MADISON - There will be multiple opportunities for costumed Halloween revelers to hike along trails lit by jack-o-lanterns or other luminaries, some with visits from "non-scary" costumed wild creatures, and then enjoying hot cider 'smores and other treats around bonfires at Wisconsin State Park properties Oct. 19, 20 and 27.
Many of the events also offer games, arts and crafts, storytelling and music.
Events at state parks are free, but all vehicles entering parks are required to have a current Wisconsin State Parks daily or annual admission sticker.
For a listing of events, search the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website for "Get Outdoors" and then select "festivals" under the "type" button.
Friday, Oct. 19, 6-9 p.m.
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 marshmallows, hot dogs and hot chocolate while supplies last alongside a bonfire at the beach shelter. Come dressed up in costume or regular attire. Bring a flashlight. Pets are welcome, but must be on a leash no longer than 8 feet.
Friday, Oct. 19 and Saturday, Oct. 20
Kettle Moraine State Forest - Northern Unit- Campbellsport, 920-533-8322 - Four on the Floor Halloween Nature Hikes. Meet those animals with four on the floor: the Forest Sprite waits to greet visitors as they begin an extraordinary evening adventure that includes a menagerie of costume characters including the know-it-all bobcat, the bumbling Urban Trio, super villain star-nosed mole, and overly confident treefrog awaits you and your friends as you stroll through the dark autumn woods. The hikes take place at the Mauthe Lake Recreation Area located off County Road GGG south of County Road SS near New Prospect (approximately 20 miles north of West Bend and 20 miles south of Fond du Lac). Guided groups leave every six minutes with the last one going out at 8:30 p.m. Each hike lasts about one hour. These non-scary hikes are best for those over the age 5. Before or after the hikes, play exciting games and create clever crafts. The Friends of the Kettle Moraine provide free apple cider and popcorn for all the hikers to enjoy by a roaring campfire. 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 20
Devil's Lake State Park, Baraboo, 608-356-8301 ext 140 - Candlelight Halloween Hike. There's a lot of Halloween fun at this annual event sponsored by the Friends of Devil's Lake. Go on a 1-mile torch lit hike; show off your costume by the campfire while roasting a marshmallow or two, and listen to the songs of Campfire Kevin; enjoy some tasty treats sold by the Friends group; and find out about bats! You can even make a bat to take home with you. The event is held at Chateau (North Shore Concessions). 6-9 p.m.
Heritage Hill State Park, 920-448-5150 - Heritage Hill's Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale Halloween Event.Come one, come all and join us at Heritage Hill for a Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale Halloween Event. Meet Cinderella, Rumpelstiltskin, Puss in Boots, and Snow White, and many more. Visitors can Trick- or-Treat in a family-friendly environment and visit each area of the park to hear stories from the Brothers Grimm and play Games, like Pumpkin Plinko and candy abound throughout the park. Children and adults alike are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes. Make a Halloween craft and a Brothers Grimm print! Play our traditional snap apple game, a fun twist on bobbing for apples. Special Admission Rates Apply: $7 for All Adults & Children Ages 3 and up, and Children Ages 2 and under are free. If you purchase online there is a 50 cent convenience fee will be applied. For more information visit heritagehillgb.org. 3-8 p.m.
Horicon Marsh Visitor and Education Center, Horicon - There is no better place to enjoy "fangtastic" October than at Horicon Marsh! The Horicon Chamber of Commerce and Friends of Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center are uniting to present two unique, spooktacular events: Invasion on the Marsh and the Horicon Haunted Marsh Tour. Although these events are free, a donation of $5 per person is strongly suggested. During Invasion on the Marsh from 6:30-8:30 p.m. families are invited to "creep it real" with their best costume as they join forces with DNR staff to keep wicked invasives from taking over the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center's hair-raising exhibit, the Explorium. The evening's frightful festivities won't be limited just to the Explorium. Join us in making batty crafts, playing games by moonlight, and other eerie activities. Enjoy a spider egg cookie or poison apple during a ghoulish bake sale held to support the Friends of Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center. Invasion on the Marsh! tours will depart at designated times. Space is limited, and slots open on the day of the event will be offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. All tour participants must check in at the front counter upon arrival; please arrive 10 minutes early. Participants can pre-register on Eventbrite at: https://bit.ly/2CXNy0A: Horicon Haunted Marsh Tour: With the help of our volunteers, the 0.8 mile Indermuehle trail will transform into the place of your spookiest nightmares. A kid-friendly "light fright" will take place 5:30-6:30 p.m., before dark. Older audiences are invited to a scarier, spine-tingling walk 6:30-8:30 p.m. With more monsters released every hour, audiences will startle their senses as they courageously brave the haunted woods and are rewarded with a sweet treat. Participants are not required to pre-register for this walk on the Indermuehle trail.
Kettle Moraine State Forest - Southern Unit, Eagle, 262-594-6200 - McMiller Fall Candlelight Hike.Enjoy the smell of leaves in the air and take a 1.1-mile hike around the seldom-hiked McMiller Trails. The trail loop will be lit by LED lights. Hike at your own time and pace. There will be a bonfire, kids crafts and activities, and snacks for sale. Pets are allowed at this event but must be on leash at all times. Meet at the McMiller Trailhead-Hwy NN, about a half mile west of Hwy 67 (South of Eagle). 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. 6-8 p.m.
George W. Mead Wildlife Area,Milladore, 715-457-6771 - Spooktacular & Food Drive.8th Annual non-scary, family fun night Halloween event: Play games, craft a craft, decorate a pumpkin or cookie, warm-up by the campfire. Admission is free with a non-perishable food item, or $2 per person. 5:30-8 p.m.
Merrick State Park, Fountain City, 608-687-4936 - "Not So Spooky" Hike. Join park staff and volunteers for a "Not So Spooky" self-guided night hike on one of the trails lit by jack-o-lanterns and tiki-torches. Try your hand at making fall decorations or just hang out by the bonfire and roast a hot dog or marshmallow! There will be s'more-making materials on hand along with hot chocolate and hot apple cider. Bring a flashlight, if you wish, and please dress appropriately for the weather. Meet at the Nature Center. 6-8 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. Start at the beach, read the clues and try to identify the Mystery Guest you will see at the Amphitheater. 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.
Richard Bong State Recreation Area, Kansasville, 262-878-5600 - Eco-Halloween Hike. You are invited to meet some "Cold-blooded Creatures" at this non-scary, family event. Enjoy jack-o-lanterns, Halloween nature skits, fires, games and crafts. Refreshments for sale. You may arrive anytime between 6:30 and 8 p.m. to sign up for a hike. Hikes take about a half-hour. Entire event is held outdoors: dress accordingly. Meet at Shelter #1. $2 fee per person (ages 4+) payable at registration. 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 27
Willow River State Park, Hudson, 715-386-5931 - Willow River Halloween Bash. Join Friends of Willow River and Kinnickinnic State Parks and PowerUp on this fun and spooky evening with free snacks, crafts, storytelling and more for the family to enjoy. Don't forget to wear your costume! No pets allowed. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Please contact the park if you'd like to help out with this event! 5:30 -7:30 p.m.
SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR