Trailing Off

Students enchant West Linn’s younger population with a new and improved trail.

The Haunted Trail at Mary S. Young Park has been a fun way to entertain students on Halloween for half a decade. The trails were created largely to occupy teens anxious to tepee houses and give refuge for middle schoolers too old to trick-or-treat.

Thrill seekers have had the chance to not only walk through the Haunted Trail, but volunteer as one of the monstrous creatures hiding throughout it. Having walked through it twice and volunteered as a creature once, Ellen Willmarth, 11, knows the trail well.  

“I was a clown at the front that led people into the trail,” Willmarth said. “It was super fun every time, I definitely prefer being a part of it. I just loved getting the chance to scare people.”

The Enchanted Trail, which also takes place at Mary S. Young, is a path more suited to younger trail-goers. It has none of the gore or jump-scares found in the Haunted half, and focuses on characters from children literature. Aleesha Kazi, 11, was one of the few founders of the Enchanted Trail as it is today.

“The Enchanted Trail was already running but we made it more interesting and successful,” Kazi said. “We brought up the idea to include kids’ books, and I came up with the idea of ‘choose your own adventure.’”

Mary S. Young has hosted the Haunted and Enchanted Trails annually since 2010, but the

enchanted trail needed major change in 2012. The West Linn library’s Teen Advisory Board, (TAB), a group of students aged 12-18 who create and organize teen events at the library, took lead in this redo.

“It was important to us that the Enchanted Trail has none of the scare-factor of the Haunted Trail, while still being gender neutral,” Kazi said. “We didn’t want little boys to think it was too ‘girly’, and we didn’t want it to exclude little girls by being too ‘boyish’.”