KREHER PRESERVE AND NATURE CENTER
Auburn University’s Kreher Preserve and Nature Center will host its annual Halloween celebration, Halloween Enchanted Forest, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Oct 20, 21 and 22, from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
“In a magical transformation, the forests of the Kreher Preserve and Nature Center become enchanted for Halloween,” said Michael Buckman, center manager. “With the trails lit by sparkling string lights, visitors will step into an enchanted world when they set off on a guided hike to meet the nature center’s woodland creatures.”
Halloween Enchanted Forest is a fun, family-friendly and unique Halloween event. Costumed actors, dressed as the nature center’s native wildlife, will entertain visitors with stories and songs of how they “trick or treat” other plants and animals in the forest. The characters are encountered along a lighted trail while visitors are led on a guided hike. Upon returning from the hike, visitors may participate in fun Halloween games and crafts, and hot chocolate and s’mores kits will be available for purchase at the campfire.
Visitors are encouraged to wear their costumes.
The event runs three days, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, at the center at 2222 N. College St. in Auburn. Hikes depart from the main pavilion at 10-minute intervals beginning at 5:30 p.m. The last hike of the night will depart at 7 p.m. with the event ending at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 per person; children 2 and under are free. Tickets are available for presale on the event website. This event will be postponed or cancelled in the event of inclement weather — watch the KPNC website or Facebook page for updates.
For true thrill seekers, Kreher has added a new event to its full lineup, too; Nature Nightmares will take place Thursday, Oct. 20 from 8:30 to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, Oct. 21 and 22, from 8:30 to 10 p.m.
“We are very excited to offer our first scary Halloween event,” Buckman said. “With the lights off, the forest is pitch black. Every little sound or shadow will make you jump. Kreher’s trails will be terrifying at this event. Nature Nightmares will be a great addition to the haunted events in our area, and it’s sure to frighten even the boldest among us. We’ll have zombies, witches, wraiths and all kinds of haunting surprises.”
Nature Nightmares is a haunted forest hike designed for teens and adults. The trails will be lit dimly or not at all with periodic horror scenes, spooky sounds and thematic lights, including some strobe lights. Volunteer cast members will be stationed throughout the forest with costumes and props to engage and frighten visitors. Anyone interested in volunteering can sign up on the event website.
Nature Nightmares’ cast will not include any representations of animals or plants.
“We don’t want people to be afraid of the forest,” Buckman said. “It’s not inherently a scary place, and we want people to be comfortable going into the forest, even at night. So, we are avoiding any animals or plants in our horrifying cast. No one should be scared of snakes or spiders. We are also making sure that none of the Nature Nightmares props are visible during the day, so our day visitors can continue to hike without fear — no pun intended.”
The event runs three days, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, at the center at 2222 N. College St. in Auburn. Hikes depart from the main pavilion at 10-minute intervals beginning at 8:30 p.m. The last hike of the night will depart at 10 p.m. on Thursday and 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $10 per person; participants must be at least 13 years of age, and anyone under 19 must be accompanied by an adult. Tickets are available for presale as well as on-site on the day of the event. This event will be postponed or cancelled in the event of inclement weather — watch the KPNC website or Facebook page for updates.
More information is available on the center’s website at www.wp.auburn.edu/preserve/ or the event website at www.aub.ie/enchantedforest and www.aub.ie/naturenightmares.
The Kreher Preserve and Nature Center is a nonprofit, outreach facility of Auburn University’s College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment, providing education, recreation and leisure resources for local communities and the region. With nearly 120 acres of preserved forest and waterways, the nature center features over six miles of shaded hiking and running trails, in addition to a year-round calendar of nature-focused events, workshops and educational opportunities for all ages. Kreher is open with free admission every day of the year from dawn to dusk. Visit www.auburn.edu/preserve to learn more.