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NEWS ARCHIVE:     Age: 367 days

More than 30 candlelight events scheduled this winter at Wisconsin state parks, forests and trails

Published by Central Office December 12, 2017

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

[EDITOR'S ADVISOR: This news release has been updated with the addition of a snowshoe hike Feb. 9 at the MacKenzie Center, Feb. 10 at New Glarus Woods State park, Feb. 17 at Governor Knowles State Forest, Wyalusing State Park and Merrick State Park and Feb. 24 at Yellowstone and Pattison state parks. Candlelight skis scheduled for Jan. 27 at Whitefish Dunes and Feb. 3 at Blue Mound have been cancelled due to poor conditions.]

MADISON - Now that cold temperatures have finally arrived in Wisconsin, all that is needed are some good snowfalls 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 have become some of the most popular activities at Wisconsin State Park System properties," said Paul Holtan, communications specialist for the state parks program. "We have had candlelight skis and hikes in the last few winters that have attracted hundreds and even over a thousand visitors."

Hundreds of luminaries are placed out along trails for candlelight events. These are in ice buckets at the Southern Unit of the Kettle Moraine. - Photo credit: DNR by Ed Culhane
Hundreds of luminaries are placed out along trails for candlelight events. These are in ice buckets at the Southern Unit of the Kettle Moraine.Photo credit: Ed Culhane

This winter's candlelight events kick off December 31 with a New Year's Eve Candlelight Hike at Amnicon Falls State Park about 7 miles east of the Superior city limits in Douglas County. Then on January 6 Blue Mound and Mirror Lake state parks will hold events. The largest number of events will be held January 27, February 3 and February 10.

Skiing, snowshoeing and hiking by candlelight has been attracting more visitors to properties each winter. 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 now offers shuttles from other locations and parking vouchers are required prior to arrival at the Lapham Peak event.

"We encourage people to plan ahead and to consider attending a candlelight event at a property they may not have visited in the past. Also we will use our Twitter social media platform to alert people when an event has reached capacity or has been cancelled due to inclement weather," Holtan said.

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.

Most events offer a combination of skiing, hiking or snowshoeing but some are ski only and some are hike only. Be sure to check listings for details. - Photo credit: DNR
Most events offer a combination of skiing, hiking or snowshoeing but some are ski only and some are hike only. Be sure to check listings for details.Photo credit: DNR

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." For more information on park or forest properties and locations, search for keywords "find a park." Regular park and trail fees 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.

2018 Wisconsin State Park Winter Candlelight Events

December 31, 2017

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Many events also feature bonfires, like this one at Blue Mound. - Photo credit: DNR by Joe Warren
Many events also feature bonfires, like this one at Blue Mound.Photo credit: DNR by Joe Warren

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Friday, January 26, 2018

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Friday, February 2, 2018

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Friday, February 9, 2018

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Saturday, February 24, 208

Saturday, March 3, 208

Last Revised: Tuesday, December 12, 2017

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For more information about news and media, contact:
James Dick
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608-267-2773