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Weekly News Published - December 18, 2018 by the Central Office

 

More than 35 candlelight events scheduled this winter at Wisconsin state parks, forests and trails

Contact(s): Paul Holtan, DNR office of communications, 608-267-7517

MADISON - Warmer temperatures in the last week and little snow so far this season have winter snow enthusiasts hoping for a cool down and some timely snowfalls before to get trails ready for the more than 30 candlelight events scheduled for this winter at Wisconsin state park, forest, recreation area and trail properties.

"Winter candlelight events are some of the most popular activities at Wisconsin State Park System properties," said Ben Bergey, Wisconsin State Park System director. "We have had candlelight skis and hikes in the last few winters that have attracted hundreds and even over a thousand visitors. They have also become a long-standing tradition at some of our properties. This will be the 29th year for candlelight events at Pike Lake and Newport and the 27th year for the Flambeau River State Forest."

More than 35 candlelight events are scheduled this winter at Wisconsin State Park System properties.  While the events are labeled 'candlelight' some properties use Tiki torches or other luminaries.
More than 35 candlelight events are scheduled this winter at Wisconsin State Park System properties. While the events are labeled "candlelight" some properties use Tiki torches or other luminaries.Photo credit: DNR

This winter's candlelight events kick off January 5 with Blue Mound and Mirror Lake state parks holding events. The largest number of events will be held January 19, February 2 and February 9.

Events at Lapham Peak Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest and Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center attract so many visitors that all of the available parking fills. Horicon offer shuttles from other locations and Lapham Peak encourages people to car pool. Parking vouchers are required prior to arrival at the Lapham Peak event.

The park system plans on again using the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Twitter social media platform to alert people when an event has reached capacity or has been cancelled due to inclement weather. Event visitors are encouraged to post photos on their Twitter and Instagram accounts using the hashtag #OutWiGo, the park system's new initiative -- pronounced "Out-We-Go" -- to promote activity and good health through the great outdoors.

Some properties offer skiing, snowshoeing and hiking, while others offer just skiing or just snowshoeing and hiking. Most events begin around sunset and run until 8:30 or 9 p.m.

Many of the events include additional activities such as bonfires, and hot chocolate and other refreshments may be available for sale. Some events offer grills for cooking food or roasting marshmallows. Some properties have warming shelters that are open for the events. Many of the events are organized by the friends groups of the parks, which provide much of the volunteer labor for the events.

People can check on the details of each event by going to the Department of Natural Resources website, dnr.wi.gov, and searching keyword "candlelight." Some friends groups had not finalized details for events this winter, so additional events will be added as they are finalized. For more information on park or forest properties and locations, search for keywords "find a park." 2019 Wisconsin State Park admission fees and trail passes apply for the events unless otherwise noted.

While most events will not be cancelled due to lack of snow, they still could be cancelled if conditions are icy, extremely cold or have severe wind chills, so people are encouraged to check the website, follow the DNR Twitter feed, or call properties directly to confirm the event will be held if threatening weather is in the forecast.

2019 Winter Candlelight Events at State Parks, Forests and Trails

Saturday, January 5, 2019

  1. Blue Mound State Park - Candlelight Ski, Hike and Snowshoe
  2. Mirror Lake State Park - Candlelight Ski, Hike, and Snowshoe

    Saturday, January 12, 2019

  3. Lake Kegonsa State Park - Candlelight Ski
  4. Wildcat Mountain State - Candlelight ski, snowshoe, hike and winter star gazing

    Saturday, January 19, 2019

  5. Governor Dodge State Park - 20th Annual Candlelight Ski, Hike and Snowshoe
  6. Heritage Hill State Park - Luminary Walk $
  7. Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center - Candlelight Hike
  8. Kettle Moraine State Forest - Southern Unit - Candlelight Ski and Hike
  9. Lake Wissota State Park - Candlelight Ski, Hike and Snowshoe
  10. Rib Mountain State Park - Candlelight Snowshoe Hike

