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Get Outdoors!Nature Programs and Events Calendar

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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Candlelight Ski

Time: 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Activities: Candlelight events, Cross country ski, Night event
Location: Governor Knowles SF

Candlelight ski the Brandt Pines Recreational Trail System, 26001 Gile Road Grantsburg. This is a free event: no trail passes required. No pets please. Flashlight/headlamp suggested. No hiking or biking on the groomed trails. If snow conditions are not favorable for skiing on the trails, a candlelit hike will still take place. Hot chocolate, warm cider, and baked goods will be available at the warming shelter in the center of the trail system.


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Governor Knowles SF information

Hunters will find whitetail deer, ruffed grouse, black bear, snowshoe hare, squirrel and woodcock on the forest. For visitors more interested in watching wildlife, the varied habitat on the forest afford opportunities to see a wide variety of animals, including sharp-tailed grouse, common yellow throat, bald eagles, pocket gopher, mink and muskrat. This state forest also provides a variety of trail-based activities such as hiking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling, both a family and equestrian campground, and other nature based activities such as nature study and wildlife viewing.


Mailing Address: 325 State Road 70, Grantsburg, Wisconsin 54840

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Winterfest and Candlelight Snowshoe/Hike

Time: 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Activities: Astronomy, Candlelight events, Festivals, Hike, Night event, Outdoor activity, Snowshoeing
Location: Merrick SP

Join us for our third annual Winterfest! Fun activities are planned throughout the night! Try snowshoeing or hiking on a trail lit by hundreds of glowing luminaries. Professor Jennifer Anderson, from Winona State University, and their Astronomy Club, will have telescopes for viewing of the night sky. Go sledding or just warm up by the bonfire. Enjoy hot chocolate, have a hot dog or make a s'more. Some snowshoes will be on hand for visitors to borrow. If there's not enough snow for snowshoeing, event will be held as a hike. In the event of inclement weather this program will be cancelled. Park stickers are required and will be available for sale. Please, no pets. Meet at the Nature Center (near the playground). Sponsored by the Merrick T.U.R.T.L.E.S (the park Friends Group).

Candlelight skis/hikes are very popular events at DNR properties, with some attracting thousands of visitors on a given night. Given the recent publicity of these events through social media outlets and the department's responsibility to provide a safe recreational experience, access to these events may be restricted at times when parking capacity has been reached. Thank you for helping make these events a success.


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Merrick SP information

Located along the lazy Mississippi River and surrounded by the hills of Wisconsin's Coulee Region, the 322-acre Merrick State Park is popular with anglers and boaters. The marshy backwaters are home to a variety of fish, birds, animals and plants. Rising and falling river levels, though controlled some by dams, are part of the natural environment.


Mailing Address: S2965 State Road 35 , P.O. Box 127 , Fountain City, Wisconsin 54629

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Willow River Candlelight Ski, Hike and Snowshoe

Time: 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Activities: Candlelight events, Cross country ski, Hike, Night event, Outdoor activity, Snowshoeing
Location: Willow River SP

Join the fun at Willow River's Nature Center for our annual candlelight event. Enjoy 2-3 miles of candlelit trails for skiing, hiking and snowshoeing. There will be two bonfires and refreshments will be available. No pets allowed. This event is sponsored by The Friends of Willow River and Kinnickinnic State Parks. Visit the Friend's website [exit DNR] for more information.

Candlelight skis/hikes are very popular events at DNR properties, with some attracting thousands of visitors on a given night. Given the recent publicity of these events through social media outlets and the department's responsibility to provide a safe recreational experience, access to these events may be restricted at times when parking capacity has been reached. Thank you for helping make these events a success.


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Willow River SP information

With nearly 3,000 acres of prairie, forests, and panoramic river scenery, Willow River State Park offers year-round recreation opportunities in western Wisconsin. The park is about five miles northeast of Hudson, and has a campground, a boat launch and a 400-foot beach and picnic area centered on 172-acre Little Falls Lake.


