Pumpkins in the Park… Featuring the Haunted Trail Hayride

Local folklore comes to life with breath-taking live-action scenes combined with hair-raising props that create the ultimate Halloween atmosphere for the wildly popular Haunted Trail Hayride. This spine-tingling journey along a wooded trail highlights Pumpkins in the Park, featuring dramatic and spooky scenes, along with surprises sure to elicit screams of delight. Be prepared – you will be scared. More than 2,000 brave souls attend this spooky event every year. On Thursday, enjoy pumpkin painting, costume contests and a community-based Trunk-or-Treat, where children enjoy an old-fashioned Halloween in a safe environment. The event is sponsored by the Friends of Wilderness Road State Park. It’s only $10 per vehicle. Hayride lines open at 6:30 p.m. each night, and everyone in line by 10 p.m. gets to enjoy the ride.

​From its humble beginning as one of Wilderness Road State Park’s first special events, to one of the area’s most celebrated fall festivals, the Heritage Festival remains a staple for the Friends of Wilderness Road State Park. The Friends have sponsored the annual event each year which serves as their primary fundraiser in their effort to support the park.

​One of the most popular events ever introduced by Wilderness Road State Park is the Halloween holiday spectacular, Pumpkins in the Park. Prepare for two nights of fun and fright as each year thousands of thrill seekers and costume-clad children gather at the park for what has quickly become one of the tri-state’s most popular Halloween events. It offers guests an old-fashioned Halloween, highlighted by the wildly popular Haunted Trail Hayride, where local folklore is brought to life on a spine-tingling journey along a wooded trail with scares lurking behind every tree. New scenes, props and attractions are added each year to create a new experience for even the veterans of this fun program!

The children’s portion of the event will run from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday at the Karlan Mansion. Children’s activities include: pumpkin painting, costume contests, the community based Trunk-or-Treat and more.

GET INVOLVED!!! To help meet the demand of costume-clad candy seeking children, the park is encouraging area churches, businesses, organizations and families to come out and participate in order to make the trunk-or-treat a community event. The community based Trunk-or-Treat is a key component of Pumpkins in the Park, and the backbone to creating a fun Halloween experience for the kids. With crowd numbers continuing to climb, the park is again asking for the community’s assistance on Thursday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Participants park on the Karlan Mansion lawn to distribute candy from the trunks of their vehicle. Each trunker is encouraged to dress up, decorate their vehicle and create signs recognizing their church, group, business or family. Only get a few trick-or-treaters because of your location? Join us and make this celebration a special evening for the area children and a true community event. For more information on how your church, group, business or family can help make this event a success, please call the park office at 276-445-3065.