Hoeft to host annual night skiing event

News Staff Writer

ROGERS CITY – Cross country skiers, snowshoers and hikers will have two chances to see the woods along Lake Huron’s shore, guided by the flickering glow of more than 200 lanterns along a trail in Hoeft State Park.

The state park will host its annual Winter Nights and Lights event Saturday from 6-9 p.m., and again on Feb. 16 at the same time, park accounting assistant Karen Schulte said. These after-dark hikes have been going on at the park since 2008 and bring out a good-sized crowd of all ages.

“People love it. It’s just so serene,” she said. “It’s quiet, it’s usually so peaceful and beautiful out for these. People don’t even notice the cold.”

For those who do, there will be a warming station with a bonfire and hot drinks, Schulte said. The event is free, although those interested in attending need a recreation passport to enter the park.

The trail starts at the park’s pavilion and consists of two loops totalling about 2.5 miles, Schulte said, although participants can make their treks as short as they want. Others who know the park and its trails often venture out beyond the lantern-lit areas, using head lamps or moonlight to guide their way.

Even if nature’s weather rollercoaster melts away the snow, the event will go on even if it has to be a hike, Schulte said.

“We’re still going to have it, no matter what.”

Jordan Travis can be reached via email at jtravis@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5688.