Symbols and Facts in the Butterfly World

With 20,000 butterfly species in the world, the probability of seeing one is very likely; after all a female butterfly will lay around 100 eggs in her short lifespan. Butterflies come in a variety of colors and shapes, all sharing the characteristic of wings and scales. Though most of us are in awe when spotting a butterfly in all its colorful grandeur, we don’t always know butterfly facts. Does a butterfly hatch from a cocoon? How do you tell them apart from moths? And how did they get their wings? Often we are more familiar with their symbolic meaning, the idioms and cultural representations they carry. The combination of symbols and facts in the butterfly world makes sense, since its natural for humans to first perceive their world though symbolic meaning, and later understand it through facts.

Aporia crataegi (white-veined butterfly)

Aporia Crataegi  (white-veined butterfly) [Image: www.pinterest.com/pin/324470348127123286/]

The Butterfly Life

The stages of a butterfly follow this order: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The adult stage is just one part of its life, lasting up to two weeks. They use this time for mating, laying eggs, and frolicking in the sun. Females mate once, while males mate several times. Their eggs are distributed in groups, or individually scattered among flowers. Usually butterflies hatch in the spring, but they can hatch any time in tropical climates. They are cold-blooded, prefering warmer temperatures, since they can’t regulate their own body heat.

 

Monarch Butterfly life cycle. Image: www.3.bp.blogspot.com/

Monarch Butterfly life cycle. Image: www.3.bp.blogspot.com/

Usually insects have two types of metamorphosis. It so happens, the butterfly has a complete metamorphosis, as do moths, beetles and flies. The young are called larva or caterpillar, and not nymphs as in the case of insects like grasshoppers, crickets, dragonflies, and cockroaches, who have an incomplete metamorphosis, and also don’t eat the same foods as the larva. What’s the job of a caterpillar? To eat all day, eventually growing 100 times its original size.

Surprisingly, adult butterflies don’t always feed. Sometimes they get energy from feeding on flower nectar, but some species abstain completely. It’s true, most butterflies don’t live that long — a life-span of about one month. There are some species that hibernate during winter, elongating their life to several months.

Spanish Moon Moth climbing a tree.

Spanish Moon Moth, one of the more colorful species. [Image: www.pinterest.com/pin/296815431662057912/]

How can you tell Moths from Butterflies?

Butterflies are related to moths, and share the same insect group, lepidoptera. A good way to tell moths and butterflies apart is by checking their hair, pupa stage, antennas, activity, and colors. Moths are not always colorful (gray or browns with some exceptions), usually have more hairs on their body, and are nocturnal. A moth makes their pupa out of silk turning it into a cocoon, whereas a butterfly creates a pupa without the silk, and this becomes a chrysalis.

What about their wings?

There’s something magical about butterfly wings. A butterfly’s wings are formed with layers of chitin, the protein found in the insect’s exoskeleton. The layers of chitin are almost transparent; above that thousands of tiny scales cover the layers, reflectling light in different colors. Sadly, as the butterfly ages, its scales wither away, making it transparent, and revealing the chitin layer. When emerging from their chrysalis, a butterfly must wait, and let its body dry and harden before making its initial flight, which usually takes hours.

Orange Tip Butterfly, found in the UK with wings formed with layers of chitin, the protein found in the insect's exoskeleton--one of our butterfly facts

Orange Tip Butterfly, found in the UK. [Image: www. thecol0rsofmyrainb0w.tumblr.com]

Which country has the most butterflies species?

That title goes to Peru, which has over 3,700 butterfly species, about 20% of the world’s species. Still, a large amount of Peruvian butterflies are still undocumented, and it’s estimated the total will climb to 4,200.

Symbolism, Poetry & Idioms

For different cultures, the butterfly has a significance. There are also idioms, and butterfly metaphors used in poetry.

Metamorphosis is a Greek word, meaning transformation or change in shape. As we know a butterfly makes a complete metamorphosis, and symbolically it means change, rebirth, revival, and lightness of being.

In Poem 15Pablo Neruda, uses the butterfly to convey a feeling of quiet longing for a lost love: “Dream butterfly, you resemble my soul / and you resemble the word melancholy.”

In Japanese culture, a butterfly is considered the personification of someone’s soul, either as living, dying, or already dead. A well-known superstition says that if a butterfly enters your guest room, and sits behind the bamboo screen, it means the person you love most will visit you. A large swath of butterflies is seen as a bad omen.

