Candlelight skiing has been going on at Moose Mountain Provincial Park for the past 10 years, although there were a few years during that time in which the event was not held.
Normally the candlelight skiing is held only once every winter, but this year the park is offering it three times so that there are more dates to choose from, and not everyone has to come on the same night. This will cut down on the crowds and will make it easier for people to social distance due to COVID-19.
This annual event attracts visitors from far and wide.
“We have had skiers travel from a few hours away, and it makes for a great reason to come and stay in the park at the Kenosee Inn and make a weekend out of it,” explains Ainsley Sauter, park administrative supervisor at Moose Mountain Provincial Park.
There is no charge as long as you have a valid park entry permit. Permits are valid all year round, so if someone didn’t purchase one in the summer or they threw it out, a day permit is $10 per vehicle.
“All ages take part. We’ve had skiers come out with infants strapped to their backs,” explains Sauter.
Many restrictions are in place due to COVID-19 as compared to other years.
Sauter goes on to explain: “Other than having three dates to choose from to thin out the number of visitors each night, another change is that there is no longer hot chocolate/hot dogs available. We also ask that visitors keep the proper social distancing from other visitors in the parking lot and on the trails. We make each group wait until the group ahead of them is far enough ahead before they can go, and there is a strict flow of traffic on the tracks to avoid people running into each other. You stay on one track going out, and come back on the opposite track.”
The trail is a total of 3.2 kilometres to shelter 1 and back.
“If you do not have cross country skis, we will allow walkers/snowshoes on the trail for this event only. For this event we ask walkers and snowshoers to stay in the middle, off to the side or wherever they can keep off the set ski tracks and keep their distance from other groups. Any other time, we have designated walking and snowshoe trails elsewhere in the park,” explains Sauter.
Some other stipulations to keep in mind: dogs and other pets are not allowed for this event. There are cross country ski rentals available at the Kenosee Inn on a first-come, first-serve basis only. There are no pre-bookings or reservations. It costs $15 per day day and cash only.
People do not need to register for this event, it is a come-and-go activity.