Candlelight Ski Event Promises To Be A Real Hoot

The Friends of Rydell and Glacial Ridge Refuges Association is hosting a “Candlelight Ski and Owl Prowl” event from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, March 2 at Rydell National Wildlife Refuge, 17788 349th St. SE, Erskine, Minn.

The timing of the event coincides with a full moon, and organizers are hoping for good snow conditions, clear skies and moderate temperatures.

All five of Rydell’s trails will be open for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing, but the Golden Pond and Church Lake trails will be groomed and lighted. Although luminaries will be distributed along the two trails, visitors should bring a headlamp if they have one in case of cloudy skies and minimal moonlight.

Multiple owl calling stations will be set up along the trails, where the calls of several owl species, including saw-whet, barred and great horned, will be projected into the woods in an attempt to generate a response.

The Rydell Visitor Center will be open throughout the event.

If temperatures are below zero or wind chills are in the double digits below zero, the event will be canceled and possibly rescheduled at a later date.

Several pairs of adult and child-size skis, as well as snowshoes, will be available for visitors to use. People needing skis or snowshoes can call the refuge to check on size availability or to reserve a pair any time after midmorning Monday, Feb. 26. For more information or to reserve equipment, contact Lisa Wiersma, administrative support assistant, at (218) 687-2229 ext. 10.