The popular idiom “butterflies in my stomach,”  means to feel nervous or anxious.

Clear-winged Cithaerias Pireta walking on ground-Unknown Butterfly Facts Article

Clear-winged Cithaerias Pireta found in the Peruvian rainforest [Image: www.flickr.com/photos/hawkperson/14083909886/]

Where did the word Butterfly originate?

There’s many ways to say butterfly. In french, its papillon; in spanish, mariposa, and in italian, farfalla, and the equivalent word in ancient Greek means soul or mind. All these words have an airy lightness to them. The word butterfly is said to be derived from the expression butter-coloured fly. In Old English, the word was butterfloegeI, and in Old Dutch and German, it was botervleig. They all translate to butter fly. The German name for butterfly is milchdieb, which means “milk-thief.” Amusingly, butterflies were once attracted to buttermilk.

Check out our Pocket Ranger® mobile apps to find a park with wildlife viewing.

Halloween Costumes: Nature and Fantasy

Halloween is a couple weeks away, but for anyone creating their costumes from scratch it means planning ahead, rummaging through closets, borrowing from friends, and going to thrift stores. After all what is Halloween without a treasure hunt to create your own version of classic characters. If you’re still scratching your head for ideas, here are some nature and fantasy-inspired Halloween costumes.

Artemis is the ancient Greek deity of the hunt, wilderness, and childbirth. She is also known to be close to women and children. In classic statues she is depicted as a huntress carrying a bow and arrows, along with a friend deer, a sacred animal, since it was her first capture. When channeling Artemis one needs to be ethereal, wise, caring, and close to nature. Her classic portrayal is simple.  You’ll need: a head piece, hair pins, simple makeup, light cream-colored or white dress, romanesque sandals, and a waist belt. Extras: a deer, lyre, and gold bracelets.

Image: www.museumsyndicate.com

Image: www.museumsyndicate.com

Gandalf is the most recognizable wizard from J. R. R. Tolkien’s novels The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. There are other wizards: Samuran, Radagast, and the Blue Wizards, but Gandalf is known for his wisdom, courage and beautiful language that inspires, so the wearer of this costume needs to possess these qualities. He also communicates with animals, some who save him from danger. For the basic Gandalf the Grey costume: Layer a cloak, robe, gray belt and a light satchel. And don’t forget to add the white hair and the white beard! Also a walking stick and the famous gray hat. Extra: mittens, a sword, pipe, and a gray scarf. Make your finger nails as dirty as you want them. This guy is hiking, horseback riding and killing orcs; he’s not suppose to be super clean.

 

Tomb Raider’ s Lara Croft of the reboot game is based on the origin stories. This newer version released last year features a realistic touch to the classic adventure gal. Unlike the previous version, Lara Croft’s outfit is wearable for all, and you can even add your own touches by adding less or more tears and blood to your clothes and skin. Play the archaeologist exploring the kingdom of Yamata (Japan) in a true survivalist outfit by wearing: a gray tank top, cargo pants, boots, plus arm and leg bandages.  Extras: bow and arrows, firearms, belt and gun holsters, archery glove, ax, among others.

 

Rick Deckard from the dystopian film, Blade Runner is a fun part to play; he’s always in motion, either chasing someone or being chased, yet has time to be reflective. Though the film is purely science fiction, it does deal with themes about human nature and morality. Rick Deckard is a veteran police officer hunting down replicants (androids), who escaped a space colony, and are illegally hiding on earth. Deckard is faced with a choice of whether or not to destroy a replicant who shows human empathy. Deckard wears: a trench coat, deckard-type shirt and tie, brown dockers, brown belt, black sneakers or shoes. Extras: pistol, holster and inside jacket.

 

Tauriel is a woodland Elf whose name means “daughter of Mirkwood.” She appeared in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug for the first time, which confused some fans since she didn’t originate from J.R.R. Tolkien’s world. That being said, it’s a wonderful creation that adds a much needed female character to the series. From what we know about her, she is adventurous, impulsive and rebellious. She doesn’t always follow the social order of the Elves or listen to her elders, but follows her young 600-year-old mind. Cosplaying as Tauriel requires time and determination! She has stark auburn hair with a braid design. She wears: a long green cloak over a green shirt, arm braces, brown boots, brown leggings, and carries a bow & arrow. Extras: Elf ears, leather bodice and two daggers.

