Attention hikers: It’s zombie season

FRIDAY, OCT. 11, 2013

Volunteer zombies are ready to eat your brains, or at least scare your brains, at Riverside State Park.
Volunteer zombies are ready to eat your brains, or at least scare your brains, at Riverside State Park.

There’s nothing like a walk in the woods populated by animated corpses.

Here’s your chance: Riverside State Park is organizing a series of half-mile Haunted Zombie Hikes, starting tonight and continuing through pre-Halloween weekend, as a fundraiser for the park and its foundation.

The Friday- and Saturday-night jaunts offer a chance to see some woodland nightlife, which during last year’s inaugural hikes included a doctor zombie, a clown zombie, a chainsaw zombie and car-wreck zombies. The all-volunteer plague of zombies varies by night, depending on whose turn it is to pop out and “not chase you, per se, but scare you,” said Cherie Gwinn, a program specialist for the park.

A girl around 9 was pretty close to a perfect zombie, Gwinn said. That zombie sat in the middle of the course, her back to hikers, and pretended to cry, luring hikers to approach before spinning around and revealing her undead status.

Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. The hike, along forest roads, isn’t difficult, but the uneven terrain could trip up people who require walkers, for example, said Shannon Cosner, who works with Gwinn at Riverside State Park Ranger Station in Nine Mile Falls.

Spookily flickering lights will provide some illumination, Cosner said, but “it’s supposed to be dark so that things can jump out and scare you.”

Adrian Rogers

When: The approximately 10-minute hikes run from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, starting tonight and through Oct. 26.

Where: Riverside State Park’s equestrian campground, 3402 N. Aubrey L. White Parkway. Follow the signs to the parking area past the campsites.

Cost: $5 a person, free for kids 3 and younger. No Discover Pass required.

Questions: (509) 465-5064 or riversidestatepark1@gmail.com.

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