Bay City State Recreation Area Halloween Event on Oct. 15 Takes the Scare Out of Scary Creatures

Bay City State Recreation Area’s 18th annual Mother Nature’s Halloween Trail, featuring a guided walk along a pumpkin-lighted forest trail and a chance to encounter some of nature's most misunderstood critters, will be held Saturday, Oct. 15, from 4 to 9:30 p.m.

Visitors will be enchanted and entertained in a unique way as 26 student actors, from St. Charles and Hemlock High Schools, portray bats, snakes, wolves, vultures and other animals that humans often fear and dislike. The actors, led by Teacher-Director Emily Claytor and Drama Director John Ostrander, will dramatize how these creatures earned their frightening reputation, why they have been misunderstood, and how their existence actually benefits humans and the environment.

"The trail is really fun for younger, elementary-aged children and also the young at heart.  Our goal is to dispel some of the myths and stories that make life difficult for these undervalued wildlife populations," said Department of Natural Resources Park Interpreter Valerie Blaschka. "Children love the animal actors. Many of last year's visitors had wonderful comments about the actors’ performance and how nice it was to have a Halloween event that wasn’t meant to be scary."

The event is designed not to frighten, but to educate and entertain children and their families. Halloween treats donated by area merchants and free refreshments will be provided. Children are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes.

For more information on Mother Nature’s Halloween Trail, contact the Saginaw Bay Visitor Center, located within Bay City State Recreation Area, at 989-667-0717. The recreation area is located at 3582 State Park Dr. in Bay City.

There is no cost for this event; however, a state park Recreation Passport is required for all vehicles entering the park.

The Recreation Passport has replaced motor vehicle permits for entry into Michigan state parks, recreation areas and state-administered boating access fee sites. This new way to fund Michigan's outdoor recreation opportunities also helps to preserve state forest campgrounds, trails, historic and cultural sites in state parks, and provides park development grants to local communities.

Michigan residents can purchase the Recreation Passport ($10 for motor vehicles; $5 for motorcycles) by checking "YES" on their license plate renewal forms, or at any state park or recreation area. Nonresident motor vehicles must still display a valid nonresident Recreation Passport ($29 annual; $8 daily) to enter a Michigan state park, recreation area or state-administered boating access fee site; these can be purchased at any state park or recreation area, or through the Michigan e-Store at To learn more about the Recreation Passport, visit or call 517-241-7275.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to