    Friday, January 25, 2019

  11. Red Cedar State Trail - Annual Candlelight Ski and Hike

    Saturday, January 26, 2019

  12. Brunet Island State Park - Candlelight ski, snowshoe and family sledding party
  13. Hartman Creek State Park - Candlelight ski, hike and snowshoe
  14. Kettle Moraine State Forest - Pike Lake Unit - Friends of Lapham Peak Annual Candlelight Ski/Hike
  15. Point Beach State Forest - Candlelight Ski and Hike
  16. Whitefish Dunes State Park - Candlelight Ski and Hike

    Friday, February 1

  17. MacKenzie Center - Candlelight Snowshoe Hike

    Saturday, February 2, 2019

  18. Big Foot Beach State Park - Candlelight Hike
  19. Black River State Forest - Candlelight ski and snowshoe
  20. Flambeau River State Forest - 27th Annual Flambeau River Candlelight Ski and Hike
  21. Kettle Moraine State Forest - Northern Unit - Candlelight Ski/Hike
  22. Mirror Lake State Park - Candlelight Ski, Hike, and Snowshoe
  23. Peninsula State Park- Candlelight Ski, Hike, and Snowshoe

    Saturday, February 9, 2019

  24. Copper Falls State Park - Candlelight Ski/Snowshoe
  25. Devil's Lake State Park - Candlelight Snowshoe
  26. Interstate State Park - Candlelight Night in the Park
  27. Kettle Moraine State Forest - Pike Lake Unit - 29th Annual Pike Lake Candlelight Ski and Hike
  28. Newport State Park - 29th Annual Candlelight Ski, Hike and Snowshoe
  29. Richard Bong State Recreation Area - Return to Romance $

    Saturday, February 16, 2019

  30. Brule River State Forest - Candlelight Ski and Snowshoe
  31. Governor Thompson State - Candlelight Ski and Hike
  32. Willow River State Park - Candlelight Ski, Hike and Snowshoe
  33. Wyalusing State Park - Candlelight hike and astronomy viewing

    Saturday, February 23, 2019

  34. Hank Aaron State Trail - Urban Candlelight Hike
  35. Rib Mountain State Park - Candlelight Snowshoe Hike

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10 First Day Hikes to be held Jan. 1, 2019

Contact(s): Paul Holtan, office of communications, 608-267-7517

MADISON - The Wisconsin State Park System is once again hosting First Day Hikes on New Year's Day. These hikes offer visitors an opportunity to begin the New Year rejuvenated and connected with nature. First Day Hikes will be happening at 10 state properties, across the state from Newport State Park on the Door County to the Red Cedar State Trail in Dunn County.

This is the eighth year Wisconsin has participated in the nationwide First Day Hikes campaign. On Jan. 1, 2018, 373 participants hiked 1,023 miles at 14 different Wisconsin state park properties. That first day of January was a bitter cold day and three of the events were cancelled due to sub-zero temperatures and dangerous wind chills.

These hikers at the Lapham Peak Unit of the Kettle Moraine braved sub-zero temperatures and bitter windchills to participate in last year's First Day Hikes. - Photo credit: DNR
These hikers at the Lapham Peak Unit of the Kettle Moraine braved sub-zero temperatures and bitter wind chills to participate in last year's First Day Hikes.Photo credit: DNR

The most exciting story for 2018 was the addition of a major all-day ski event in the Southern Kettle Moraine State Forest - Lapham Peak Unit hosted by a local ski group on man-made snow, a joint effort of parks staff and volunteers. Participants in this event contributed over 578 miles traveled (more than 50 percent of total miles) between 93 attendees.

The park system plans on again using the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Twitter social media platform to alert people when an event has to be cancelled due to inclement weather. Event visitors are encouraged to post photos on their Twitter and Instagram accounts using the hashtag #OutWiGo, the park system's new initiative -- pronounced "Out-We-Go" -- to promote activity and good health through the great outdoors.

A 2019 Wisconsin state park admission sticker is required for entrance to most parks for these events and will be on sale at park offices.

