If you’re looking for a family friendly activity around Atlanta this time of year be sure to include the Halloween Hikes at Chattahoochee Nature Center. Don’t let the ‘hike’ in the title fool you, it’s not a strenuous walk through the hills. Halloween Hikes is a chance for the entire family to take a guided walking tour along the CNC grounds with costumed characters to entertain and inform.
My wife and I first attended their Halloween Hikes several years ago when we didn’t have children and had a blast! The walk takes about half an hour and goes along the trail and CNC, over the dam, through the woods and ends back at the Ben Brady Lakeside Pavilion.
Groups of 20-25 will leave the main CNC courtyard every ten minutes for the Halloween Hike. The costumed creatures that you meet include the Red Winged Blackbird, Grey Fox, Venus Fly Trap, Black Widow Spider and Mother Earth. All of these characters share a 2-3 minute story about what they do and how they impact the environment. The monologues are educational for the kids, while entertaining enough for you.
Chattahoochee Nature Center’s Halloween Hikes were started in 1986 when Marietta resident Kristi Beckler was looking for something fun to do with her children that wasn’t too scary. She and her husband Paul had been longtime volunteers at CNC. Mrs. Beckler merged the two ideas, added educational elements and came up with the idea of Halloween Hikes. That idea has since taken root at nature centers across the county, but it all started in Roswell.
At the end of the hikes you’ll have the chance to make crafts, presented by Girl Scout Troop 25313 in Roswell, listen to music or have a hot beverage and snack. There is also a large bonfire where you can relax, get some cocoa and enjoy the fresh fall air.
The Chattahoochee Nature Center Halloween Hikes take place October 21, 22, 28 & 29 from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. People attending are welcome to wear costumes and there will be live animal demonstrations will be happening. Children 2 and under are free, the trails aren’t suitable for strollers, but the terrain is well lit.
Attending the Halloween Hikes is a great way to support an outstanding, local non-profit organization that does environmental education. When you’re on the CNC Halloween Hikes be sure to look for Mother Nature, who will be portrayed by the founder of the hikes, Kristi Beckler.