Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Snowshoeing - Winter Fun for Families

I am one of those people that has a hard time during the winter months.  The dark, cold, gloomy days of winter can really get to me.  I've learned that I need something to look forward to after the hoopla of Christmas is behind us. 

A few years ago I bought snowshoes for Ryan and Hugh for Christmas.  I ordered them from L.L. Bean.  Find them HERE. The snowshoes were a big hit!  A few days after Christmas Ryan went shopping and came home with a pair of snowshoes for ME too!  I was really surprised and excited. It turns out, snowshoeing has been something I really look forward to in the winter now.  It helps keep me cheery in these dark, wintry months. 

Unfortunately (or fortunately??  I can't decide) this winter has been unusual - very little snow and definitely not enough to snowshoe on our wooded property.  This past weekend, though, we finally got some accumulation,  and I hear another storm is predicted for this weekend. 

Hugh really looks forward to winter days with enough snow to go snowshoeing!

Snowshoeing has been a great winter activity for our family.  We bundle up, strap on the snowshoes and head out into the winter air.  The fresh air, the quiet of winter in the woods, and the winter sunshine is so refreshing. 

Ryan and I have gone alone sometimes, without the kids.  It is actually one of my favorite "dates" with my husband .  (And this is coming from a fancy hotel, wine with dinner kind of gal!) Sometimes we pack a warm lunch  - a thermos of hot chocolate and a thermos of chicken noodle soup.  We put our picnic blanket down in the snow and have a winter picnic right there in the woods!

The woods seem so quiet and still in the winter.  We often see signs of activity though.  Here are fresh squirrel tracks.  Many times we have spotted deer who were surprised to see people out and about on their territory.  Winter bird watching is fun.  They, too, sometimes seem surprised to see people invading their woods!

Hugh (8) took this picture.

It has been said that snowshoeing can burn up to 600 calories an hour!  Wow!  Fresh air, wildlife, and serious exercise all at once!  I'm telling you - you should try it!  L.L. Bean has snowshoes in sizes toddler to adult.  You can also purchase snowshoe poles to make your hike easier or to ward off ferocious wild animals, depending where you hike!  :)  Plus, you just look cool with the snowshoe poles! I have some!

In addition to hiking our own property, we have gone snowshoeing on my parent's farm, at state parks, and at lodges.

Give it a try and let me know about your adventures!
Click HERE to be transferred to a "first timer's guide to snowshoeing" site.

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