Spooktacular Hike to End After Twelve Years

Smokey Bear’s Spooktacular Candlelight Event

Peninsula State Park (PSP)

 Saturday, October 12, 2013

5 – 7:30 PM, Park at Nicolet Beach, Follow Directional Signs

Spooktacular to End After Twelve Years This year’s Annual Spooktacular Candlelight Walk will be the event’s final year. Thank you for a wonderful run! Thousands of people have learned about Smokey Bear’s fire safety rules, experienced spooky candlelit forest walks, and mingled with woodsy costumed characters.

Why end the event? Simply put, it enables park staff to better allocate limited resources and thus deliver a stronger educational program.

What might a “stronger educational program” look like?

  • Additional fall hikes and history talks, especially two weeks prior to and the week following Columbus Day Weekend
  • Extended Nature Center Hours
  • Additional family programs that emphasize Peninsula’s natural and cultural heritage and outdoor recreation that is compatible with site preservation

What major initiatives are already underway?

  • Nature Center Building Improvements
  • Property Infrastructure Improvements (15-17 budget)
  • Master Planning (initiated in 2010 & ongoing)

What other park improvement projects might occur?

  • Improve PSP educational signage & publications
  • Refurbish sections of park trails
  • Secure irreplaceable archival documents
  • Control invasive species

How have Spooktacular resources become “limited”?

The table below illustrates how available resources have changed.

  • Door County has a limited pool of volunteers. Note the county’s population size and the number of students enrolled in the local school district.
  • Friends of Peninsula State Park (FPSP) has supported the event for six years. FPSP is allocating volunteer and financial resources towards fundraising for nature center building improvements, invasive species control, and overseeing the park’s merchandise sales. FPSP is unable to officially sponsor the event at this time.


Available Resources and Door County Demographics




Spooktacular Attendance

200 estimated


Volunteer Hours

100 estimated

360 estimated

Gibraltar Schools K-12 Enrollment



US Census



Total Door County Population



65+ Years – Residents




In summary, PSP is unable to facilitate an event of this magnitude, one that has attracted up to 2,200 people. PSP has limited resources and is committed to future improvement projects, including enhancement of park education through Nature Center upgrades.


Comments Welcome  If you wish to share comments related to the decision to end PSP’s Spooktacular Hike, please contact PSP Superintendent Kelli Bruns at kelli.bruns@wisconsin.gov or phone 920-868-3258.

It’s time to say THANK YOU!  You know who you are … the folks who donned costumes, lit and relit candles, hauled decorations and cleaned up after everyone else left!  So many memories … J