ISHPEMING - The Torch Light Trek Youth Ski Event will take place from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Al Quaal Recreation Area in Ishpeming.
The occasion will offer kids and their parents the chance to bring their own equipment - or take advantage of free on-site youth rentals available on a first come, first serve basis - to take to the "school yard loop" next the Birchview School for free fun.
"It's kind of a family thing, really low key, really geared toward beginners," said Bob Hendrickson, the event organizer. "It's a noncompetitive event. You can do 10 minutes of skiing, 15 minutes, or you can do the whole hour if you want. Kids are kind of laughing and socializing as they ski around."
Christopher Steele, 5, starts down the ski trail as his sister, Samantha, 8, prepares to follow. Both are watched by their mother, Mary Epperson of Ishpeming. The Steeles were two of the dozens of participants in a previous Torch Light Trek at the Al Quaal Recreation Area in Ishpeming. The free cross country skiing event for kids is the kickoff for this weekend’s Noquemanon Ski Marathon weekend. (Journal photo by Renee Prusi)
Hendrickson said kids can help themselves to hot chocolate and cookies, and all participants will be given a ribbon for taking part.
Beginning alongside the Noquemanon Ski Marathon in 1998, the Torch Light Trek has been an opportunity, before the advent of the Junior Noque, for youth to have an event of their own, and has been kept alive over the years by the Ishpeming community, Hendrickson said.
"We want to encourage skiing with the youth, because they're the future of snowboarders and skiers."
Zach Jay can be reached at 906-486-4401.