Parks After Dark: Halloween 2016

Parks after dark - hospital room
October 17, 2016

Wondering where to scare up some fun this month?

No need to feel grave—your state parks have frighteningly fun festivals planned to make sure you have a howling good time this Halloween season! Where, you ask? We’ve checked with the state parks ghouls and rounded up what you need to know to plan a phantom-tastic good time!
Four parks are hosting wicked fun events that may leave you searching your sock drawer for spares! Whether you enjoy seeing the forest for the screams or hunting nightmares in an old military bunker, there’s a spirited adventure waiting for you!

Haunted Zombie Hike

RIverside Halloween resize
In the market for a ghoulfriend? You just might find one on the Riverside State Park Zombie Hike.
Where: 7 Mile Airstrip at Riverside State Park
When:  6 to 9 p.m., Oct. 22.
Adults: $10 (includes LED flashlight)
Kids 3-12: $5 (includes glow in the dark bracelet)
Kids 2 and younger free
Age 12 and younger must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Parental discretion is advised. No pets are allowed on the trail. A Discover Pass is not required with admission—our friends at Riverside State Park Foundation are covering the cost. (Event is a fundraiser for the Foundation.)
The “ghouling” details: 
“Trick or treat, smell my feet,” might be a real threat after this event! Billed as the “scariest half-mile of your life,” you can flee through the trees on a straight-shot hike while being chased by chainsaw-wielding undead! Sound fun? It is. Bring your mummy—and daddy. In fact, bring all your friends because you won’t want to travel through the woods on your own. Admission includes flashlights and flash bands to help you navigate the rough terrain. All the same, you won’t want to stray from the path and you will want to wear comfortable shoes and warm clothes. If you make it through (or just take a pass), gather around the fire and warm your bones while witches brew potions and tell haunted tales. Warm drinks and tasty treats will be provided by local businesses. If you are in eastern Washington on the 22nd, you won’t want to miss this hike!


Haunted Fort Casey

Fort Casey zombie nurse resize
I suggest you be patient—MY patient! Frights and delights wait below at the Haunted Fort Casey event! 
Where: Battery Kingsbury at Fort Casey State Park
When: 6:30 to 10:30 p.m., Oct. 28-29.
Admission: $7 per person or $25 for a family up to six. Due to scary images and performances, the haunted fort tour is recommended for guests 10 and older.
The “ghouling” details:
Like a little hisssstory in your haunt? Then the Haunted Fort event is right up your dark, creepy alley! In its second year, this event promises to be even bigger than the howling success it was last year!  Children’s games will take place in the field in front of the fort. Food vendors will be on site, in case you feel like “goblin” a snack. Eat, play and gather around for some haunted tales that include a little of the fort’s history. Feeling brave? Steel your nerves and join a group headed into the cold, stony bowels of Battery Kingsbury. You’ll find all manner of creepy things dwelling in the dark, dungeon-like rooms. Enough nightmares live there to last you until next year’s event!  You’re welcome to come in costume, but due to the recent unfortunate events in the news, the organizers request no clown costumes.

Haunted Forest: Where Nightmares Come True

Sacajawea Halloween resize
BOO! The Haunted Forest at Sacajawea is a popular fund-raiser and hair raiser too! Photo courtesy of Pasco Jaycees.

Where: Sacajawea State Park
When: 7 to 11 p.m., Oct 14-15, 21-22 and 28-29.
Admission: $13 per person. Children 5 and under are free. Park at the Port of Pasco, 1110 Osprey Pointe Ave, Pasco
The “ghouling” details:
This year’s theme at the Haunted Forest is Where Nightmares Come True. They ought  to know!  This marks the 12th year the Pasco Jaycees have hosted the Haunted Forest at Sacajawea State Park, and it is bound (and gagged) to be as popular as ever. Park at the Port of Pasco and ride the tram in to the park where you’ll walk a grim mile of horror. Survive a zombie apocalypse and try not to get zapped at the electrocution scene. Watch out for creepy followers, and don’t lose your head in the dark maze.  At the end, ride the tram back to the parking lot. It’s OK to hold hands! This event is a local favorite, so don’t miss out!  The organizers encourage costumes but won’t allow entrance to those dressed in clown costumes.

Haunted “Boo”athouse and Harvest Festival

Get into the Halloween spirit at the Harvest Festival and Haunted 'Boo'athouse at Cama Beach Historical State Park!
Where: Cama Beach Historical State Park
When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Oct. 22.
Admission: Free!
The “ghouling” details:
Looking for a kinder, gentler Halloween experience? Then point your compass toward Cama Beach Historical State Park, and bring your  wee ones. Co-sponsored by the park and The Center for Wooden Boats, this event has kid-friendly all over it. Learn about bats, do crafts and play games at the Cama Center. Get your face painted and do some spooky science experiments. Watch fun Halloween movies or take a short interpretive hike. Then head on down to the boathouse to build a small ship, enjoy popcorn and cider, wooden ship building and racing, and even more games. This event is sure to be long on treats and short on tricks!

Spirit not moving you to get out to one of these events? Fear not! Your state parks have events and celebrations all year long, for every kind of interest. Find out what's happening where and when on our online calendar.
How do you enjoy the fall season at your 'boo'tiful Washington State Parks?
Tell us about it and share your photos here!

Creature, err, feature photo courtesy of Fort Casey State Park.