These free activities are a great way to enjoy the outdoors in winter and discover the fitness and social benefits of snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in Northwest Montana. All activities are suitable for beginners and families. Be prepared with warm clothing and wear sturdy hiking shoes or boots.
1. A snowshoe walk on the Flathead National Forest, hosted by the Swan Lake Ranger District and Flathead Audubon, will be at the Blacktail Mountain cross-country ski trails near Lakeside, 10am-Noon. Participants may bring snowshoes, or a limited number of children and adult shoes will be available by reservation. Please meet at the upper trailhead parking area. Reservations are not required. For more information or to reserve snowshoes, please contact the Swan Lake Ranger District at 837-7500.
2. Explore Lone Pine State Park on snowshoes. From 10am to 5pm, park visitors can borrow snowshoes and explore the many park trails. Adult and children’s snowshoes are available on a first-come, first-served basis. A ranger-led snowshoe walk takes place at 1pm. Please contact the park at 755-2706 for more information and to reserve snowshoes for the 1pm walk.
3. Join Whitefish Legacy Partners at Stillwater Mountain Lodge and the Whitefish Bike Retreat for a day of cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snow ‘fat’ bike riding and winter fun from 10am to 2pm. Participants can ski on the Stillwater Nordic Center’s groomed trails. Bring your own equipment or demo equipment is available on site from the Lodge and Sportsman & Ski Haus. Ravenwood Outdoor Learning Center will lead family friendly wilderness skill and animal tracking activities. Across the road from the Lodge, check out a ‘fat’ bike demo or snowshoe on the Whitefish Trail courtesy of several area cycle and outdoor sport shops. For more information contact Whitefish Legacy Partners, 862-3880.
4. Ranger-led snowshoe hikes at Glacier National Park will be hosted at 10:30am and 2pm. Each hike will last approximately two hours and reservations are not required. Snowshoes are available for hike participants. Visitors need to purchase a park entrance pass. Please meet at the Apgar Visitor Center. Call 888-7939 for more information.
5. Join the Swan Ecosystem Center for a family snowshoe event at the Holland Lake Day Use Area, south of Condon, MT from 11am to 3pm. Bring your own snowshoes or a limited number of children and adult snowshoes available by reservation. Join a ‘trail trek’ geared for the whole family, warm up by the fire with a cup of hot cocoa. For more information or to reserve snowshoes call the Swan Ecosystem Center at406/754-3137.
For more information about local events and Winter Trails Day visit www.wintertrails.org.