Brainerd Area News

Things Go Bump In The Night At The Arb!


Haunted Trail Brings Out the Beasts of Brainerd
Northland Arboretum: Raising up conservation, education and recreation

What is lurking in the woods at the Northland Arboretum’s 17th Annual Haunted Trail?  Come find out for yourself – if you are brave enough!

Thursday, Friday and Saturday, October 17 -19th, 7 pm to 9 pm, the Arboretum trails turn thrilling and chilling for those who enjoy a little shock and gore.  The mile and a half-long trail is broken into “scare sections” which are run by over 200 volunteers each night.   Parts of the trail include clowns, zombies, scarecrows, monsters from movies, games for small children with prizes and much more.

Once again the Haunted Trail will feature both the high scare and low scare options.  “For years we saw people bringing out little kids in their arms and strollers.  And even though we told families that this is a very scary trail, probably not suitable for small children, people persisted.  We ended up taking a lot of small children off the trail about half-way,” said DeAnn Cady, Haunted Trail Co-coordinator.  “Last year we re-worked the trails to add additional low-scare sections with loops of high scare for those who have higher scare tolerances.  The low scare is still scary, but not ‘chased through the woods by a chainsaw’ scary.”

New on the trail are additional “inside” scare sections created by shipping containers and unique structures that give the trail a whole new feel.  “We wanted to be able to do some scenes that took more time to set up and are a little more vulnerable to the weather,” said Ruth Gmeinder, Haunted Trail Co-coordinator.  “With five container and the tunnel, we are able to do some really neat scenes.” 

Also new this year is the “Sponsor a Monster” and “Monster Hide and Seek.”  “We asked local businesses to come alongside the Arboretum and chose a monster to help promote their own business and tie into the Haunted Trail,” said Vicki Foss, Executive Director of the Northland Arboretum.  “We have had a wonderful response from the community and have had thirteen sponsors come forward.”  Sponsors got monsters to come to their businesses for photo shoots to be used in social media.  They also get to have their monster on the Monster Hide and Seek cards on Thursday night of the trail.  “Paid trail walkers can try to find all thirteen monsters, get their stamp on the hide and seek game piece, and be entered in a drawing for prizes,” said Foss.

Advanced ticket prices are $10/person, good for any one of the three-night run of the trail and are available at the Northland Arboretum Visitor Center.  On Wednesday, the price of tickets goes up to $13/person.  “It does help to get your tickets early!” said Caddy.   Fast Pass Tickets, $20/person which help you avoid all lines and gives you some trail extras are available at the Visitors Center, Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4:30 and on weekends, 10 am to 4 pm as well as VIP Tickets at $30/person which adds the “I Survived the Haunted Trail” t-shirt.

The Haunted Trail is the Northland Arboretum’s largest and most well-attended fundraiser of the year with crowds as 2000 people each evening.  The Arboretum is a non-profit dedicated to conservation, education, and recreation in the heart of Brainerd and Baxter.


If you would like more information about this event or about the Northland Arboretum, please contact Vicki Foss, Executive Director at 829-8770 or by email at