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December 21, 2010

MADISON - People looking for a unique way to ring in the new year can participate in the first of more than 30 candlelight skis or hikes that will be held this winter at Wisconsin State Parks, Forests and Trails. Blue Mound State Park west of Madison in Iowa County will hold a candlelight ski, hike and snowshoe event on the night of New Years Day, Saturday, January 1, 2011. People may ski, snowshoe or just hike along 1 to 2 mile trails that will be lit with hundreds of candles

In all, there are 36 candlelight events scheduled at state properties this winter, with events held at different parks most weekends in January and February.

Most events held throughout the winter, include additional activities, including bonfires and hot chocolate and other refreshments for sale. Some events offer grills for cooking food or roasting marshmallows.

Candlelight events are free, but 2011 Wisconsin State Park annual or daily vehicle admission stickers are required. Pets are prohibited on the trails at most candlelight events, except on the Blue Mound snowshoe/hiking trail were leashed pets are allowed.

"Candlelight events grow in popularity each year," says Dan Schuller, director of the Wisconsin State Parks program.

Last year, Kettle Moraine State Forest Ski - Pike Lake Unit held its 21st annual candlelight ski/hike following, with a fresh 10-inch snowfall, clear skies, and temperatures around 20 degrees, attracting almost 1,000 hearty outdoor enthusiasts. Rib Mountain State Park, which does not have cross-country ski trails, held a candlelight snowshoe hike that attracted nearly 700 people.

Many of the parks receive help from volunteers in their friends groups setting out the luminaries, baking treats and helping clean up after the event.

If there is a sudden decline in snow conditions due to changes in the weather, some events will be held as hikes only, and others could be cancelled, so state park officials say it is always best to check the DNR website for updates and contact the park or forest where the event would be held for updates.

The complete list of candlelight events with times and more details is available on the Department of Natural Resources website.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Saturday, February 26, 2011

  • Governor Thompson State Park, Crivitz, Candlelight Ski and Hike.
  • FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Wisconsin State Parks - (608) 266-2181

    Last Revised: Tuesday, December 21, 2010

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