Mailing Address: 1034 County Highway A, Hudson, Wisconsin 54016

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Candlelight Ski and Hike

Time: 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Activities: Candlelight events, Cross country ski, Hike, Night event, Outdoor activity
Location: Governor Thompson SP

Join us at Gov. Thompson State Park for a fun-filled evening of candlelit skiing and hiking. Warming fires and hot chocolate provided! Meet at the Woods Lake Picnic Area. The park and trails will be lit by candle luminaries and accented with ice sculptures. Skiers can take an easy 1-mile loop candlelit trail groomed for both classic (diagonal striding) and skate skiing as it weaves through the woods. Hikers are welcome to hike another 1-mile candlelit trail with scenic views over Woods Lake. Hikers, snowshoers and pets are not allowed on the ski trail, but are welcome on the hiking trail. Vehicle admission (park sticker) is required and can be purchased at the park office. Trails start at the Woods Lake Picnic Area off of Paust Lane, 1.5 miles west of Parkway Road off Ranch Road.

Candlelight skis/hikes are very popular events at DNR properties, with some attracting thousands of visitors on a given night. Given the recent publicity of these events through social media outlets and the department's responsibility to provide a safe recreational experience, access to these events may be restricted at times when parking capacity has been reached. Thank you for helping make these events a success.


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Governor Thompson SP information

Governor Thompson State Park was established in 2000, the Wisconsin State Park System's centennial year. With more than 2,800 acres of woods, a family campground, picnic area on Woods Lake, skiing and hiking trails, and six miles of shoreline on the Caldron Falls Flowage, visitors will find an atmosphere that is perfect for solitude, reflection, and recreation.


Mailing Address: N10008 Paust Lane, Crivitz, Wisconsin 54114

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Candlelight hike and astronomy viewing

Time: 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Activities: Astronomy, Candlelight events, Cross country ski, Hike, Night event, Snowshoeing
Location: Wyalusing SP

Join the Friends of Wyalusing State Park for a winter candlelight event. Depending on the amount of snow there will be hiking, cross-country skiing, snow shoeing, and astronomy viewing with the StarSplitters. Enjoy the torch-lit trail as it follows Whitetail Meadows Trail through prairie and woods. Enjoy star gazing in the crisp cool winter air. Telescopes and astronomy information will be presented by the StarSplitters. There will be bonfires and refreshments available to warm you up. All activities will start at the Larry Huser Astronomy Building. Sponsored by the Friends of Wyalusing and StarSplitters of Wyalusing. A park sticker is required and can be purchased at the park office


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Wyalusing SP information

At Wyalusing State Park, camp 500 feet above the confluence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi rivers. One of Wisconsin's oldest state parks, Wyalusing features family and group camps, hiking trails, a canoe trail, Native American burial mounds, bird watching, fishing, boating, bicycling, and picnicking near several scenic overlooks of the river valleys below.


Mailing Address: 13081 State Park Lane, Bagley, Wisconsin 53801

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Tree Identification in Winter

Time: 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Activities: Educational Programs, Tree study
Location: Newport SP

Arborist and horticulturist Tom Wolfe will be sharing his vast knowledge of trees as we learn to identify trees during the winter months. There could be some time spent outdoors, depending on the weather. Please dress accordingly. Meet in the Nature Center.


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Newport SP information

Newport State Park, northeast of Ellison Bay, is Wisconsin's only formally-designated wilderness park. With 2,373 acres and 11 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, the park offers quiet alternatives to bustling Door County. Explore 30 miles of hiking trails with hike-in campsites. There are evergreen and hardwood forests, wetlands and upland meadows.


Mailing Address: 475 County Highway NP, Ellison Bay, Wisconsin 54210

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Winter Wildlifers

Time: 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Activities: Outdoor activity, Outdoor skills, Snowshoeing, Story time
Location: Crex Meadows

Families are offered a chance to discover wildlife through stories, songs, hands-on activities, games, crafts, and snacks. Winter Wildlifers is a free, no-registration, no-obligation program that encourages families to get out and enjoy nature. Dress for the weather. Ages 2 - 8.


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Crex Meadows information

Crex Meadows Wildlife Area is a 30,000 acre property of wetlands, brush prairies, and forests scattered across a gently rolling landscape. It is located in western Burnett County. Find it from Highway 70 in Grantsburg. Directional signs will guide you through Grantsburg to the Crex Meadows Wildlife Education and Visitor Center, which is located on County Road D.


