Candlelight Ski

 Ellen Ochs and Amanda Molback set the scene for a Candlelight Ski event at the Red Cedar State Trail in Menomonie in this Jan. 2015 file photo.

Lake Wissota State Park’s annual Candlelight Ski is expected to draw large crowds on Saturday, Jan. 27.

The event – which combines a tranquil, candlelit ski or snowshoe trail through the park with campfires and hot beverages – has been around for over two decades, Lake Wissota park manager Dave Hladilek said.

“It’s weather-dependent, as everything is, but ordinarily we get a pretty good crowd … the years we don’t have an abundance of snow, it turns into a hike,” Hladilek said.

Beginning at 5 p.m. and ending at 8 p.m., the event requires a state park admission sticker for entry; stickers can be bought at the park’s entrance. Attendees should park in the boat landing lot.

Snowshoes will be available for short hikes with a suggested donation, said the Friends of Lake Wissota State Park organization, but pets must stay home.

While apple cider and hot chocolate will be provided, attendees must bring their own provisions for hot dogs and s’mores, a DNR press release said.

According to the press release, a Candlelight Ski will also be held at the Red Cedar State Trail in Menomonie on Friday, Jan. 26 from 6-9 p.m. All ski and snowshoe trails will begin at the Red Cedar State Trail Depot on Highway 29. Skis are required; a limited number are available to rent at Stout Adventures, which can be contacted at 715-232-5625. Attendees may bring their own snowshoes, or use free snowshoes provided by Mayo Clinic Health System.

One Candlelight Ski event in 2018 has been cancelled due to inclement weather or trail conditions; search “candlelight ski” on the DNR website at www.dnr.wi.gov to check for event cancellations and a full list of candlelight events across the state.

In other outdoors news, the Wisconsin catch-and-release trout season will open at 5 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 6 for intrepid anglers, and will extend through midnight on May 4, a DNR press release said: Anglers must fish in classified trout streams and release all fish after catching, with a zero bag limit.

Trout fishery areas in Chippewa County include Duncan Creek, which has been labeled “one of the best brook trout streams in Chippewa County” by the DNR, McCann Creek, Elk Creek and Hay Creek.

“The long season offers anglers a great opportunity to try the early trout season if you haven’t before,” said Joanna Griffin, Department of Natural Resources trout team coordinator, in the Jan. 2 press release.

For more details on the state’s 2018 trout season, visit dnr.wi.gov/news/Weekly/article/?id=4143.

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Chippewa Herald reporter

Sarah Seifert covers the city and community of Chippewa Falls. Contact her with tips or story ideas at 715-738-1608 or at sarah.seifert@lee.net.

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