By Katie Friedman
The veil between worlds has lifted, the ghosts and ghouls have come out to play, and a thrilling journey is in store for those brave enough to enter Glenlore Trails: The Haunted Forest.
The Halloween-themed night walk, powered by premier AV production company Bluewater Technologies, is back for its second run in Commerce Township, and the psychedelic displays are truly bigger and better than last year. If you’re looking for a family-friendly activity or a unique date idea for friends or a partner, then you’ll definitely want to add this one to your calendar.
What to Expect from Glenlore Trails: The Haunted Forest
Now over a mile long, Glenlore Trails: The Haunted Forest quite literally leads “explorers” through a stretch of illuminated woodland. The entire journey takes about an hour at a strolling pace, so you’ll want to dress warmly and wear comfortable, closed-toed shoes. This year’s trail is divided into four sections — The Putrid Pumpkin Patch, The Phantom Timbers, The Outer Reaches, and The Castle of Ruin — and each section is marked by a large monitor. As you approach, a glowing skull will appear on screen and deliver a narrative that coordinates with the lights ahead.
Don’t be fooled by the ominous name, though. Glenlore Trails: The Haunted Forest is truly a family-friendly experience. Although the trail can be surprisingly dark between displays, there are no actors lurking in the shadows or jump scares just around the corner. There are, however, plenty of benches along the path, just in case anyone in your party needs to sit down for a minute. Refreshments, restrooms, and trash cans are also available along the trail.
Monsters and Spirits and Witches…Oh My!
After checking in, you’ll follow a winding dirt path lined with broomsticks to the start of The Putrid Pumpkin Patch. Here, the trail widens enough to accommodate several strollers, wheelchairs or wagons at once. Then the “gates” — a clever combination of projectors and moving screens — open and the fun begins.
While we won’t give everything away, we will tell you to expect talking jack-o’-lanterns, mythical monsters, glowing spirits, and cackling witches. Should you find yourself looking at a seemingly empty expanse of trail, we encourage you to take a closer look. You never know specters or skeletons are tucked among the trees. (In other words? No section of Glenlore Trails goes to waste.)
In addition to flashing lights, projector screens, luminaries and inflatables, this year’s trail features several interactive stops. At times, you may be invited to burst smoke-filled bubbles or launch plastic balls against an army of undead. Although perhaps targeted towards children, these activities are just as much fun for adults.
Heading to Glenlore Trails: The Haunted Forest
Tickets to Glenlore Trails: The Haunted Forest are now available online, with time slots starting around sundown. We suggest arriving 15 minutes before your designated time to check in at the front desk and check out the concessions stand. Here, you’ll find light snacks, beverages, and seasonal drinks for $2-$4. Explorers 21-years-old and up can indulge in cocktails or spiked cider for $8.
Glenlore Trails: The Haunted Forest is scheduled to run every Thursday through Sunday until October 30. Purchase your tickets now and start a new scream-worthy Halloween tradition. 3860 Newton Road, Commerce Township. glenloretrails.com. Hours: 7pm-10:30pm, Thursday-Sunday.