 

When you’re ready to wear your nature-fantasy costume, check these haunted hikes and trick-o-treating events! For more information on Halloween festivities see the Events Calendar in the Pocket Ranger® app.

Animal Prints, Ranked

Nature produces beautiful works of art. From the awe-inspiring sunsets to the alien-like creatures that swim in our oceans, Mother Nature is the most original artist of them all. In fact, animal prints are so unique, they’ve made their way into mainstream fashion.

We’ve compiled a list of the top 15 animals prints in nature. We ranked the list based on natural beauty and how well the design has impacted the fashion world. Do you agree with our list?

15. Giraffe

animal prints

Image: www.upload.wikimedia.org

Giraffes are some of the most beautiful creatures on Earth, but when it comes to wearing the design, it’s usually a no-go. For some reason, giraffe design never caught on in the mainstream fashion world, which is odd because they resemble cow patterns, but a different color.

14. Deer

animal prints

Image: www.flickr.com/photos/daveward

Yeah, we know what you’re thinking: “But Bambi was so cute.” Well, just like all children, once they grow up, looks fade. Of course deer fur is cute, but doesn’t translate well into any other medium.

13. Alligator

animal prints

Image: www.images.1233.tw/alligator-skin

Anything is a sign of luxury when it’s worn for fashion, but these not so gentile giant lizards aren’t necessarily nature’s beauty queens. That’s not to say they’re leathery skin isn’t a sight for sore eyes.

12. White Tiger 

animal prints

Image: www.ecx.images-amazon.com

White tigers are one of the most beautiful animals of all time. Did you know that white tigers are not true albinos? They are just a pigmentation variety of the usual Bengal tiger coat.

11. Leopard                   

animal prints

Image: www.glogster.com

Lots of people mix up leopards and jaguars. Leopard animal prints are less complicated than jaguar animal prints. Jaguar’s fur design consists of larger, less round circles. Leopards sports are golden brown spots inside of black, circular spots.

10. Dalmatian

animal prints

Image: www.etsy.com

We all know one person who would rank Dalmatians number one on this list. Coming in at no. 10 is the most well-known dog print in the world. These precious pooches sure do boast an interesting design for canines.

9. Tiger

animal prints

Image: www.brinvy.biz

Tigers are the largest, and thanks to their orange fur with black stripes, the most recognizable of the cat species.

8. Cheetah

animal prints

Image: www.wallpho.com

Cheetah prints are more clean cut than the previous two animals. The spots are more pronounced and organized.

7. Panther

animal prints

Image: www.thefabricexchange.com

Black is always chic, yet classic. Enough said. 

6. Ladybug

animal prints

Image: www.hdtiger.mobi/ladybug-photos

Not to be outdone, an insect jumps in at no. 6. Ladybugs may be small, but their red and black print makes them one of the most recognizable insects in the world.

5. Cow             

animal prints

Image: www.i.jootix.com

Cows’ signature black blotches make for a sleek design both on clothing and in nature.

4. Peacock

animal prints

Image: www.michael–fitzsimmons.deviantart.com

EVERYONE loves peacocks. Fun Fact: Did you know only males are peacocks, while females are called peahens?

3. Jaguar

animal prints

Image: www.gde-fon.com

Jaguar print comes in at no. 3 on our animal prints list. That’s only because if it’s not worn subtly, it can be considered tacky. But, do you know who wears it perfectly? Jaguars!

2. Zebra

animal prints

Image: www.//th02.deviantart.net

Are zebras black with white stripes or white with black stripes. It was commonly believed they were white with black stripes because their underbellies were white, but now science suggest they are black because that’s their color at their last embryonic stage.

1. Snake

animal prints

Image: www.gallsource.com

Taking the top spot are nature’s slithering serpents. Why? Snake skin designs are the most versatile in the animal kingdom in that they come in all colors and patterns. Snake skin designs are also extremely popular in the fashion world. They have brilliant yellows, bright oranges and even black.

 

Halloween Camping Recipes

The season of autumn has arrived and Halloween is in a few weeks, which means fall camping season is here! What better way to spend Halloween than camping outdoors? Here are a few spooky Halloween camping recipes to have your family screaming for more!

