Spooky jaunt through the forest

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – Are you ready for a spooky trek through the woods of Belmont County?

If you are, John Barrath of the Lewis Arboretum Youth Camp invites you to the Haunted Trail, kicking off tonight and continuing Sunday, along with Oct. 29 and 30.

The fun gets under way at dusk and continues until 11 p.m. on Saturdays, 10 p.m. on Sundays.

“We have 53 acres out here, there is a lot to do,” Barrath said. ”So we decided to put on this haunted trail.”

The cost to partake in the festivities is $6 per person. Barrath said all children under the age of 13 must be accompanied by an adult and he doesn’t recommend the event for any kids younger than 10.

”It’s creepy enough walking through the woods, but we have a ton of stuff planned,” Barrath said. ”We have over 20 different things going on through the woods.

”This is our first year and we already have ideas for next year.

”Hopefully it’s received well and it can get bigger.”

Barrath explained those daring enough to brave the trail will walk through the woods and come out in a clearing with there is a huge shelter that will be set up as a giant maze they will half to walk through. Then there will be more trail.

”Walking through it, I’d say it will take about a half hour,” Barrath said.

The path through the woods will be lit with tiki torches and there will be little campfires at different sites along the path.

While the somewhat lit pathway may lull visitors into a false sense of security, Barrath noted something is surely lurking in the shadows to put a quick end to that.

All the money generated from the haunted trail goes directly back into the camp. All the workers are volunteer.

”Being our first year, we had to go out and buy just about everything,” Barrath said. ”Luckily, we had some sponsors help us out.”

Businesses donating to the cause include: Capstone Holding, DeFelice Pizza in St. Clairsville, Martins Ferry and Shadyside, The Loading Zone, South Central Power and Frank’s Web Design.

Barrath said his crew was working Friday to set everything up, including temporary fencing in the parking area.

To reach Lewis Arboretum, take the Flushing Exit (213) off of Interstate 70, turn right if you’re heading east and left if you’re coming from the west to Ohio 331. Make a right onto U.S. 40 and travel west before making a left turn at Oak View Rd./C.R. 84.

Stay on that rode, driving past the Belmont County Fairgrounds and Fox Commerce Park, following the signs that lead to the former Girls Scouts’ camp.

For more information, visit the LAYC Web page at www.lewisarboretum.com. You can also visit the LAYC Facebook page for more information.

Hughes may be reached at mhughes@timesleaderonline.com