LEGO BLOCK PARTY, 1-4 p.m., Ludington library, 217 E. Ludington Ave.
CROSS COUNTRY SKIING, 2 p.m., OCCOA, 621 E. Main Street, Hart
RECITAL, piano/violin, 3:30 p.m., Ludington Area Center for the Arts, 107 S. Harrison St.
SHOE YEAR’S DAY HIKE, 6-8 p.m. Ludington State Park. Meet at the warming shelter. Ski, snowshoe or walk the torch-lit trail between the warming shelter and the park’s amphitheater. Campfires are at both places.
EVEN KEEL, 9:30 p.m., Sand Bar, Ludington
FOLK MUSICIANS JAM SESSION, 1:30-4 p.m., Goodstuffs Coffee Shop, 111 N. Hancock St., Pentwater
BREAKFAST, 9 a.m.-noon, Gold Bar VFW Post, 2022 E. U.S. 10, Custer, $5/adults, $2.50 children, free under 5
Lanterns to light a trail for skiers, snowshoers, hikers for Shoe Year's Day event Jan. 4 at Ludington State Park
By BRIAN MULHERIN
Daily News Staff Writer
Ludington State Park will host a lantern lit snowshoeing, skiing and hiking event from 6-8 p.m. Saturday that has been dubbed “Shoe Year’s Day.”
Similar events are going on at other parks around the state, but the effort here is near-and-dear to Ludington State Park Manager Jim Gallie, a diehard cross-country skier.
The event features a lantern-lit trail that runs from the campfire outside the warming shelter at the entrance to the park, almost to the Hamlin Dam area, then follows the bike path on the south side of the road back to the walking bridge, where enthusiasts can snowshoe, ski or hike across for a second campfire and a cup of hot cocoa or hot cider at the amphitheater.
Gallie said they did a test run of a few lanterns a couple weeks ago and determined that they’d be spaced about 50-75 feet apart — as trees allow.
“It’s enough that you’ll have a well-lit area, then drop into a section that dims,” Gallie said. “You’ll always be able to see a light in front of you or behind you, though. We went out not too long ago and did a sample lighting of about a dozen of them and it looks nice.”
Although the event is open to all three, Gallie asks that hikers and snowshoers respect the groomed cross-country ski trails that will be on one side of the path.
If you don’t have snowshoes, Park Interpreter Alan Wernette will be on hand with about 40 pairs of loaner snowshoes,” Gallie said. He noted that Provisions Sport Shop in Ludington rents and sells both skis and snowshoes, the shop can be reached at 843-4150.
Gallie said the lantern-lit skis and hikes won’t stop with this weekend’s event. He said similar events are planned for Jan. 18, Feb. 1 and Feb. 15.
“Usually by the end of February the snow situation is iffy enough that we’re not going to carry it beyond that,” Gallie said.
If enough people like the events, there could be more planned.
“This year we’re going to look at it and if there’s enough demand, look at increasing it in future years,” Gallie said. “Our goal is to have this going on in any kind of conditions except icy conditions when it’s not safe for people to be on those trails. We don’t want people stumbling around in the dark on icy trails.”
With Saturday’s predicted high of 33 degrees, that shouldn’t be a problem for the initial event.
For more information on Shoe Year’s Day events around the state, visit www.michigan.gov/dnr.