Ice changes candlelight event at Lake Carlos State Park

Icy conditions have changed plans for a candlelight ski at Lake Carlos State Park this Saturday, Jan. 19.

This event will now only be a snowshoe event due to the poor condition of the ski trails with the ice.  "We will still have the snowshoe portion for those wanting to snowshoe or walk," said Ben Eckhoff, area naturalist for the park. 

Minnesota state parks and trails will host more than 30 candlelight events this winter, including the one at Lake Carlos State Park.

Drop by any time between 6 and 9 p.m. for snowshoeing or hiking as stars twinkle overhead and candles flicker in the snow.

“Few things transform a winter evening like soft light on snow,” said Erika Rivers, director of the Department of Natural Resources Parks and Trails Division. “Lit candles and lanterns help to create an unforgettable experience, especially when coupled with light from a starry sky and full moon.”

At Lake Carlos State Park, the roughly 2.5-mile trail starts at beach parking lot near the Lakeview Warming Shelter and is suitable for beginner-level snowshoers and hikers of all ages.  Snowshoes can be rented at the park the night of the event on a first come first serve basis for $6/pair. 

The evening wraps up with a cup of cider and cookies near a crackling bonfire.

Save time: Get vehicle permits in advance online

A vehicle permit is required to enter Minnesota state parks. Although permits are available at the park, save time by getting one in advance. Visit, log in (or create an account), click on “entry permit,” select a duration of “one-day” ($7) or “year-round” ($35), and continue as directed. An email will be sent with a permit that can be printed and displayed in vehicles during park visits.

In the event of severe weather, call (320) 852-7200 for updates or check the visitor alert online at

Find more candlelight events in the online calendar

Other candlelight events will take place throughout the state in January and February, offering a variety of terrain and scenery. For the complete schedule—including dates, times and other details—visit

For more information, email or call the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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