Candlelight Night at Wild River State Park

On March 26, 2014, the Friends Board established a consistent date for the
Candlelight Night -- Ski / Snowshoe / Hike as the second Saturday of February.
These are the future dates:
• Feb.   9, 2019
• Feb.   8, 2020
• Feb. 13, 2021
• Feb. 12, 2022
• Feb. 11, 2023



The DNR has identified Wild River State Park as one of the top cross-country ski experiences in state parks. In fact, this was our 23rd annual Candlelight event, making it the oldest continuous such event sponsored by a state park in Minnesota.
There were approximately 675 participants cross-country skiing, snowshoeing or hiking, a lower number than past years probably reflecting the cold temperatures and snow conditions. Nevertheless, everyone had a good time. There were bonfires to warm the participants, music and refreshments at the Trail and Visitor Centers, and an astronomy program, as well as displays on the role of U.S. Presidents (after all it was Presidents Weekend) and a display on the Great Backyard Bird Count.

The Park Manager, Paul Kurvers, had this to say about the event: “An event of this magnitude definitely could not have been conducted without the outstanding contributions and teamwork of everyone involved. Once again the North Branch High School Honor Students, under the leadership of Chas Bettendorf, performed critical tasks to ensure the smooth functioning of the event. The students working as luminary crew members, parking lot attendants, entrance greeters, and Visitor and Trail Center workers all performed their tasks at the highest level and demonstrated the high quality of their character.
A big thank you to everyone who helped make this year's event a success.”
-- Paul Kurvers, Wild River State Park Manager

2016 Photo Collage -- courtesy of Kris Backlund, Park Assistant Manager: