WAITE PARK -- Plenty of hot chocolate and chili will keep you warm at this year's Moonlight Ski event at Quarry Park and Nature Preserve.

Put on by the Stearns County Parks Department and the Nordic Ski Club of Central Minnesota the free event will be held Friday from 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. at Quarry Park in Waite Park. It will feature a night of cross-country skiing on the groomed trails of the park.

Stearns County Parks Director Peter Theismann says the Moonlight Ski is welcoming to all ages and experience levels.

"Quarry Park and Nature Preserve has some very level terrain so it's a good place for beginners to learn how to ski. It's very close to town, we have several different loops, we have two, 2-mile loops and you can ski a shorter loop just to get some experience."

The 4.2 miles of cross country ski trail will be lighted. The event also features a bonfire and door prizes.

Theismann says if you don't have your own ski equipment you can rent equipment from two area businesses.

"Two of the local ski shops, one of them being Revolution Cycle and Ski have offered free rental of the skis for the evening. You'll have to go into the shop in advance to get fitted."

Fitzharris Ski and Sport is also offering free ski rental for the Moonlight Ski, you will have to sign up in advance to use the free equipment.

If mother nature fails us, and we don't have enough snow for skiing, the event will feature a moonlight hike instead of ski.

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