Carlos State Park will set up luminaries during the full moon from 7-9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 29, for those who wish to snowshoe or hike.
For this event, a new trail has been added that will be lit as well in a new area, to provide new scenery for those who have already been to a candlelight event this season. This trail requires snowshoes and will have someone directing people to the appropriate trail.
Ben Eckhoff, an area naturalist with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, said Friday that the trail in the Tamarack fen will be lit with lanterns again for snowshoers/hikers, as it has for the previous two events. Snowshoes are not required, he said, unless you wish to go off the hard-packed trail.
Because of all the melting and refreezing this past week, the trail is a little icy and slippery, Eckhoff said. he recommends modern snowshoes with crampons or ice cleats to provide extra traction.
Also, the beginning of the trail has wet areas, and he encourages participants to remain on the trail until getting to the cut through/loop intersection.
Snowshoers are asked to stay off ski trails. Signs will guide visitors to a special snowshoe area only accessible in the winter.
At least 1.3 miles of snowshoe trail will be lit. Snowshoes are available to rent at the park office for this event on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The park's wood stove will be going and there will be snacks and refreshments in the Lakeview warming shelter. Visitors can park at the beach.
The moonlight events have proved immensely popular with the public, with more than 900 taking part in January and 425 attending the first one in February. As always, volunteers are needed, and those who wish to volunteer may contact area naturalist Ben Eckhoff at 320-852-7200, ext. 227.
"It has been a great season and we are looking to cap it off with this final event on Leap Day," Eckhoff said.