Marshmallow Witches Recipe

Courtesy of Tasteofhome.com

Halloween camping recipes with three marshmallow witches on a red plate

Image: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/118993615124823337/

This recipe is perfect for the whole family to enjoy. It takes 30 minutes to assemble and you can have the kids join in to help you. This recipe serves 12.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup vanilla frosting
  • 36 miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • 12 large marshmallows
  • 1 drop each of green, red and yellow food coloring (optional)
  • ¼ cup flaked coconut
  • 12 chocolate wafers
  • 12 miniature peanut butter cups
  • 12 milk chocolate kisses

Directions

  1. For the face of the witch, place a small amount of frosting on the bottom of the three chocolate chips, then press two for eyes and one for the nose onto the marshmallow.
  2. For hair, combine green food coloring and a drop of water in a small re-sealable plastic bag; add coconut and shake well. Spread a small amount of frosting on sides of marshmallows; press coconut hair into frosting. Then, place 3 tablespoons of frosting in a small heavy-duty, re-sealable plastic bag. Tint frosting orange by adding red and yellow food coloring. Set aside.
  3. For hats, spread some of the remaining frosting in the center of the chocolate wafers; press peanut butter cups upside down into frosting. Lightly spread bottoms of chocolate kisses with frosting and place on peanut butter cups. Cut a small hole in the corner of pastry or plastic bag and insert a small star tip. Fill the bag with frosting and make stars around the base of each peanut butter cup. To each witch, secure a hat to with a dab of frosting.

 Monster Claws

 Courtesy of Kraftrecipes.com

Chicken fingers monster claws on a plate with sauce

Image: www.kraftrecipes.com

Get a spook out of these crispy chicken fingers! Total cooking time is only 30 minutes and this recipe serves 4. (Recipe can be altered to serve more.)

Ingredients

  • 4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut lengthwise in half
  • 1 packet of Shake ‘N Bake Extra Crispy Seasoned Coating mix
  • ¼ red pepper, cut into 8 triangular pieces
  • ½ cup barbeque sauce (or any sauce of your preference)

Directions:

  1. Heat up your outdoor grill. (If you are in an RV, heat oven to 400ºF degrees.)
  2. Coat chicken with coating mix as directed on package. Place on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.
  3. Cook for 13-15 minutes or until chicken is done.
  4. Make ½ inch slit in thinner end of chicken strip; insert red pepper triangle in slit for the monster’s claw.
  5. Serve with your choice of sauce.

 

Pizza Mummies

 Courtesy of Spoonful.com

Several pizza mummies on a platter

Image: www.aflexiblelife.com

Add this to your all-time “Favorite Halloween Camping Recipes” list because it only takes 10 minutes, and you can alter the ingredients to make how much is needed.

Ingredients

  • English muffins
  • Pizza sauce
  • Black Olives
  • Scallions
  • Red or green pepper
  • Cheese sticks or slices

Directions

  1. Heat up your grill. (If you are in an RV, heat oven to 350ºF degrees.) For each mummy, spread a tablespoon of pizza sauce onto half of an English muffin.
  2. Set olive slices in place for eyes and add round slices of green or red pepper for pupils.
  3. Lay strips of cheese across the muffin for the mummy’s wrappings.
  4. Bake or grill pizzas for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the muffin is toasted.
Campground decorated for Halloween with tombstones and spiderwebs

Image: halloweencamping.com

Download your state’s Pocket Ranger® app to choose a state park that offers camping. Use the app’s Events Calendar to see which state park near you is hosting a Halloween and trick-or-treating event for campers!

Hauling a Stuck Kayak

Contributed by Alex Vail, The Flying Kayak

By this day and age, almost everyone knows that kayaks provide the ultimate form of watercraft for shallow waters. But with shifting tides and unpredictable weather, a paddler can easily find his or herself stranded in the mud. When this happens, what do you do? Wait for the tide to change? Try and haul the ‘yak to open water? Depending on the situation, there are several different things that one can try when they find the water’s run out and you’re left with a stuck kayak.

stuck kayak on a beach with gear

Image Credit: Alex Vail

Wait for the tide

If you’ve got all the time in the world to burn, this is probably the best and least strenuous method to get your stuck kayak back into the water. Depending on your region, massive shifts in the tide may be the norm. If you happen to have plenty of food, water, and shade (during the summer months), waiting around for a few hours isn’t the end of the world. Sit back, relax, and wait for nature to do its thing. Pay attention though, and note where areas of open water are. These will be the deepest and easiest to navigate once the tide comes back in.

