Snowshoeing: the perfect winter activity

Couple snowshoeing

As the weather turns colder many people are looking for ways to spend more time in the great outdoors. Winter is a wonderful time to get some exercise and enjoy the world around you. Snowshoeing is a great activity that combines the excitement of downhill skiing, the whole-body workout of cross-country skiing, and the serenity of hiking. The best part? You don’t have to buy a ton of expensive equipment to get started. In fact, snowshoeing is the perfect choice for winter lovers on a budget.

You don’t have to strap on a pair of skis and speed down the slopes to get your fill of winter fun and adventure. All you need is a snowy backyard, a pair of snowshoes, and a desire to spend some time outside.

The excitement of skiing, the serenity of wintertime hiking

Whether you plan to compete in snowshoe competitions, challenge yourself or just enjoy the peace and serenity of a stroll atop the new-fallen snow, here are some key things to know about this wonderful winter sport.

A chance to slow down

Unlike downhill skiing, where the winter scenery whizzes by in a flash, snowshoeing gives nature lovers a chance to slow down and enjoy the scenery they are passing.

If you want to get started, you can simply strap on your snowshoes and walk outside after a heavy snowfall. Or if you prefer, you can drive to a more scenic location, where you can explore the pristine wilderness and even come face to face with a grazing elk or stare in awe at a majestic moose.

Why is snowshoeing growing in popularity?

While many winter sports are declining in popularity, the sport of snowshoeing is growing. There are many reasons why so many more people are strapping on the snowshoes and making their way into the wilderness, including the desire to live a simpler kind of life.

As the world gets more hectic and people find themselves increasingly stressed out, it is hard to turn down the opportunity to get away from it all. The chance to commune with nature is certainly enticing, and it is no doubt part of the enduring, and growing popularity of snowshoeing as a sport and a winter pastime.

Snowshoeing also harkens back to earlier days when our ancestors lived in snowy climes and relied on their improvised footgear to hunt and provide food for their tribes and their families. And while those necessities are no longer in place, human nature has not changed at its deepest level. Even modern man (and woman) still has a desire to enjoy the outdoors, even if they come armed with a smartphone camera instead of a bow and arrow.

Snowshoeing is the perfect family adventure

If you’re starting to suffer from cabin fever, getting outside with family and friends is a great way to spend time together while getting exercise. Snowshoeing is the perfect wintertime adventure for families, suitable for all ages from the youngest kids to your grandparents. It’s an easy sport to enjoy, regardless of age, health, or medical condition. If you can walk, you can walk on snowshoes. Unlike skiing, which requires a certain level of coordination and training, snowshoeing has no such barriers to entry; just strap on the snowshoes and start walking.

Snowshoes in snow at duskWhat you need to get started

If you are ready to get started, all you really need is a good pair of snowshoes, which you can find online or at a sporting goods store. Once you have the snowshoes, you can try them out in your own backyard; all you need to do is wait for the flakes to fall.

If Mother Nature fails to cooperate and your backyard is green instead of white, there are plenty of other options as well. As this fun wintertime activity grows in popularity, many ski resorts are opening their cross-country trails to snowshoe enthusiasts. Just think about how much fun you can have with your family as you traverse those beautifully groomed trails or head off-trail for a true wilderness adventure.

When the weather gets colder and the snow starts to fall, you may feel like hibernating, but why sleep away the winter when you could be outside having fun? Snowshoeing is the perfect wintertime activity, inexpensive, healthy, and a great choice for the entire family. So, strap on the snowshoes and head outside this winter; you will be glad you did.

Snowshoe graphic

LOCAL PLACES
TO SNOWSHOE

ALBANY COUNTY

Albany Pine Bush
195 New Karner Road #1, Albany, NY

Five Rivers Educational Center
56 Game Farm Road, Delmar, NY

John Boyd Thacher State Park
830 Thacher Park Road, Voorheesville, NY

Margaret Burke Wildlife Management Area
Co Road 254, Altamont, NY

Partridge Run Wildlife Management Area

The Crossings at Colonie
580 Albany Shaker Road, Loudonville, NY

Capital Hills Golf Course
65 O’Neil Road, Albany, NY


FULTON COUNTY

Lapland Lake Nordic Vacation Center
139 Lapland Lake Road Northville, NY


RENSSELAER COUNTY

Dyken Pond Environmental Center
475 Dyken Pond Road, Cropseyville, NY

Frear Park
155 Oakwood Avenue, Troy, NY

Huyuk Preserve
5052 Delaware Turnpike,
Rensselaerville, NY

Grafton Lakes State Park
254 Grafton Lakes State Park Way, Grafton, NY

Pineridge Cross Country Ski Area
1463 Plank Road, Petersburg, NY


SARATOGA COUNTY

Saratoga Spa State Park
19 Roosevelt Drive, Saratoga Springs, NY

Peebles Island State Park
1 Delaware Avenue North, Cohoes, NY

Moreau Lake State Park
605 Old Saratoga Road Gansevoort, NY


SCHENECTADY COUNTY

Great Flats Nature Trail
West Campbell Road Schenectady, NY

Mohawk River State Park Loop
Head to the end of Whitmyer Drive in Niskayuna, NY


WARREN COUNTY

Up Yonda Farm
5239 Lake Shore Drive, Bolton Landing, NY

Gurney Lane Recreational Area
118 Gurney Lane, Queensbury, NY

Natural Stone Bridges & Caves Park
535 Stone Bridge Road Pottersville, NY

Cole’s Woods
40 Parkview Avenue, Queensbury, NY

________________________________________________________________________SCHOHARIE COUNTY

Landis Arboretum
174 Lape Road, Esperance, NY