Doing Wisconsin’s outdoors – by candlelight

(Wisconsin DNR)

MADISON, Wis. — It’s never too late to make candlelight events part of your annual tradition. The Wisconsin DNR is excited to announce more than 40 candlelight events happening this winter at Wisconsin state parks, forests, recreation areas and trails.

“Winter candlelight events are some of the most popular activities at Wisconsin State Park System properties,” said Ben Bergey, DNR State Park System director. “We have had candlelight skis and hikes during the last few winters that have attracted hundreds and even over a thousand visitors.”

Candlelight events have become a long-standing tradition at state properties such as Pike Lake (Washington County) celebrating 31 years of candlelight events, 30 years at Newport State Park (Door County), and 28 years at the Flambeau River State Forest (Sawyer County).

Most events begin around sunset and run until 8:30 p.m. or 9 p.m. Properties offer an array of activities from skiing, snowshoeing to hiking, and include bonfires and hot chocolate. Depending on the property, other refreshments may be available for sale. Some candlelight events even provide grills for cooking food or roasting marshmallows while some properties have warming shelters.

This winter’s candlelight events kick off Jan. 4 at Blue Mound (Iowa County) and Mirror Lake (Sauk County) state parks. The largest number of events take place on Jan. 19, Feb. 2 and Feb. 9.

Due to high turnout and limited parking at Horicon Marsh Wildlife Area (Dodge County), shuttles are available from nearby businesses. Also expect large crowds at the Kettle Moraine State Forest – Lapham Peak Unit (Waukesha County). Visitors will need parking vouchers in advance for the Lapham Peak event, and carpooling is encouraged.

View specific event details here. Stay up-to-date on event cancellations by following the DNR on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Share your photos from the events using the hashtag #OutWiGo, the DNR’s initiative to promote activity and good health through the great outdoors. Feel free to call properties directly to confirm the event if there is inclement weather in the forecast.

Note: Several candlelight events are organized by property Friends Groups, which provide much of the volunteer support.

Candlelight Events Calendar 

Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020

Blue Mound State Park – Blue Mound Candlelight Ski, Hike and Snowshoe

Mirror Lake State Park – Candlelight Ski, Hike and Snowshoe

Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020

Wildcat Mountain State – Candlelight Ski, Snowshoe and Hike

Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020

Governor Dodge State Park – 21st Annual Candlelight Ski, Hike and Snowshoe

Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center – Candlelight Hike

Kettle Moraine State Forest – Southern Unit – Candlelight Ski and Hike

Rib Mountain State Park – Candlelight Snowshoe Hike

Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020

Kettle Moraine State Forest – Lapham Peak Unit – Friends of Lapham Peak Annual Candlelight Ski/Hike

Pattison State Park – Winterfest and Candlelight Hike

Point Beach State Forest – Candlelight Ski and Hike

Stower Seven Lakes State Trail – Candlelight Ski, Snowshoe, Hike and Fat Bike

Turtle-Flambeau Scenic Waters Area – Turtle-Flambeau Candlelight Ski and Snowshoe

Whitefish Dunes State Park – Candlelight Ski Snowshoe and Hike

Friday, Jan. 31, 2020

Red Cedar State Trail – Annual Candlelight Ski and Hike

Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020

Blue Mound State Park – Blue Mound Candlelight Ski, Hike and Snowshoe

Black River State Forest – Black River State Forest Candlelight Ski and Snowshoe

Copper Culture State Park – Copper Culture Candlelight Hike and Snowshoe

Flambeau River State Forest – 28th Annual Flambeau River Candlelight Ski and Hike

Kettle Moraine State Forest – Northern Unit – Candlelight Ski/Hike

Mirror Lake State Park – Candlelight Ski, Hike and Snowshoe

Peninsula State Park – Candlelight Ski and Hike

Friday, Feb. 7, 2020

Crex Meadows State Wildlife Area – Crex Meadows Candlelight Snowshoe Hike

Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020

Brule River State Forest – Brule River Candlelight Ski and Snowshoe

Copper Falls State Park – Copper Falls Candlelight Ski/Snowshoe

Devil’s Lake State Park – Candlelight Snowshoe and Hike

Kettle Moraine State Forest – Pike Lake Unit – 31st Annual Pike Lake Candlelight Ski and Hike

Lake Kegonsa State Park – Candlelight Ski

Lake Wissota State Park – Candlelight Ski, Hike and Snowshoe

Newport State Park – Annual Candlelight Ski, Hike and Snowshoe

Richard Bong State Recreation Area – Return to Romance (Registration; $)

Wyalusing State Park – Candlelight Hike and Astronomy Viewing

Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020

Brunet Island State Park

Governor Thompson State – Gov. Thompson Candlelight Ski and Hike

Interstate State Park – Candlelight Night in the Park

Merrick State Park – Candlelight Snowshoe/Hike

Rib Mountain State Park – Candlelight Snowshoe Hike

Willow River State Park – Willow River Candlelight Ski, Hike and Snowshoe

Friday, Feb. 21, 2020

MacKenzie Center – Candlelight Snowshoe Hike

Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020

Hank Aaron State Trail – Urban Candlelight Hike

Hartman Creek State Park – Candlelight Ski, Hike and Snowshoe

Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020

Council Grounds State Park – Leap Day Candlelight Snowshoe and Hike

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Big Foot Beach State Park – Candlelight Hike

 

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