Most kids love playing in the snow — building snowmen, sledding, skiing. But last year, my kids took up a hobby that I wasn't overly familiar with... snowshoeing!
They started out clomping around in an old school wooden pair of adult-sized snowshoes that were honestly probably older than I am. Once we realized how much fun they were having, we decided to get them some more modern, size-appropriate snowshoes. Most of last winter, we could barely get them to take them off! They would make paths all through the backyard and into the woods.
Snowshoeing is a great outdoor activity, that just about anyone can do. If this sport is new to you, here are a few helpful tips!
Snowshoes means snow, which means winter! Make sure to dress warmly with a hat, gloves, and layers appropriate for the weather and the vigor of your activity. Wearing layers makes it easy to adjust if you start to get too warm or too cold. Wool socks will also help you to keep your feet dry and avoid blisters. A pair of insulated, waterproof boots are important to have as well.
The Right Snowshoe
My kids use shoes designed for use by beginners on flat ground. But there are a few different types, including those made for rougher mountain terrains, or those used for running. Make sure that the snowshoes you wear match the type of walking or hiking you plan to do. If climbing up or down hill, add poles to your list of needed gear!
Where to Snowshoe
There are lots of great places to snowshoe all over the Adirondacks, many of which are the same trails you can hike during the summer!
There are also places such as Fern Park in Inlet that offers over 20 miles of trails, some of which are lit for nighttime use. Oak Mountain also offers three free snowshoeing trails. All you need to do is sign in at the base lodge at no later than 2 p.m.
In addition to Lapland Lake Nordic Vacation Center's extensive cross-country ski trails, they offer 2 kilometers of designated snowshoe trails, available for use with a facility use pass. They also have snowshoes available to rent at their rental shop.
Being dressed appropriately is key, but there are a few other things to consider for safety reasons. A big one that most people neglect is staying hydrated. Drink plenty of water to help keep your body moving and to stave off hypothermia. Sticking to designated trails is also important, and always make sure to let someone know your planned route, just in case. To be even more on the safe side, if you plan to snowshoe through the woods, carry a compass, a map, and a GPS device, and make sure you are familiar with the layout of the land before heading out!