Explore the Schmeeckle Reserve in a whole new light as trails are illuminated by torches during the annual Candlelight Hike Festival in the Stevens Point Area. Held in the spring and fall this popular event is packed with family-friendly programs, delicious snacks, hands-on activities, and more! Never been or aren't sure what to expect? We've got you covered with our guide to the Candlelight Hike Festival at the Schmeeckle Reserve, featuring details to help plan your visit. 

Header photo from @bentilberg

The Candlelight Hike Festival

What is the Candlelight Hike Festival?


Winding through Schmeeckle Reserve, the Candlelight Hike Festival lights up the night with three trail loops illuminated by torches. But, the fun doesn't stop there. Immerse yourself in live character events, and get hands-on with craft and education stations. Looking for even more? Explore the Schmeeckle Reserve Gift Shop (formerly the Browse Shop) or warm up with hot cocoa next to the campfire. 


Character show at Candlelight Hike
Photo courtesy of Schmeeckle Reserve

What is the Schmeeckle Reserve?


The Schmeeckle (/sh-meek-ly/) Reserve is located on the UW-Stevens Point campus and has a total of 5-miles of trails lying on about 280 acres of land. Find well-kept trails for hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing as well as a small inlet lake perfect for paddling and fishing. Need some gear? The Schmeeckle Reserve also offers rentals on-site. 


Schmeeckle ReservePhoto from Bob Mosier

What to Know Before You Go


When Is The Festival?

The Spring Candlelight Hike Festival will be held on Friday, May 3, 2024. The festivities begin at 7:00 pm and go on until 9:30 pm with interactive programs throughout the night.

What Should You Bring?

💰 Cash

Help support events like this with a $4 donation per person or $10 per family. Refreshments will also be available for purchase on the grounds (in the Visitor Center and along the trail) during the festival. 

🚰 Water Bottle

Consider carrying a refillable water bottle with your for the festival. Water refill stations and restrooms are available in the Visitor Center and near the main Visitor Center parking lot.

Leave Fido at Home

While we're sure your furry friend would love to tag along, pets are NOT ALLOWED in the Reserve - with an exception only for working service animals. 


Lake Joanis sunset torchesPhoto courtesy of Schmeeckle Reserve

Where Do You Park?

While you can bike or walk to the Candlelight Hike, you'll find street parking on Maria Drive, North Point Drive, and Michigan Avenue with limited space in the Schmeeckle Visitor Center parking lot.

Map of Schmeeckle Reserve

Heading to the Schmeeckle Reserve, view this overview map of the reserve.


Learn all the details to join the fun on the Schmeeckle Reserve website, and find more volunteer opportunities at the Friends of Schmeeckle Reserve. In the meantime, check out more Stevens Point Area events. Then, join the fun and be sure to tag @StevensPointArea and use #StevensPointArea on your Instagram photos for a chance to be featured!