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Ski, snowshoe or walk by candlelight at state parks

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Need to get out of the house?

How about joining friends to frolic in the moonlight at more than 20 candlelight ski, snowshoe or hiking events in Minnesota state parks.

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Trails are one to two miles in length over easy to moderate terrain with luminaries or lanterns along the path. Most parks have warming shelters.

The only cost involved is a state park vehicle permit and the Great Minnesota Ski Pass for skiers 16 years or older ($5/day or $15/season) at the ski events. Both will be available at park offices.

Courtland Nelson, director of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Division of Parks and Recreation, said "Making your way along a forested trail lit by luminaries is an experience you will never forget."

Schedule of events:

Jan. 19 Candlelight Ski 5-8 p.m. -- Frontenac State Park, Lake City. Kerosene Lantern Lit Ski and Campfire 5:30-8 p.m., Itasca State Park, Park Rapids.

Jan. 19 Candlelight Ski 6-9 p.m. - Lake Bemidji State Park Bemidji; Camden State Park, Lynd; Glendalough State Park, Battle Lake; Lake Carlos State Park, Carlos; Wild River, Center City;

Jan. 19 Moonlight Snowshoeing 8 p.m. -- Mille Lacs Kathio, Onamia.

Jan. 26, Candlelight Ski/Snowshoe/Hike 6-9 p.m. -- Buffalo River State Park, Glyndon. Candlelight Ski - 6-9 p.m. - Charles Lindbergh State Park, Little Falls.

Jan. 31 Moonlight Snowshoe Hike 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m. -- Sibley State Park, New London.

Feb. 2 Candlelight Ski 6-9 p.m. -- Lake Maria State Park, Monticello. Candlelight Ski/Snowshoe/Hike 6-9 p.m. -- Buffalo River State Park, Glyndon.

Feb. 9 Candlelight Ski, Snowshoe & Hike 6-9 p.m. -- Rice Lake State Park, Owatonna.

Friday, Feb. 15 Candlelight Ski and Snowshoe 6-9 p.m. -- Jay Cooke State Park, Carlton.

Feb. 16 Candlelight Ski, Snowshoe & Walk 6-8:30 p.m. --Gooseberry Falls State Park, Two Harbors. Candlelight Ski and Walk 5-8 p.m. -- Fort Snelling State Park, Minneapolis.

Feb. 16 Candlelight Ski 6-10 p.m. -- Mille Lacs Kathio State Park, Onamia. Candlelight Ski 6-9 p.m. -- Sand Dunes State Forest, 5 miles west of Zimmerman.

Feb. 23 Candlelight Ski and Walk 6-10 p.m. -- Father Hennepin State Park, Isle. 6-8 p.m. -- McCarthy Beach State Park, Side Lake.

Candlelight Snowshoe & Hike 6-8:30 p.m. - Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, Two Harbors.

March 1 Candlelight Ski 6-9 p.m. -- Scenic State Park, Bigfork.

Minnesota state parks are open daily. Park office hours vary. Due to limited winter staffing, the DNR suggests that visitors call ahead for hours and services available.

Visit the Minnesota State Park Web site at: www.mnstateparks.info for a complete list of locations and event information.

A lack of snow may change the event to a candlelight walk, Nelson said. Extreme cold weather may cause cancellations, she added.

People should call the park or check the Web site at www.mnstateparks.info for current weather information.

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