Candlelight Ski & Owl Prowl Set for this Saturday at Rydell National Wildlife Refuge

Candlelight Ski & Owl Prowl Set for this Saturday at Rydell National Wildlife Refuge

February 22, 2022 News -- KRJB-KRJM-KKCQ 0

Erskine, MN — Enjoy a unique winter adventure of skiing or snowshoeing through a National Wildlife Refuge by the moonlight this weekend. The Friends of Rydell and Glacial Ridge Refuges Association near Erskine invite winter enthusiasts to their annual Candlelight Ski and Owl Prowl event at Rydell National Wildlife Refuge near Erskine, MN this Saturday, February 26th from 6-10pm. Gregg Knutsen, Refuge Manager, says the Candlelight Ski & Owl Prowl offers an opportunity to share the woods with the owls and even interact with them as well.

Church Lake and Golden Pond trails will be groomed and lighted for this event, although all five of Rydell NWR’s trails will be open for cross country skiing or snowshoeing. It is recommended that participants bring along a headlamp, if they have one, since they will not have the benefit of a full moon that evening.

There have been changes this year due to the ongoing pandemic. Most importantly, Pre-registration is required to attend this event, in order to comply with the current event limit of 50 people on Department of the Interior lands, according to Knutsen.

People can pre-register by calling Refuge Manager, Gregg Knutsen at 218-686-4329 or emailing him at

The Refuge Visitor Center will be open during the event, which will provide participants a place to warm up. However, snacks and beverages will not be provided, but feel free to bring your own snacks, coffee, or hot chocolate. Also, no ski equipment or snowshoes will be provided for check-out at the Refuge this year. If you don’t have your own skis, Knutsen recommends a few options for borrowing or renting locally.

In addition to dressing appropriately for the forecasted weather, please bring a mask. Masks will be required of anyone who enters the Refuge Visitor Center. If temperatures are below zero or wind chills are in the double-digits below zero, the event will be cancelled and potentially rescheduled at a later date.

Listen to the full interview with Gregg Knutsen below: