Thirty-two candlelight ski, snowshoe and hiking events are scheduled to take place at Minnesota state parks and trails this winter, according to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The family-friendly events are typically held on candlelit trails that are short and flat, which means they are suitable for all ages and abilities. Participants will find refreshments and a warm fire after exploring trails lined with lanterns or luminaries.

“If you haven’t been to one of our popular candlelight events, start a new tradition this winter,” said Courtland Nelson, director of Parks and Trails Division. “These events are a great way to make memories with friends and family. Imagine skiing or walking along a path lit by candles and then sipping hot chocolate by a warm fire under a star-filled sky. These events can be truly magical.”

A vehicle permit is required to enter Minnesota state parks ($5 for one-day permit or $25 for year-round permit). There is no additional charge to participate in the candlelight events.

Families can rent or check out equipment at some parks (rental cost is typically $6 per-person per-day for snowshoes or $10 per-person per-day for cross-country skis, boots and poles). The DNR advises calling in advance to confirm availability and to reserve equipment.

Families are also encouraged to check out the Winter Activities Guide page at www.mndnr.gov/winterguide for many other ideas on what to do at Minnesota state parks and trails this winter, including where to go for the best winter hiking, wildlife watching and sledding. The Great Minnesota Ski Pass ($6 daily, $20 for single season, $55 for three seasons) allows skiers age 16 or older to access trails in state parks or forests (www.mndnr.gov/skiing). Skiers age 15 or younger can access trails for free. Those who don’t already have a Minnesota state parks vehicle permit (www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/permit.html) can purchase one at any of the parks.

Logo courtesy Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

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