The full moon of February, which happens to rise tonight, is known as the Snow Moon. I’m hoping it lives up to its name and we see a fresh layer of the white stuff to accompany the full moon’s rise.

Either way, it seems appropriate to celebrate this celestial event by heading outside to enjoy the stuff for which it’s named.

Snow and moonlight make magic together. Clear-sky, moonlit nights in winter can seem as bright as day, as the white light reflects from snow-capped mountains, glitters across snow-covered fields, and filters through tree branches to illuminate the snowy ground, revealing the tracks of animals who have passed through.

Enjoying the light of the Snow Moon can be as simple as stepping outside for a moonlit adventure close to home, strapping on the skis or snowshoes to explore your favorite local trails. But if you’re looking for company — and a bit of guidance — there are several full moon ski and snowshoe events scheduled throughout the state this weekend.

Purity Spring Resort in Madison hosts a Moonlight Snowshoe Tour at the Hoyt Wildlife Sanctuary on Friday evening. Guides will lead snowshoe-ers through the woods and along Purity Lake. The tour begins at 7 p.m. and has a fee of $12, with snowshoe rentals available at an additional charge. Call 800-373-3754 for additional information.

Elsewhere in the Mount Washington Valley, Jackson Ski Touring Foundation offers a full moon snowshoe tour Friday from 6 to 8 p.m., with a naturalist on hand to lead the way through the snowy woods. Cost for the tour is $15, with snowshoe rentals available; organizers recommend calling ahead to reserve a spot: 383-9355.

The Bretton Woods Nordic Center at the Mount Washington Resort is open on full moon Saturdays throughout the winter, including this week, for guided ski and snowshoe tours on the trails network that skirts the majestic hotel and offers stellar mountain views. There will be a warming blaze in the fireplace at the Nordic Center, and cocoa and other refreshments available through 8 p.m. Tours depart at 6 p.m. from the Nordic Center. Reservations are required and may be made by calling 278-3322.

Nordic Nights at the Waterville Valley Adventure Center, featuring moonlight snowshoe and skiing tours, are so popular that this month’s tour is already sold out. To reserve a spot for the next Nordic Nights event (March 11), call 236-8311.

Gunstock’s Full Moon Tour has also proved popular. While Saturday’s event is overbooked, however, there’s still room in the Friday tour. The $25 fee includes a trip up the Tiger Chairlift and a hike along the Belknap Range Trail and over to Mount Rowe. Snowshoe-ers will enjoy hot cocoa at the top of the tour before descending back to the lodge. Reservations are required and may be made by emailing

The Moultonborough Recreation Department and Castle in the Clouds will host a short full moon hike around Shannon Pond tonight from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The event is free, and snowshoe-ers are invited to warm up by the outdoor fire pit afterward and enjoy s’mores and hot cocoa. For more information, visit

Winter Notes is published on Fridays during ski season. Contact Meghan McCarthy McPhaul at