Getting outdoors and enjoying Montgomery County’s picturesque scenery doesn’t need to stop just because the snow has started to fly. While many love to hit the trails on their snowmobiles, and there are miles of trails to explore, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are two other great family-friendly ways to enjoy a winter day.
Whether you’re exploring Wintergreen Falls, Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site or one of our many other parks and hiking trails, there’s plenty of places to discover.
If you haven’t tried it before, snowshoeing is a great way to exercise and spend time with friends and loved-ones during the colder months. While many winter sports can be intimidating to take up, snowshoeing can be enjoyed by people of all ages and athletic abilities. All you need to start is a pair of snowshoes and some warm clothes.
Once you’ve decided to get outdoors, here are some helpful tips to make sure you enjoy the experience.
- Start Small and Work Toward Bigger Hikes – If it’s your first time snowshoeing make it a manageable activity. You don’t want to start with a long up-and-down mountain trail if it’s your first time strapping on your snowshoes. Start at your local park or ball fields. Explore flat ground where you can reasonably walk before moving on to more difficult trails.
- Bring a Friend or Loved-One – Nothing is more fun than spending time with someone whose company you enjoy. Snowshoeing is no different. Bring a loved-one or a friend whose skill level matches yours, so that both of you enjoy the activity.
- Dress According to the Conditions – Snowshoeing can be an invigorating activity with positive health benefits, but you have to be prepared. As with other winter activities, it’s important to dress for the weather with warm boots, hats, gloves and proper outerwear. Remember, conditions in the winter can change fast, so be sure to check the weather before you set out and layer cold weather clothing accordingly to ensure you are prepared. When in doubt, remember the Boy Scout motto, “Be Prepared.”
- Don’t Forget the Essentials – Yes, you need winter clothing and snowshoes, but with all winter sports it’s important to remember the other essentials. Water, sun protection and a healthy snack will make your hike more enjoyable and have you ready to go back out again.
Snowshoeing isn’t the only outdoor activity that’s great family fun. The Erie Canalway Trail offers miles of perfect conditions for cross country skiing enthusiasts. Set out from one of the many public parking areas along the trail and enjoy historic sites, scenic vistas and more. You can also find prime conditions at many of the same parks and historic sites enjoyed by snowshoers.