Mailing Address: 102 East Crex Avenue, Grantsburg, 54840

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Seasonal Scavenger Hunt

Time: 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Activities: Drop-in Program, Outdoor activity, Scavenger hunt
Location: Devil's Lake SP

Back again this winter! Families will receive a set of clues to go on a scavenger hunt. Each family will need to work as a team as they hike along the trails to complete this challenge! Some challenges require a GPS unit (provided by the Nature Center) and make sure to bring your camera! You'll receive a small prize for completing one of the challenges. Pick up your clues at the Nature Center, then head out for an adventure!


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Devil's Lake SP information

Founded in 1911, Devil's Lake is the third oldest state park in Wisconsin, the largest, and the most visited. Devil's Lake offers magnificent views from 500-foot quartzite bluffs overlooking a 360-acre lake. Enjoy lakeshore picnic areas, sandy swimming beaches, 29 miles of hiking trails, or ease into the backcountry solitude. Devil's Lake is a beautiful year-round park with an intriguing natural history along the 1,000-mile Ice Age National Scenic Trail.


Mailing Address: S5975 Park Rd., Baraboo, Wisconsin 53913-9299

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Nature Storytime

Time: 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Activities: Children's program, Nature study, Story time
Location: Interstate SP

Naturalist Colleen Tolliver will share a stories, songs and fun activities with pre-schoolers and their parents. A short activity following the story will reinforce the story's nature-related theme. Nature Storytime will generally last between 30-60 minutes, depending on the participants. Time will be spent outdoors, weather permitting. Dress for the weather; dress for fun!. Meet at the Ice Age Center.


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Interstate SP information

Interstate is Wisconsin's oldest state park, established in 1900. Located along the picturesque St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, the park provides scenic views of the river and the steep-sided gorge known as the Dalles of the St. Croix. The Ice Age Interpretive Center features a film, photographs, murals and information


Mailing Address: State Highway 35, St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin 54024

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Paint and Sip-Winter Cardinals

Time: 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Activities: Arts and Crafts, Indoor activity
Location: Richard Bong SRA

Jose Palomo from Picasso Vino guides you step by step to paint your own masterpiece. For ages 21+ and for all abilities. Please call (262) 878-5601 to pre-register, fee is $30 to cover cost of supplies. Sponsored by the Bong Naturalist Association. Meet at the Visitor Center.


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Richard Bong SRA information

Once designated to be a jet fighter base, Richard Bong State Recreation Area is fittingly named after Major Richard I. Bong, a Poplar, WI native who was America's leading air ace during World War II. The air base was abandoned three days before concrete was to be poured for a 12,500-foot runway. Local citizens had the foresight to protect this open space for future generations.


Mailing Address: 26313 Burlington Rd., Kansasville, Wisconsin 53139

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Winter Fest

Time: 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Activities: Arts and Crafts, Candlelight events, Festivals, Food, Night event, Outdoor activity, Snowshoeing
Location: Pattison SP

Come to Pattison State Park for Winterfest with crafts, bonfire, chili, 'smores, hot chocolate and coffee, sledding, snowshoeing and a candlelight snowshoe hike. Sponsored by the Friends of Amnicon & Pattison State Parks.


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Pattison SP information

Pattison State Park features the highest waterfalls in Wisconsin and the fourth highest waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains. Big Manitou Falls is 165 feet high, and Twin Little Manitou Falls is 31 feet high. This 1,436-acre park also has a lake with a beach, a nature center, camping, nine miles of hiking trails and abundant wildlife.


Mailing Address: 6294 S State Rd 35, Superior, Wisconsin 54880

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Candlelight Hike

Time: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Activities: Candlelight events, Hike, Night event, Outdoor activity
Location: Yellowstone Lake SP

Friends of Yellowstone Lake State Park are hosting their annual Candlelight Hike. The mile long hike will be along the Wildlife Loop that is located by the park office. A warming fire and refreshments will be waiting for you. The event is free, though a 2018 vehicle park sticker is required.


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Yellowstone Lake SP information

Yellowstone Lake State Park is in the driftless area of southwest Wisconsin. This 1,000-acre park, has a 455-acre lake, which offers visitors ample space to enjoy camping, swimming, fishing, boating, hiking, biking and picnicking. In winter the park is open to ice fishing, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing.


Mailing Address: 8495 Lake Road, Blanchardville, Wisconsin 53516

Note: Event dates and times are subject to change or cancellation. Please verify event status, dates and times prior to attendance.

Last revised: Wednesday, October 18, 2017