A Different Way to Be Outside
10:00 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Crossing a Snowy Landscape, by Candlelight

Winter brings a special evening opportunity for snow enthusiasts: skiing and snowshoeing by candlelight.

Organizers say a one-mile trail lined with candles can make for a magical outdoor experience.
Credit Helena Jacoba

The events are common across the state of Wisconsin, some organized by the DNR and others by independent groups.

MECCA, the Mercer Cross Country Association will host one such event this Saturday night, with hundreds of candles set along a mile-long loop. 

Spokesman Dan Bormann says it’s a lot of work to set up but it’s worth it. 

“Skiing a candlelit course is a whole different feeling from skiing or snowshoeing in the daylight.  It’s a much more intimate experience”

Bormann explains MECCA has been holding the event for more than 20 years.  The wax candles are set inside small lanterns that the club made years ago. 

“They’re cedar with four glass panels.  And we put the candle down inside that, so it doesn’t get blown out by the wind.  And they’re set all along the trail.  And there are literally hundreds of them.” 

The MECCA event starts at the end of Beachway Drive in Mercer.  It begins and ends at a warming cabin, where Bormann promises snacks will be available. 

There’s also a DNR-sponsored event coming up Friday in Merrill at the Council Grounds State Park.    Next month you can ski or snowshoe by candlelight at Copper Falls State Park in Mellen.