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Minnesota parks, trails offer candlelight events

Thirty-eight candlelit skiing, snowshoeing or hiking events are being offered by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) this winter at state parks and trails throughout Minnesota, including Lake Carlos State Park.

The family-friendly events are typically held on candlelit trails that are short and flat, which are suitable for all ages and abilities. Participants can enjoy refreshments and the warmth of a fire after exploring trails lined with candle luminaries or lanterns.

The schedule of events features a New Year's Eve walk at Fort Snelling State Park and a Valentine's Day snowshoe outing at Wild River State Park.

Families can rent or check out equipment at some parks, but calling ahead to check availability and reserving the equipment is advised. Families are also encouraged to check out the Winter Activities page on www.mndnr.gov .

Before skiers make tracks to the trails, they will need a Minnesota Ski Pass (www.dnr.state.mn.us/licenses/skipass/index.html ) if they are 16 or older. Also, those who don't already have a Minnesota state park vehicle permit (www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/permit.html ) can purchase one at any of the parks at $5 for a one-day permit or $25 for a year-round permit.

2011-12 Candlelight Events at Minnesota State Park and Trails

Date/Park or Trail (City) Event, Time

Friday, Dec. 9

Zippel Bay State Park (Williams) Candlelight Ski/Snowshoe, 5-9 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 31

Fort Snelling State Park (St. Paul) Candlelight Walk/Ice Skate, 4-8 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 7

Itasca State Park (Park Rapids) Lantern-lit Ski/Snowshoe, 5-7:30 p.m.

Lake Carlos State Park (Carlos) Candlelight Ski, 6-9 p.m.

Sunday, Jan. 8

Zippel Bay State Park (Williams) Candlelight Ski/Snowshoe, 5-9 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 14

Banning State Park (Sandstone) Candlelight Ski, 4-7 p.m.

Hayes Lake State Park (Roseau) Candlelight Ski, 6-9 p.m.

Lake Bemidji State Park (Bemidji) Candlelight Ski/Snowshoe, 6-9 p.m.

Wild River State Park (Center City) Candlelight Ski/Snowshoe, 6-9 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 21

Charles A. Lindbergh State Park (Little Falls) Candlelight Ski/Snowshoe/Hike, 6-9 p.m.

Frontenac State Park (Frontenac) Candlelight Ski/Snowshoe, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

*Harmony-Preston Valley State Trail (Preston) Candlelight Ski/Snowshoe, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Nerstrand Big Woods State Park (Nerstrand) Candlelight Ski/Snowshoe, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 28

Buffalo River State Park (Glyndon) Candlelight Ski/Snowshoe/Hike, 6-9 p.m.

Glacial Lakes State Park (Starbuck) Candlelight Ski, 6-9 p.m.

Lake Bronson State Park (Lake Bronson) Candlelight Ski, 6-9 p.m.

Sakatah Lake State Park (Waterville) Candlelight Ski, 6-9 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 3

Lake Carlos State Park (Carlos) Candlelight Ski, 6-9 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 4

Afton State Park (Hastings) Candlelight Hike/Snowshoe, 6-9 p.m.

Buffalo River State Park (Glyndon) Candlelight Ski/Snowshoe/Hike, 6-9 p.m.

Glendalough State Park (Battle Lake) Candlelight Ski, 6-9 p.m.

Hayes Lake State Park (Roseau) Candlelight Snowshoe, 6-9 p.m.

Itasca State Park (Park Rapids) Lantern-lit Ski/Snowshoe, 5-7:30 p.m.

Lake Carlos State Park (Carlos) Candlelight Ski, 6-9 p.m.

Mille Lacs Kathio State Park (Onamia) Candlelight Ski, 6-9:30 p.m.

Rice Lake State Park (Owatonna) Candlelight Ski/Snowshoe/Hike, 6-9 p.m.

*Root River State Trail (Whalan) Candlelight Ski/Snowshoe, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

St. Croix State Park (Hinckley) Candlelight Ski, 4-7 p.m.

Zippel Bay State Park (Williams) Candlelight Ski/Snowshoe, 5-9 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 10

Jay Cooke State Park (Carlton) Candlelight Ski/Snowshoe, 6-9 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 11

*Gateway State Trail (Oakdale/Hadley Trail Head) Candlelight Hike, 6-9 p.m.

Lake Maria State Park (Monticello) Candlelight Snowshoe/Volksmarch, 6-9 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 14

Wild River State Park (Center City) Valentine Candlelight Snowshoe/Bonfire, 7-9 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 18

Father Hennepin State Park (Isle) Candlelight Ski, 6-9 p.m.

Gooseberry Falls State Park (Two Harbors) Candlelight Ski/Snowshoe/Hike, 6-8:30 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 25

Maplewood State Park (Pelican Rapids) Candlelight Ski, 6-8:30 p.m.

Old Mill State Park (Argyle) Candlelight Ski, 6:30-9 p.m.

Split Rock Lighthouse State Park (Two Harbors) Candlelight Snowshoe/Hike, 6-8:30 p.m.

In case of bad weather, events may be changed or canceled. For more information, including weather updates, directions to parks and where to get a ski pass, go to www.mndnr.gov , email info.dnr@state.mn.us or call the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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