Portage

For floating so well, kayaks can certainly be heavy, especially when weighted down with camping or fishing gear. Moving the kayak by hand can, at times, be a monumental task. But waiting for the tide to come in won’t always work. If foul weather is inbound, or other deadlines need to be met, a kayaker’s only option at times is to portage to the nearest water. I’ve found, however, that given certain scenarios, there are different methods that work best for moving that giant hunk of plastic. 

A man drags his kayak towards the water

Image Credit: Alex Vail

Dragging

This seems to be the most logical of ways to move a stuck kayak, right? Grab hold of the bow, and just start walking. A helpful hint when dragging: To help save your back, try tying your anchor line to the bow and walking with the anchor behind your back. It’ll save you from having to bend over to drag, and you won’t be off balance with one arm behind the other. But when the kayak weighs a ton, and you find yourself in mud rather than sand, dragging may not always be the best method.

Pushing 

It sounds rather odd, but I’ve found that often times pushing a kayak from the stern is the easiest method to move it. Thick mud mixed with water caters perfectly to this method. You can lean down on the stern, and just start driving with your feet. The ‘yak will start sliding and you’ll find pushing with just your feet can sometimes be much easier than pulling with your arms.

Wheels/Carts

If your lucky enough to get stranded in a spot with hard enough ground, wheels are going to be the easiest method to get back to water. Many kayakers carry their wheels or carts onboard with them. If you get stuck, simply get out, put the wheels on, and start dragging (or pushing). These wheels also make it a breeze if you happen to park a long distance from your launch.

There are, of course, a few final things to consider. Safety is (and should always be) priority number one. Remember not to let your back do the heavy work when moving your kayak. You certainly aren’t going ANYWHERE fast if you manage to throw your back out on the mud flat. If you happen to be kayak fishing, remember the safety of your valuable gear. Lay down your rods, or strap them down safely. All it takes is for your kayak to tip while dragging it and you’re staring at a pile of broken rod tips. Lastly, it’s always important to wear some sort of shoe while kayak fishing. If you’re forced to drag the kayak through mud mixed with oysters, bare feet aren’t the best option.

So if you find yourself stuck in the mud, always remember that you have options. Assess what kind of habitat you’re in, and judge whether or not hauling your stuck kayak by hand is the best option. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. It’s up to you to decide what’s best.

Halloween Haunted Hikes

Looking for your own Blair Witch Project experience this October? We’ve got you covered. Here’s a few of the best haunted hikes at the state and national parks, complete with monsters, ghosts, and chilling landscapes.

Creepy stick figures hang from the trees in the Blair Witch Project

Image: tumblr.com

Haunted Hikes

Wharton State Forest (New Jersey)

A sign warns that these woods are the home of the Jersey Devil

Enter if you dare! [Image: nxphoto.wordpress.com]

For three hundred years, people have reported sightings of the Jersey Devil. Described as a kangaroo-like creature with leathery wings, sharp talons and the head of a goat, the Jersey Devil roams the Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey. Legend says that this monster was born to Mother Leeds in 1735. Mother Leeds had a brood of 12 children, and when she discovered she was pregnant with her 13th, she cried, “Let this one be a devil!” Soon after being born, the baby transformed into a devil, quickly dispatching Mother Leeds and her many children thanks to its razor-sharp claws. More recent sightings include strange tracks and blood-curdling wails coming from woods and bogs in the Pine Barrens. In 2007, a man insists he saw a creature with a horse head and bat-like wings within the Wharton State Forest. Trek down Wharton’s Batona Trail for your own possible UBE (unidentified biological entity) encounter.

