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Walk by candlelight at Lake Carlos State Park on Friday, Dec. 30

The event is planned as a walk currently, but participants are welcome to bring their own snowshoes to use.

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ALEXANDRIA — The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is hosting candlelight events across the state this winter, including one at Lake Carlos State Park on Friday, Dec. 30. Drop by any time between 6 and 9 p.m. for hiking as stars twinkle overhead and candles flicker in the snow.

“Candlelight events are a wonderful way to experience state parks in winter,” Ann Pierce, DNR Parks and Trails director, said in a press release. “On a cold winter’s night, there’s something beautiful about the flicker of candles reflected in the snow – it creates a magical feeling. Being active outside in winter is a great way to beat cabin fever, get some exercise and boost your mood.”

The 1.5-mile trail starts at the beach parking lot and is suitable for beginner-level hikers of all ages. The event is planned as a walk currently, but participants are welcome to bring their own snowshoes to use. If snow and trail conditions change, snowshoes will be able to be rented at the park. Call 320-852-7200 in advance to confirm the availability of equipment and check snow conditions.

The evening wraps up with a cup of hot apple cider, cookies and roasted marshmallows near a crackling bonfire at the Lakeview Warming Shelter.

For weather-related event updates, call 320-852-7200 or check visitor alerts at mndnr.gov/lake_carlos .

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A vehicle permit is required to enter Minnesota state parks. Although permits are available at the park, visitors can save time by getting one in advance. Visit mndnr.gov/reservations, log in or create an account, then click on “vehicle permit.” Next, select a duration of one-day ($7) or annual ($35) and continue as directed. An email will be sent with a permit that can be printed and displayed during park visits.

State park events take place year round, offering a variety of activities. For the complete events schedule – including dates, times and other details – visit the state park events calendar at mndnr.gov/ptcalendar .

For more information, 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 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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