Candle lit tour through Elk River Trailhead to the Headwaters Forest Reserve. Photo credit: Lauren Shea

Halloween at Headwaters


By | Lauren Shea

The fog crept in and darkness started to fall as people walked further in the forest listening to the stories of the past.

Over 60 people came down Elk River road to experience their Halloween weekend in a creative and educational way on Saturday night. Halloween at Headwaters Forest Reserve took you through the forest trail guided by candle light on the sides of the trail. The event was based on the living history of the old logging town Falk that use to make up the area.

“We’re going on a spooky hike tonight,” said one of the trail leaders. “Where you can hear the echoes of the past.”

Another character talking about his time in the town Falk. Photo credit: Lauren Shea

People from all ages walked the trail led by people playing characters that were dressed in clothing that were worn in the late 1800’s. They spoke about their life in the town of Falk.

There were many people from the park system volunteering their time to the event. Deja Malone who works for the Watershed and Stewards Program talked about her time with the event.

“Tonight, we are here to celebrate Halloween at Headwaters,” Malone said. “We have a fabulous turnout tonight.”

This is the secnd time the event is being held at Headwaters Forest Reserve.

“It’s a great way to educate the public about this town in a creative way,” Malone said.

One of the characters talking about her time in the town Falk. Photo credit: Lauren Shea

Noah Falk, the founder of the town Falk, purchased 160-acre parcels and started the Elk River Lumber Mill in 1884. The mill was about an hour away from Eureka by stagecoach, so the town was self-sufficient. The town contained a cookhouse, general store, dance hall, post office and many homes. At one point, there were about 400 people that lived in the town of Falk.

The Elk River railroad took lumber and people to the town of Bucksport, where the Bayshore Mall is today. The town was only 2 miles away from the “big city” of Eureka where old town Eureka is today.

Many families went to the event. Erin Ortiz, from Eureka, went with her daughter. She was happy to be able to take her daughter through the trail.

“It was really great,” Ortiz said. “We learned about how to stay away from rivers and how people lived back in the 1900s.”

The mill was abandoned in 1937 because of The Great Depression and the town disappear after the 1950s.

“Deer, bears and cougars started to take over the town after it was abandoned,” one of the characters said.

In March of 1999, the federal government purchased the land that is now Headwaters Forest Reserve.

Volunteer telling stories inside the Headwaters Outdoor Education Center. Photo credit: Lauren Shea

Nicole Hewitt, student at HSU, said it was fun to come out and see the reserve.

“It was pretty awesome,” Hewitt said. “I’ve never been to the Headwaters Reserve. It was interesting to hear some of the history behind this place.”

The tour ended at the Headwaters Outdoor Education Center, a building left over from the town that has since been remodeled as an education center. Another volunteer told stories inside the barn.

The Headwaters Forest Reserve is open all year round to walk the trails and forest of the old remains of the town Falk.

For more information on Headwaters Forest Reserve, visit

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