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Lake Carlos State Park to host candlelight event, guided snowshoe hike tonight

Lake Carlos State Park will take advantage of Minnesota's final weeks of winter by hosting two special events on Saturday, February 27.

Both events encourage the public to explore the state park's frozen tamarack bog and maple-basswood forest.

Ryan Sansness, Lake Carlos State Park assistant manager, will lead a guided snowshoe hike from 10 a.m. until noon.

Along the way, he will discuss different styles of snowshoes and why snowshoeing is an excellent winter activity.

"Snowshoeing is a great way to access areas of the park, like the tamarack slough, that we normally cannot during the summer," said Sansness.

The park is also extending an invitation to the whole family for a candlelight ski and snowshoe event from 6 to 9 p.m. The evening of fun will include goodies and hot chocolate or coffee at the park's warming shelter.

"There is something magical about skiing or hiking along by moonlight on a forested trail lit by candle luminaries. The classic cross country ski trail will take skiers on a scenic tour along the wooded north shore of Lake Carlos," said Sansness. "It's a trail that skiers of all abilities will be able to negotiate with ease."

There is no charge for either of these events, but a vehicle permit is required to enter the park, and the Great Minnesota Ski Pass is required for skiers age 16 and older.

The daily vehicle permit and ski pass are available at the park for $5 each. Although the park does not have cross-country skis for rent, ski rentals are available in Alexandria. The park has a limited number of Alaskan and Ojibwe snowshoe rentals available for $6 a day for use at either event.

Call the park at (320) 852-7200 to reserve a pair and to register for the guided snowshoe hike. No reservations are needed for the candlelight event.

Please note that the candlelight event will be canceled if the temperature at noon that day is below 5 degrees Fahrenheit.

For more information, visit or call the park at (320) 852-7200.

To get to Lake Carlos State Park, go 10 miles north of Alexandria on Highway 29 and then take County Road 38 west for two miles to the park entrance.