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Posts Tagged ‘snowshoeing’

It’s winter – time to plan for some fun in the snow. If you live in or near Monroe, Wayne or Ontario Counties, there are trails nearby that provide opportunities for a quick evening moonlit ski or a longer weekend outing. Here are 10 of my favoritesSnow Trails.

Monroe County
1. Mendon Ponds Park in Mendon has 20 miles of groomed trails for all levels of ability. The trails wind among the eskers, kames and kettle ponds of this glacially sculpted landscape. It’s a popular winter playground for avid skiers.
2. Powder Mills Park in Pittsford is another hilly park with 8 miles of marked, groomed trails.
3. For less hilly terrain, try Webster Park along the shore of Lake Ontario. It is the beneficiary of lake effect snows. Escape into the wilderness in the middle of suburbia on a myriad of loop trails.
4. Genesee Country Nature Center in Mumford is great for families. There’s a small entrance fee, but you’ll find 4.5 miles of easy, groomed trails, a warming hut, and restrooms. Plus you can rent skis or snowshoes on site.

Ontario County
5. Canadice Lake Trail parallels the west shore of Canadice Lake with gorgeous views for an easy 7.4 mile round trip. For more of a challenge, try the side loop trails up the steep hillside.
6. Cumming Nature Center is a week-end family favorite with amenities and equipment rentals. It offers 15 miles of groomed trails. There is a small entrance fee.
7. Skiers’ Mecca is Harriet Hollister State Memorial Recreation Area south of Honeoye Lake. This park sits at high elevation and promises snow cover when the rest of the area is barren. The 20 miles of trails are groomed by volunteers from the N.Y.S. Section V Ski League and are used for ski races. The trails wind through pristine woods and one trail offers a panoramic view north over Honeoye Lake.

Wayne County
8. Casey Park in Ontario offers a 1.8-mile round trip on a flat trail along the shore of a lake that formed in an old iron ore quarry. The more adventurous can continue around the lake on the hilly, narrow north shore trail with gorgeous views down to the lake.
9. Blue Cut Nature Center sits between Newark and Lyons. Here you’ll find 2 miles of easy trails through the woods and along a marshland. The trails are free, but don’t expect amenities.

When you head out to ski, it’s helpful to have a guide specific to winter such as the local guidebook “Snow Trails.” The guide describes which parking areas are plowed in winter, which roads remain unplowed and become part of the ski trail network. You’ll also learn how each trail is rated in terms of beginner, intermediate and expert runs, and which trails are too narrow and steep and are best left for adventurers on snowshoes.

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Winter is the reason many hiking clubs avoid using white blazes as trail markings.

Bob, the Natureguy, described how the Conservation Trail, a branch of the Finger Lakes Trail (FLT), became blazed orange:
“The group was hiking the Finger Lakes Trail in Allegany State Park. These were old timers in the Finger Lakes Trail organization. It was a nice fall day. A freak snowstorm hit while they were on the trail. It took them hours to get back since the early wet snow stuck to the trees and obscured the white blazes. They had to brush every tree to look for blazes and find their way back. They vowed the new trail would not have that problem and chose orange for the Conservation Trail blazes.”

He went on to explain, “It would be a momentous task to change the blazing of the FLT. It would be very expensive and take many dollars and many years. Not just the marks, but all the printed literature and reference material would have to be changed. And there is logic to the color schemes when there are trail junctions. Over almost a 1/2 century those color schemes have been worked out so there are no conflicts. All trails that intersect with the FLT could be affected. It is not just one trail. The FLT is a primary trail that a multitude of trails across the state radiate from or intersect. So, unfortunately, the color is what is, for bad or good and do not expect it to change.”

It is easy to loose the white blazes in a white-out of snow, so be extra careful when hiking or snowshoeing white-blazed trails such as the Finger Lakes Trail. Always take some extra warm/dry layers with you and some snacks and water in case your outing gets extended due to a change in conditions.

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snowshoesIf hiking is your favorite Summer pastime then you’re going to love snowshoeing in the Winter. Hiking on snow-covered trails is incredibly peaceful, but requires more than just boots for footwear. Snowshoes slip over your boots and allow you to step on top of the snow, even when it’s more than a foot deep. They have grippers on the bottom, and some even have metal spikes on the toes (called crampons), that allow you to dig into snow and ice and get up steeper trails.

Before buying a pair, it’s a great idea to rent snowshoes first. Check out the activity before investing in the gear. If you love to snowshoe buying a pair will not only save you money in the long run, but also you’ll be motivated to go if you own your own pair.

Here are some tips on choosing snowshoes:

* Know that they can be pretty expensive, ranging in price from $100 to $250.
* Deciding what kind to buy depends on where you’ll be tromping. You can get snowshoes for easy and flat trails, steep and icy inclines, back country, and ones to run in.
* Snowshoes are also made with different materials. Most are made with light-weight aluminum, but you can also get traditional ones made out of wood and rawhide.
* There are also different bindings. Some are made with durable fabric straps that adjust easily to any boot size. You can also find bindings made out of plastic, that mold to your toes and heels for even more of a custom fit. Some have buckles and some have cinches for easy entrance and exit. The easier they are to get on and off, the more expensive they’ll be.
* Snowshoe size is based on your total weight (you and your gear).
* Whatever snowshoes you choose, make sure you have really supportive, warm boots to wear with them. Bring those boots to the store and try on all types of snowshoes so you can get a feel for what you like.
* Some popular brands to choose from are Tubbs and Atlas.

Snowshoeing is one of the best cardio workouts I’ve ever done. All that snow makes for great resistance, kind of like when you walk in waist-deep water. You’re guaranteed to get an awesome lower-body workout and nothing beats the beauty of walking in a world covered in snow.

by FitSugar http://fitsugar.com/842713

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