Michigan is home to many beautiful walking and hiking trails that offer great recreational opportunities in both peninsulas. Most are best suited for daytime outings, but when the sun goes down, one Metro Detroit forest truly shines: Glenlore Trails. This immersive, interactive, illuminated trail opened in Commerce Township in August 2020.

Scott Schoeneberger, co-owner of Glenlore Trails, says its parent company, Bluewater, focuses on sensory storytelling across both physical and digital canvases. When much of the live entertainment sector shut down due to Covid, they looked for a way to keep staff and customers engaged. Enter Glenlore Trails. “We wanted to create something different, something that required active participation and helped people get outside to create really memorable shared experiences,” he says. 

The mile-long path through a nighttime forest features story moments, interactive experiences, and beautiful art installations that immerse guests all along the trail. Schoeneberger explains, “This format provides a fun night out for families, something different for groups of friends, and makes for a great date night.”

Glenlore Trails offers different themed story times for the summer, fall, and winter seasons from Thursdays through Sundays, June to January. “You can take in the story as you travel the path or just ignore it and simply enjoy the color, light, and sound,” according to Schoeneberger.

The installations invite visitors of all ages to take snapshots of themselves immersed within the larger-than-life forest art. “The storylines we write are kept appropriate for all,” Schoeneberger assures. The path is compacted asphalt millings, making it easy for strollers and wheelchairs to navigate, and there are concessions along the trail that offer light snacks, beverages, and souvenirs. On Friday and Saturday nights, live musicians and performers add to both the auditory and visual experience. 

The trail, which takes anywhere from 45-90 minutes to walk, draws visitors from the Metro Detroit area, the greater Midwest, and even Pennsylvania and New York. Glenlore Trail opens around sunset: 9 p.m. in the summer, 7 p.m. in the fall, and 5 p.m. in the winter. Future plans include daytime entry and special experiences for adult visitors 21+. 

Schoeneberger says the community response has been absolutely incredible and recommends reserving tickets 2-3 weeks in advance, as they typically sell out. “This event is a labor of love. It takes a lot to keep things running smoothly, the site clean, and the lights on, but one positive comment from a guest on their way out makes it all worth it. Looking through online comments always brings us a smile as well. Many people say that Glenlore Trails is now a family tradition. I’m not sure if there’s a bigger compliment than that.”

Tickets for the rain-or-shine trail are $25 for adults (13+), $20 for seniors (65+), $15 for youth (4-12), and free for kids 3 and under. Discount group rates range from $18-22 per person.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit https://www.glenloretrails.com/