Ludington boasts a number of excellent snowshoeing and cross country skiing trails – and one of the most popular places for a winter sojourn is at the 5,300-acre Ludington State Park. Several miles of trails are groomed for cross-country skiing, and snowshoers can explore all the other trails. The park also hosts a series of snowshoeing and cross-country skiing events on weekends in January and February, including the popular lantern-lit snowshoe and skiing event. Here are 5 things you need to know about this unique event coming up this weekend:
1. It's free! There are not many activities for families and couples these days that don't come with a price tag. Thanks to the Friends of Ludington State Park, this event is free of charge, as long as you have a recreation passport. Passports can be purchased at the park entrance, or you can park just outside the park and walk in for free. We can't think of a better way to enjoy some fresh-fallen snow with family or friends.
2. Snowshoers, cross-country skiers and hikers of all ages and fitness levels are welcome. Snowshoeing is one of the season's safest activities and a great way to get moving during these colder months. Of course, cross-country skiers and hikers/walkers are also welcome to participate as well. The self-paced atmosphere of this event means you can take your time and really take in the sights and sounds of the park this time of the year.
3. You don't need your own snowshoes. Thanks to the Friends of Ludington State Park, 50 pairs of snowshoes are available for free use on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you have your own gear, even better!
4. There's a fire - or two! You can warm up and enjoy a hot beverage alongside two bonfires along the trail. A fire is the perfect spot to rest, warm up and take in the beautiful winter scenery. Although you will be moving and keeping warm on the trail, you will still want to be sure to wear warm winter attire.
5. The most unique aspect of this event is that the 3/4 mile trail is lined with approximately 75 red lanterns. They perfectly complement the winter backdrop and are a great guide as the sun begins to set.
An upcoming lantern-lit snowshoe and skiing event is February 17 from 6 - 8 p.m. starting at the Warming Shelter just inside the entrance of the park.
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