Yesterday, as part of the Friday local school program, I took sixteen third graders and their teachers out on a snowshoeing adventure! It started with the fitting process and trying to learn names. Each student is assigned a pair of snowshoes for three weeks before they switch to cross country skiing for the remaining three weeks. They arrive dressed for the cold and super excited to be outside – well, that’s what we like to think but it may be because they aren’t in the classroom. Once the entire group is fitted they are ready for the adventure. After I explain a few rules and give some tips on how to walk with big huge shoes on their feet, I get a quick picture and we’re off into the woods.
We head towards the Glen Amble Loop and looked for animal tracks. We saw lots of snowshoe hare tracks and one set of deer tracks. A couple of fox prints wandered across the trail and we saw tiny prints we thought were from a little bird hopping on the snow looking for food. After all that walking they needed a break and just fell over on the side of the trail. I couldn’t resist a photo!
Next we climbed Blueberry Hill. It’s been windy here and the exposed snow varies; hard packed then soft and deep. It was fun not knowing if we were going to sink in a little or be held on the surface. The wind also created some beautiful features in the snow. I’ll call these snow islands.
Once we conquered the hill it was time for the descent! The goal was to stay upright but that didn’t happen, there were kids sprawled out everywhere and laughter bellowed out into the valley! We stopped back at the lodge for some water and then did some exploring on the main trail system. The last trail we snowshoed hadn’t been hiked since the last snow storm. I broke trail in about 17″ of snow and the kids loved it.
After two hours of snowshoeing, they were tired and ready for a snack. We finished our trek and headed back to the warmth of the lodge.
This program is excellent, it introduces kids to the exciting world in winter! It also shows them how much fun they can have while getting exercise during the months some people tend to stay inside. Hopefully it will help them to stay active all year round.