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MN state parks offer many winter activities

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.

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 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. Skiers age 15 or younger can access trails for free.

2012-13 Candlelight Events at area Minnesota State Park and Trails

Saturday, Jan. 19

Itasca State Park (Park Rapids) -- Lantern-lit snowshoe, 5-7:30 p.m.

Lake Carlos State Park (Carlos) -- Candlelight ski and snowshoe, 6-9 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 26

Buffalo River State Park (Glyndon) -- Luminary night ski, 6-9 p.m.

Mille Lacs Kathio State Park (Onamia) -- Candlelight ski, 6-9:30 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 2

Buffalo River State Park (Glyndon) -- Luminary night ski, 6-9 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 8

Jay Cooke State Park (Carlton) -- Candlelight ski and snowshoe, 6-9 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 9

Lake Maria State Park (Monticello) -- Candlelight snowshoe, 6-9 p.m.

Gateway State Trail (Maplewood) -- Candlelight hike (651-231-6968).

Saturday, Feb. 16

Glendalough State Park (Battle Lake) -- Candlelight ski, 6-9 p.m.

Father Hennepin State Park (Isle) -- Candlelight ski, 6-9 p.m.

Gooseberry Falls State Park (Two Harbors) -

Candlelight ski, snowshoe, walk, 6-8:30 p.m.

Glacial Lakes State Park (Starbuck) -- Candlelight ski and snowshoe, 6-9 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 23

Lake Bemidji State Park (Bemidji) -- Candlelight ski and snowshoe, 6-9 p.m.

Old Mill State Park (Argyle) -- Candlelight ski, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Itasca State Park (Park Rapids) -- Lantern-lit snowshoe, 6-8 p.m.

Maplewood State Park (Pelican Rapids) -

Candlelight ski and snowshoe, 5:30-8 p.m.

Lake Carlos State Park (Carlos) -- Candlelight ski and snowshoe, 6-9 p.m.

Zippel Bay State Park (Williams) -- Candlelight ski, 5-8 p.m.

Split Rock Lighthouse State Park (Two Harbors) -

Candlelight snowshoe and hike, 6-8:30 p.m.

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