Maudslay State Park (Massachusetts)

An apparition runs through Maudslay State Park

Maudslay is Haunted! [Image: theaterintheopen.org]

Maudslay State Park was once the estate of the old English family, the Moseleys. Two beautiful manor homes and a gothic wooden castle were once on the property, but after a series of fires, these structures burned to the ground. So, what’s creepy about the place? Without the mansions, the layout of the park is disorienting; trails unexpectedly change, tall landscaped bushes crowd in on you, not to mention there’s a large, yawning opening to the old root cellar, reminiscent of the lair of Stephen King‘s It. The sprawling gardens themselves, while beautiful and lush in the spring and summer, take on an eerie tone in the late fall. There is a pet cemetery near the site of the old mansions, complete with headstones scrawled with pet names. It is also said that a former caretaker haunts the park. To celebrate Halloween, the park holds its annual Maudslay is Haunted event, which features a macabre walk through the park. If you’d rather go it alone, bring along Fido to keep you company on this perfectly ghostly stroll.

Olympic National Park (Washington)

A creepy fog veils Lake Crescent

Is that fog or are ghosts gathering over Lake Crescent? [Image: www.kaleberg.com]

Olympic National Park has gained some vampiric notoriety since being the backdrop for the Twilight series. Whether you’re a Twilight fan or a Sasquatch seeker, head to the Hoh River Trail. With huge trees towering overhead and green moss thickly carpeting the woodland floor, this primeval rainforest seems like the perfect habitat for mythical creatures of all kinds. Explore some of Hoh River Trail’s 35 miles on a rainy day for the ultimate fantastical experience.

If lake spirits are more your thing, trek over to the mysterious, crystal-clear waters of Lake Crescent. On a still day, you can peer 40 feet into its depths, but the heart of Lake Crescent plunges to pitch-black depths of over 600 feet! There are many tales of travelers meeting untimely, watery ends at Lake Crescent, and native lore speaks of how the Klallam tribe once conjured evil spirits here. In 1940, the body of 30-year old Hallie Latham Illingworth was found by fisherman. Hallie had been murdered three years earlier, and her body sunk into the icy depths of the lake. Through a process called saponification, her corpse washed ashore mummified. Hallie is now said to be the Lady of the Lake that haunts Lake Crescent. For possible ghost sightings, hike or mountain bike the 9-mile Spruce Railroad Trail that circles this beautiful but sinister waterbody.

Sleepy Hollow (New York)

A reenactment of the Headless Horsemen of Sleepy Hollow

The Headless Horsemen of Sleepy Hollow [Image: www.sleepyholloween.org]

The quiet, but infamous village of Sleepy Hollow is located on the banks of the Hudson River in Westchester County. This tiny town was the setting for Washington Irving’s famous ghost story, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” In Irving’s tale, schoolmaster Ichabod Crane encounters a headless horseman while riding home through the woods late one night. Although his horse and coat were discovered by villagers the next morning, Ichabod Crane was never seen in Sleepy Hollow again. On weekends throughout October, there are tours of Sleepy Hollow, including a reenactment of Ichabod’s harrowing ride. Luckily, you have something that Ichabod Crane didn’t have: Pocket Ranger®’s Official Friends of Westchester County Parks app. With features like Waypoint Marking and Alert (safety communication), you’ll never be wholly lost in those haunted woods.

Big Ridge State Park (Tennessee)

A sign with many creepy trail names for haunted hikes at Blue Ridge State Park

So many creepy paths… Which to follow first? [Image: hikinghot.blogspot.com]

The Ghost House Trail that loops through Blue Ridge State Park is rife with supernatural activity. From Indian Rock, where settler Peter Graves was scalped to the deeper woods where a young “witch” was purportedly hung, the trail has plenty to be apprehensive about. Most of the ghost stories center around the old Hutchinson home, now just ruins surrounded by eerie, quaking pines. In the late 1800s, the Hutchinson daughter, Mary died of tuberculosis. At the exact moment that she passed, visitors making their way to the house heard a dog run towards them. Raising their lanterns, there was no dog to be found. Along with the phantom dog that runs loose on the trail, Mary is sometimes heard crying near the ruins. Her father’s specter has been known to visit campfires in the area. Besides the Hutchinson house, spirits are also said to gather around the ruins of the gristmill, and others have caught ghostly orbs on camera when visiting the park’s Norton Cemetery. If you’re too afraid to go it alone, the park offers guided night hikes of the Ghost House Trail throughout October. These hikes will hit up the trail’s notorious, spooky spots, while rangers share their own tales of terror.

