Candles and the full moon will light trails at Lake Carlos State Park for visitors to ski or snowshoe on Saturday, Jan. 4, from 6-9 p.m.
Park employees and volunteers will fire up a wood stove and serve snacks and beverages at the Lakeview warming shelter. The event is free; however, a Minnesota State Park vehicle permit is required to enter the park, at a cost of $7 per day or $35 for an annual pass.
Skiers should bring their own equipment, as the park doesn't rent skis, said park naturalist Ben Eckhoff. Those planning to snowshoe can bring their own or rent them from the park for $6 a pair for kids and adults. The park offers a wide selection of snowshoes, including Alaskan and Ojibwe style as well as modern aluminum frames, that will fit small children all the way up to adults.
The park is discouraging hiking this year, because a layer of slush lies under the snow and hikers could easily get wet feet. Snowshoes keep visitors atop the snow layer, Eckhoff said.
“You can go out there but you’re going to get wet,” he said.
Ski trails were groomed Thursday, Jan. 2. Hiking, snowshoes and dogs are not allowed on groomed ski trails. The park is asking visitors to use "extreme caution" around lakes and wetlands as they remain unsafe at this time. Snowmobile trails are still closed for the season.