2019 First Day Hikes at Wisconsin State Park System properties

  1. Buckhorn State Park - First Day Hike
  2. Devil's Lake State Park - First Day Hike
  3. Kettle Moraine State Forest - Pike Lake Unit - First Day Hike
  4. Kettle Moraine State Forest - Southern Unit - First Day Hike
  5. Mirror Lake State Park - First Day Hike
  6. Newport State Park - First Day Hike
  7. Perrot State Park - First Day Hike and Snowshoe
  8. Red Cedar State Trail - First Day Hike - Wildlife and history hike/ski
  9. Richard Bong State Recreation Area - First Day Hike
  10. Stower Seven Lakes State Trail - First Day Hike, Bike and Ski

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DNR issues report outlining water quality standards for next three-year cycle

Contact(s): Marcia Willhite, DNR natural resources program manager, 608-267-7425

MADISON--A report essential to the regulation of surface water quality in Wisconsin is now available from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources after a year-long review and public comment period identified areas for improvement. The 2018-2020 Triennial Standards Review helps DNR staff focus efforts to integrate the latest science, technology and federal requirements into how the state regulates water quality and helps keep Wisconsin's surface waters swimmable, fishable and drinkable.

The final report, which is reviewed and updated every three years, is required by the federal Clean Water Act. It can be found by searching the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for keywords "surface water" and clicking on the link for Triennial Standards Review. The comprehensive evaluation sets new priorities for the next three years including guidance on bacteria that cause blue-green algae blooms, human health criteria, regulation of mercury levels, designating exceptional resource waters and criteria for perfluorinated compounds such as Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS), a substance commonly used in fire-fighting foams and non-stick coatings.

In addition, the review assists DNR staff with work-planning and identifying needed actions for moving projects forward. Water quality standards act as guidelines for setting an appropriate level of protection for Wisconsin's lakes, rivers and streams.

The final report is the result of a year-long process involving several opportunities for the public to contribute and comment on the contents. Updating began January 2, 2018 and concluded on September 21, 2018.

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Wisconsin State Park system staff donate food, warm winter clothing for Green Bay area residents

Contact(s): Paul Holtan, DNR Office of Communications, 608-267-7517

GREEN BAY - More than a dozen large boxes of non-perishable food items and well over a hundred donated warm winter items such as gloves, hats, mittens, snow pants and coats will be distributed in the Green Bay area thanks to Wisconsin State Park System staff from around the state.

While in Green Bay learning about the latest trends in outdoor recreation designed to enhance the state park experience for visitors, staff took the opportunity to give back to the Green Bay community through two local charities, Ben's Wish and the Big Bundle Up Campaign through the Green Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau. Staff donated nonperishable food items that will be used to fill backpacks for children in the Green Bay area that do not have food/meals for the weekends. Staff donated backpacks and cash as well. Ben's Wish is a non-profit organization that's goal is to address hunger insecurity issues and reduce the number of local children in need of weekend meals.

View Slideshow SLIDE SHOW | 6 photos

Visitors meet the rangers at Titletown Park.

Warm winter items were donated to the Department of Tourisms Annual Big Bundle Up Campaign. This is an annual charity drive that invites Wisconsin residents and visitors to donate warm winter items for those in need. Tourism organizations across the state collect these items and distribute them to local charities.

Customer service is a priority for state parks staff and with that in mind the public in Green Bay had an opportunity to meet park rangers and other staff during an evening event at Titletown Park. Visitors participated in a naturalist led tracking activity, asked questions about winter hiking, camping, cross country skiing and snow shoeing, and were able to purchase 2019 admission passes.

They also learned more about OutWiGo, a state park system initiative launched this year to promote a healthy and active lifestyle in the outdoors. The state park program is planning additional OutWiGo and ranger events in 2019 that will be listed in the Get Outdoors calendar on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website.

For more information about the Wisconsin State Park System, search the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for keyword "parks."

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Read more: Previous Weekly News

Last Revised: Tuesday, December 18, 2018

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