TRENTON – From mummy duck races to multiple trick-or-treating events and spooky Jersey Devil stories, a frightfully diverse array of Halloween-themed events for children and adults is available this month at state parks, forests and historic sites, the Department of Environmental Protection announced.
Many of the events are nature-themed, giving visitors the opportunity to enjoy Halloween against the colorful backdrop of New Jersey’s lush trees and autumn landscape.
“New Jersey’s state parks, forests and historic sites are a great place to appreciate Halloween,” State Parks and Forestry Director Olivia Glenn said. “Besides the many opportunities for trick or treating at our facilities, visitors can take a haunted train ride, learn the important roles that bats have in our ecosystem, or go on a terror trail hike. We look forward to making sure our visitors have a fun time.”
Here is a sampling of Halloween-themed activities around the state this month:
Allaire State Park
The Historic Village at Allaire will transform into the Haunted Allaire Village with hayrides, storytelling at the chapel, fortune telling and more from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Oct. 18, 19, 25 and 26. Admission is $10 for children 12 and under, $15 for ages 12 and older. The admission fee includes a ticket for a haunted hayride.
Belleplain State Forest
An annual Trick or Treat weekend for campers is planned Friday, Oct. 25 through Sunday, Oct. 27 in the Campers in the CCC Campground, shelters and lean-tos. A campsite decorating contest will take place on Saturday, Oct. 26, when visitors can create a spooky craft at campsite 121. Campsite reservations may be made at http://camping.nj.gov. For more information, call (609) 861-2404.
Cape May Point State Park
Trick or treat on the trails at Cape May Point State Park from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25. Meet at the entrance of the Red Trail. The fee is $3 per child. Parents are free. For more information, call (609) 884-2159.
Double Trouble State Park
The critical role of bats in New Jersey’s ecosystem will be explained from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 26 at the Old General Store Nature Center. For more information, call (732) 341-4098.
Hancock House Historic Site
"Ghostly Gatherings" candlelight tours of the house in Hancocks Bridge are scheduled at 7 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18 and Saturday, Oct. 19. Call Fort Mott State Park at (856) 935-3218 to buy tickets, which are $5 per person.
Leonardo State Marina
A Halloween and Pet Festival featuring a pet and children’s Halloween parade, piñatas, a pick-and-paint pumpkin patch, mummy duck races and more is planned from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26. Activities will also take place inside the Nature Center. For more information, call (732) 291-1333.
Parvin State Park
Brave hikers willing to take a walk through Terror at Parvin State Park can meet at the Danna Trailhead Saturday, Oct. 26, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Participants must be at least 12 years old. Admission is $12 for all ages. For more information, call (856) 358-8616.
Stephens State Park
Friendly ghosts and ghouls will distribute treats between 2 and 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26 during a Trunk or Treat in the Upper Lot. Public parking will be available in the Lower Lot. For more information about this free event, call (908) 852-3790.
Wawayanda State Park
A Trunk-or-Treat event that includes tractor rides, pumpkin painting, games, a costume contest, prizes and more is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26 at Wawayanda State Park. To register your vehicle to participate in the Trunk or Treat, call the park office at (973) 853-4462. A $15 fee to enter the park includes all activities.
Wharton State Forest
Spooky stories about the Jersey Devil will be shared around a campfire at the Batsto Nature Center from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26. The event is free. For more information, call (609) 567-4559.
The annual “Haunting in the Pines” trick-or-treat event is scheduled from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27 in lower Batsto Village for children ages 12 and younger, with their parents. This event is sponsored by the Batsto Citizens Committee Inc.
A first-ever Trunk-or-Treat event is also planned from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26 at the Atsion Mansion, which will be open to the public and decorated for Halloween. Prizes will be given for the best costumes and cars. To register your car in the Trunk or Treat, call Willy Davis at (609) 561-0024.
For a complete October calendar of events and Halloween-themed activities, visit www.nj.gov/dep/parksandforests/calendar/october.htm.
To learn more about state parks, forests, recreation areas and historic sites, visit www.nj.gov/dep/parksandforests/parks/index.html