Winter can be hard for anyone. If you live in an area where snow can be found, winter can be brutal. Does it really have to be though? During those cold days of winter I try and get out as much as possible even if for a walk. Sometimes I just have to do something other than a short walk around the block. I have tried downhill and cross country skiing and love doing both. My wallet though does not. I love running and do so all year round. Unfortunately during the winter it becomes more of a challenge with the ice and snow on the ground. Quite a number of years ago I started a winter hobby where I got out of the house, exercised and the cost was very low. I discovered snowshoeing – again.
When I was a kid growing up in Maine my parents bought me a pair of snowshoes made of wood and rawhide. They were cumbersome and just did not hold onto my shoe no matter what I did. Snowshoeing did not catch my interest at that time because the shoe would always come off. My rediscovery of snowshoeing happened at a time when I was very much into hiking and came about by accident. Snowshoes had evolved by this time to where they were light, made with metal frames and a rubberized surface. Best of all the dreaded harness of the past had developed to the point where it actually stayed on my foot. For less than $200.00 I could outfit myself to go anywhere in the woods of Maine and New Hampshire. I still have those original snowshoes from over 10 years ago. The cost was one time and now any expense comes from the clothes I wear.
This year I am going to bring my son out on the trails that abound in the Mid Coast area of Maine. In Camden there is a state park that that would be easy going for a seven year old and yet has enough challenges to keep his interest. For instance from the main entrance there is a multi-use trail that runs from one end of the park to the other. Two miles in is a cabin that remains open through the winter. The trail has some hills and valleys but nothing that is overly challenging for someone just starting out in this hobby. The views for both parent and child are engaging. For a shorter hike there is the other park entrance that goes down to camp sites along the ocean. The walk down to the path along the water is about 2/10th of a mile and the path is another 3/10th of a mile. An easy walk in the summer becomes a bit more challenging with the small hill in winter time.
If you are looking for something that the whole family can be involved in, that is inexpensive and helps to keep you and your loved ones in shape. The nothing beats strapping on a pair of snowshoes and heading into the woods or on a trail and discover what nature has to offer.