By Joel Hall
While usually a scenic and peaceful place, Clayton County International Park will soon play host to zombies, ghouls, and chain-saw-wielding maniacs. Starting Wednesday, and continuing until Halloween, the park will host its first-ever "Trail of Terror," a haunted trail on the grounds near the park's St. Barts Pavilion.
The haunted trail will be open on Oct. 28 and 29, from 7:30 to 10 p.m., and on Oct. 30 and 31, from 7:30 to 11 p.m.
On Oct. 31, from 3 to 7 p.m., the park will also host a fall festival, a free event featuring Halloween games, movies and activities for children.
Clayton County International Park Administrator Troy Stubbs said this will be the first time the park has hosted a haunted trail. He said the walk-through trail will feature several scary stages -- not for the faint of heart.
"A lot of places have quit doing haunted houses and haunted trails due to budgetary constraints," Stubbs said. "We were able to put together something pretty neat that is going to be different. It's about 200 yards long and consists of about eight different stages. There will be Michael Myers, Jason ... [and] there is a zombie-stage scene. They [will] walk through the trail, and at the end, a hay ride will take them back to their cars."
Admission to the "Trail of Terror" is $5 per person, Stubbs said.
Amy Keeney, marketing and sales manager for the Clayton County Parks and Recreation Department, said children under the age of 13 will need to have an adult accompany them through the trail. The fall festival on Halloween, however, will offer an array of activities for people of all ages, she said.
"We basically want to give children a place to go for Halloween," Keeney said. "We are doing the fall festival for the younger kids and the 'Trail of Terror' for the older kids. They can go and do this, and then trick-or-treat in the evening, so it gives them a chance to enjoy Halloween all day long."
According to Keeney, the fall festival will feature music, arts and crafts, a costume contest, slides, a maze, moon walks, nine different types of carnival games, and a pumpkin relay, in which the people will work in teams to pass a pumpkin over their heads and through their legs faster than their competitors. Attendees will also have a chance to win prizes for bringing the best, pre-carved pumpkins with them to the festival.
Starting at dusk on Oct. 31, the park will host a Halloween screening of the DreamWorks film, "Monsters vs. Aliens." Popcorn, nachos, cotton candy, and drinks will be provided.
Stubbs said the "Trail of Terror" and the fall festival are attempts by the park to offer special programs every month.
"It just gives the park more visibility and allows us to give a year-wide service, as opposed to just things at The Beach," Stubbs said.
For more information, call (770) 603-4005, or visit www.claytonparks.com.