012 by the Central Office
MADISON - From pumpkin carving and hiking along trails lit by jack-o-lanterns to visits from costumed wild creatures, haunted hayrides and trick-or-treating at historic building and enjoying hot cider and other treats around bonfires, visitors to a number Wisconsin State Park properties can enjoy a variety of Halloween and fall activities over the next two weekends.
Carving pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns at Kohler-Andrea State Park.
Halloween comes to life at Heritage Hill State Park in Green Bay from 5-8 p.m. on the Friday and Saturday nights, Oct. 19-20 and Oct. 26-27. Little ghosts and goblins can experience safe trick or treating at the many historical buildings throughout the park where they will be greeted by people in period dress. There is also a costume contest, Halloween craft, scary storytelling, s 'more making around the campfire, a shadow play and Mad Scientist Laboratory. New this year is one of the area's largest corn mazes, more children's activities and the Headless Horseman. Heritage Hill is managed by the Heritage Hill Foundation and different admission fees apply. For more information, please see the Heritage Hill website.
Other events at state parks are free (with the exception of hay rides), but all vehicles entering parks are required to have a current Wisconsin State Parks admission sticker.
Other activities include:
Friday, Oct. 19 and Saturday, Oct. 20
- Kettle Moraine State Forest-Northern Unit, Campbellsport, 920-533-8322 - Halloween Nature Hikes. Let's go with the flow to encounter a whole raft of water creatures, including the boastful largemouth bass, the daring blue darner dragonfly, the loud-mouthed Canada goose, and ever elegant great egret. This is not a scary hike and is best for those more than 5 years of age. Groups leave every six minutes. The last hour-long hike leaves at 8:30 p.m. While waiting for your hike, enjoy playing some fun-filled games, making a craft to take home, or snacking by the glow of a campfire. In the event of severe weather, the event will be canceled for that night. Long Lake Recreation Area (located off Division Road north of Highway F near Dundee). 6:30 - 9:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 20, 2012
- Devil's Lake State Park, Baraboo, 608-356-8301 ext 140 -- Friends Halloween Hike. Halloween is just around the corner and what better way to spend it than at Devil's Lake! Go on a 1-mile torch lit hike then head to the Rock Elm shelter to warm up by the bonfire and purchase some tasty treats. You can find out about owls and make an owl to take home. Meet at the Rock Elm shelter on the north shore. Sponsored by the Friends of Devil's Lake State Park. 6-9 p.m.
- Lake Kegonsa State Park, Stoughton, 608-873-9695 - Candlelight Hike. Enjoy a beautiful autumn evening hiking along the 1.2-mile White Oak Nature Trail, which will be lit with hundreds of glowing jack-o-lanterns and luminaries. When you are finished, warm up by the bonfire and enjoy refreshments sold by the Lake Kegonsa State Park Friends Group. White Oak Nature Trail. 6-9 p.m.
- Point Beach State Forest, Two Rivers, 920-794-7480 - Fall Festival. Join us to celebrate fall with pumpkin carving and other activities. Nature Center 8 a.m.-11 p.m.
- Potawatomi State Park, Sturgeon Bay, 920-746-2890 - The Ancient Lighted Pumpkin Trail. Wind your way past peculiar porcupines and slithering snakes - all illuminated pumpkins - along the park's Ancient Shorelines Trail. This self-guided, half mile walk has a low spook rating for the entire family. Warm your spirits with spicy cider and support the Friends of Potawatomi State Park's Halloween bake sale. 6-8 p.m.
- Richard Bong State Recreation Area, Kansasville, 262-878-5600 - Eco-Halloween Hike. You are invited to meet some "Wildlife Olympians" at this non-scary, family event. Enjoy jack-o-lanterns, Halloween skits, campfires, refreshments, games and crafts. You may arrive anytime between 6:30 and 8 p.m. to sign up for a hike. Hikes take about 30 minutes. Dress for the weather, you may be outside awhile. Meet at Shelter #1. 6:30-8:30 p.m.
- Roche-A-Cri State Park, Friendship, 608-565-2789 - Pumpkin Walk and Haunted Hayrides. Get ready for an early Halloween with events beginning at 3 p.m.; Games from 3-4:30 p.m., walk around the mound from 3-9 p.m. (pumpkins and tiki torches will be lit at dusk), non-haunted hayrides 3:30-5:30 p.m., haunted hayrides 6-9 p.m. Ticket sales for hayrides end at 9 p.m. Food will be sold during the event. Free admission to the park. Park and ride the free shuttle bus from the corner of Highway 13 and Czech Ave. Come rain or shine! Supported by the Friends of Roche-A-Cri State Park.
Friday, October 26, 2012
- Governor Nelson State Park, Waunakee, 608-831-3005 - Halloween Hike and Bonfire. As we approach the end of autumn, come and celebrate Halloween with an evening hike on the Woodland Trail (1.2 miles) lit with glowing luminaries. Enjoy hot cocoa and other treats alongside a bonfire at the beach shelter. Come dressed up in costume or regular attire. Pets are welcome, but must be on a leash no longer than 8 feet. Event is 6-9 p.m.
Saturday, October 27, 2012
- Copper Falls State Park, Mellen, 715-274-5123 - Candlelight Hike. Come see the park at night and walk a one-mile forested trail lit by candles. A bonfire will be going at the beginning of trail for visitors to warm up and roast s'mores. Chili and other refreshments will also be available. Hike is dependent on fire conditions; visitors can call the park office at 715-274-5123 for event status. 6:30-9 p.m.
- High Cliff State Park, Sherwood, 920-989-1106 - Great Pumpkin Event and Candlelight Hike. The last smells of autumn will be in the air as winter fast approaches. Events are planned throughout the afternoon and evening. Walk a torch-lit trail on your own, or join the park naturalist for a guided hike! Kid's Pumpkin Carving Contest at 3 p.m., Free Wagon Rides 3-5:45 p.m., Kids' Costume Contest at 5:15 p.m., Torch-lit trail 6-8 p.m., and Walk with the Park Naturalist 6:30-7:30 p.m. Enjoy hot cocoa and other concessions offered by the Friends of High Cliff. A blazing warm fire in the beautiful pavilion will top off a great night with friends or family. Watch for opportunities to "give back" to the community through a charity drive, and sign up for future volunteer opportunities to support the park. Supported by the Friends and the Sherwood Lions. 3-8 p.m.
- Kohler-Andrae State Park, Sheboygan, 920-451-4080 - Campground Halloween Event. Come to view the Halloween lights and décor and bring the children for trick-or-treating. Electrical loop of campground closed to vehicular traffic for the event. Event is in the northern loop of campground. 5-8 p.m.
- Mirror Lake State Park, Lake Delton, 608-254-2333 - Halloween Mystery Candlelight Hike. Join park staff and the Friends of Mirror Lake for a fun, family evening at Mirror Lake. There will be an easy 1-mile trail lit with clue stations along to way to help discover the Mystery Guest. When you are not out on the trail, enjoy stories and songs around the bonfires. The Friends will have food and beverages for sale as a fundraiser. Meet at the beach picnic area. 6-8 p.m.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Contact the parks listed above or Paul Holtan, state parks, forest and trails recreation public affairs manager 608-267-7517