Halloween Hikes


HALLOWEEN HIKES: Friday and Saturday, October 21, 22, 28 and 29 at the Chattahoochee Nature Center. Enjoy an alternative family adventure to reconnect your children with the natural world and overcome nature deficit disorder! Turn off that TV and get outside under the stars at the Chattahoochee Nature Center’s 31st annual Halloween Hikes!

Smell the fragrant woody scents of colorful autumn leaves crunching on the mulched trails under your feet as you hike the well lighted trails in the moonlight. Let your guide introduce you to friendly forest creatures as they tell their fascinating tales with a dash of improv and humor. Then watch the crackling flames of the bonfire and listen to the lively rhythms of our world music drummer as you meet a parade of imaginatively costumed characters. Kids who come in costumes receive a special ‘treat’.

Celia Steigerwald, a 21 year veteran volunteer of Halloween Hikes at the Chattahoochee Nature Center, describes her experience with this unique local family friendly event. “Halloween Hikes is something that was a wonder to me when I first encountered it. Having just moved back to the States, after many years abroad, the concept of Halloween was a bit daunting and culturally alien to both me and my two young children. Therefore, when this great alternative, one full of education under the magical guise of giant talking creatures, came along I just had to be a part of it.”

“I have been many characters through the years; frog, opossums, firefly, kingfisher, spider, squirrel to name a few.  The memories that linger are the camaraderie of the folk who volunteer to be characters.  They are a special breed of individual that takes their commitment to the children very seriously with a large ladle of hilarity whirled on top.”

“There are a few stand out years.  One would be when, as a person with some acrophobia, I had to climb into a deer stand and have a bat head hanging off my feet to give the appearance of hanging upside.  Once I was up, all was well, except that the head was rather heavy and I lost feeling in my legs and was unable to climb down.  This was solved the following night by putting a rolled up sleeping bag under my knees and allowing me to express my strong tree hugging urges both on the way up and down.  I felt some accomplishment that year.

One year the person who was supposed to play Mother Earth, an indispensable and incredibly important character, didn’t show up.  My eleven year old daughter put the costume on, worked on some lines for the half hour before the public came through and did a stunning job.  It was one of those wonderful parent moments.  She went on to play other characters when she was older and I once had the privilege of sharing a dual character spot with her as a dragonfly and firefly.  We had such fun together those nights.  The role that seems to have fit me best is that of Howie Pollute, a pile of trash.  I love this character, the message and the children’s and parent’s reactions to him.

“I have since learned to appreciate a traditional Halloween, but give me Halloween Hikes every time.  Walking through the woods at night is something few people experience and to have it sprinkled with a series of surprises with a powerfully positive message cannot be beat.” Celia Steigerwald is one of those volunteers we have come to rely on year after year, said Rebecca Gilbert, Director of Community Programs at the Chattahoochee Nature Center. It is hard to imagine that she has been doing this for twenty years now. It just goes to prove what a wonderful tradition Halloween Hikes has become!”

7:00 – 10:00 PM No Pre-Registration Needed REMEMBER, CNC Members can purchase their tickets in advance beginning october 1st! Tickets are $1 less the first weekend! $9 per person - October 21 and 22 and $10 per person - October 28 and 29 Children 2 and under are free (Trails are not suitable for strollers.)