Kettle Moraine State Forest – Lapham Peak Unit (Wisconsin)

Lit jack-o-lanterns light the way on the Fright Hike at Lapham Peak

Image: bike-waukesha.blogspot.com

Dates: October 24 & 25th, 2014
The best way to burn off all the sugar from the Halloween candy you’ve been inhaling is to sign up for the annual Fright Hike at Lapham Peak in the Kettle Moraine State Forest. On this one-mile, eerie hike, watch out for ghouls and demons wandering the woods. Flashlights are optional. After surviving the hike, warm up by the witches’ bonfire and listen to ghost stories and live music. There’ll be frightfully good things to nibble and sip, like popcorn, hot dogs, and hot cocoa. If you’re feeling extra brave, come back the next night and do the Fright Hike all over again.

Suggested Gear List

All of these items and more can be found at Pocket Ranger®’s Gear Store.

Trick or Treating in State Parks

Halloween is just around the corner and you know what that means: candy for the kids! Check out these State Parks that are hosting trick-or-treating events.

Alabama

Kids dressed up in costumes for halloween in state park

Image: theshadowfarm.blogspot.com

Tannehill State Park
October 25th, 2014

The Tannehill Halloween Festival is hosting a non-scary, fun-filled holiday for those who want to stay away from ghosts and goblins. To sweeten this holiday, there will be trick or treating through 200 campsites during the evening.

Ohio

Orange pumpkin face bucket full with candy

Image: rohnertparkdentistry.com

East Harbor State Park
October 3rd and 4th and October 10th and 11th

This event occurs twice, so that means double the candy! Bring out the kids for trick-or-treating and to engage in games and activities.

Louisiana

Two people dressed up for halloween giving out  candy by car

Waiting for Trick or Treaters! {Image: owegopennysaver.com}

Rebel State Historic Site
October 31st, 2014

Rebel State Historic Site is hosting their 13th Annual Haunted Museum. They are offering a free parking lot on Halloween night to local sponsors for “Trunk or Treat.” This allows the community to gather and take children trick or treating in a single area. Come out and join the staff and many volunteers for this adventure.

Tennessee

Moving image of dark forest with dark ghost floating

WATCH OUT FOR THE SURPRISE ENDING! [Image: www.giphy.com]

Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park
October 31st, 2014
7:00 P.M.

Trick-or-treat in the Haunted Forest of this state park. There will be a lighted trail to lead the way so you won’t get lost! Ghosts and ghouls will be handing out yummy treats. It is recommended to dress warmly. Bring a flashlight and a candy bag. There is a donation of $1.00 per person at the entrance, and all proceeds go towards the park.

Michigan

Trick or treating in the park with a clown and other kids

Image: www.michigan.gov

Wilson State Park
October 11th, 2014
5:30 P.M. – 6:30 P.M.

Children 16 and under are welcome to come dressed in their costumes for a fun and safe evening of trick-or-treating. Businesses and individuals are invited to bring their vehicles and set up in the parking lot near the beach (at the south end of the park) to hand out candy to trick or treaters. For more information, call 989-539-3021.

Wisconsin

Light up pumpkin with trick or treat sign

Image: catcountry1073.com

Heritage Hill State Park
October 25th, 2014
5:00 P.M. – 9:00 P.M.

Families can enjoy history and Halloween activities at Heritage Hill State Park. Children can trick-or-treat throughout the park as well as participate in games, story telling and costume contests. There is a per person charge for admission. Call 920-448-5150 for more details.

New York

Haunted house with man dressed up as glow in the dark skelton

Image: www.gadling.com

Belmont Lake State Park
October 25th, 2014
4:00 P.M.

The 2nd Annual Great Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular Sail is finally here! There will be trick-or-treating as well as haunted houses and games. For more information, contact the state park directly at 631-667-5055.

Florida

Trick or treaters in costume

Image: blog.pe.com

Silver Springs State Park
October 31st, 2014
3:00 P.M. – 5:00 P.M.

Don’t miss this trick-or-treating event through the Lundy Center. Admission for children 10 and under is $3.00. For further information, call 352-261-5840.

Kids dressed up for halloween screaming for candy

Image: www.parade.condenast.com

Download your state’s Pocket Ranger® app for more information on these Halloween trick-or-treating events and more. By using the app’s advanced GPS mapping features, you won’t get lost on your way there!

“Halloween wraps fear in innocence,
As though it were a slightly sour sweet.
Let terror, then, be turned into a treat…”
~ Nicholas Gordon

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