Enter through the astral halls and wind your way past magical light displays and live entertainment at Glenlore Trails in Commerce Township.
Different art, light and interactive installations span this wooded trail, but Bluewater Technologies, the creators of the sensory experience, didn’t stop there.
“There’s a storyline that goes along with each of the installation pieces,” Scott Schoeneberger, a managing partner at Bluewater. “You can take in bits of story and the bits add up to a whole.”
Some highlights of the installation include hanging beams of light, mirrored surfaces that bounce color through the branches and glowing swirls around the trunks of trees along the path.
“You slowly work your way through the forest, and each area on the map is a different activation,” he says. “For example, the celestial clearing is a giant projection on the ground and as you enter a ring appears around you and you can form constellations on the ground with other people.”
How it started
Schoeneberger says the Wixom-based company was looking for ways to keep their staff engaged on projects when much of what they do (like retail displays, museum work and branding) had been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns last year.
“We went out and talked to different properties and people, and Multi Lakes Conservation Association is the first one that said ‘Yes,'” he says. “We partnered with them, and in July (2020) we started installing the first event in the series.”
The company also did a Halloween-themed trail before switching to the winter installation, Aurora, which will be replaced with seasonally-appropriate displays and stories as the year progresses.
People who come to visit have been so impressed by the displays that they’ve made the drive out to Grand Rapids and Taylor to see Bluewater’s other displays, says Schoeneberger.
“We quickly realized that there was a strong desire for families to get out of the house and engage with safe entertainment,” he says. “We’ve heard a lot of positive feedback and we have quite a following now of people who come to different variations of the event.”
“It’s amazing how thankful people are,” he adds. “It certainly warms our hearts and we’re happy to be giving a community something to do that otherwise wouldn’t have it.”
Safety protocols and when to visit
A priority for the creators of the installation was keeping families safe during the coronavirus pandemic, so all visitors are encouraged to wear masks and socially distance while visiting.
This year’s trail has been modified and is now over one-mile long. It will take about an hour to complete, so be sure to dress for the weather. Concessions are available for those that need to warm up after they see the trail.
Glenlore trails is open Thursday through Sunday starting Nov. 26. Tickets are free for 3 years old and under, $15 for 4-12-year-olds and $25 for those 13 years and older. Seniors ages 65-plus get $5 off the adult admission.
Groups rates and season passes are also available.
For more information on Glenlore Trails, and to get tickets for this year’s winter trail, visit them online at GlenloreTrails.com.
This post was originally published in 2020 and is updated regularly.
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