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It is a wonderland out there

While you’re inside, staying warm and curled up by the fire, there is a lot of outdoor winter recreation that you are missing. It may be a little more uncomfortable than riding a bike when it is 75 degrees out, but these activities are only available for a brief window and then they are gone. Take advantage of the winter season and the opportunities it provides in the Midwest.

Take a walk through a park and experience the wonderland of frosted trees, sparkling icicles and white blankets of snow. It is a great activity to do alone, with someone else and with your dog. It is the perfect time to take nature photos or prove to your family and friends on social media how adventurous you are during the winter months.

Keep an eye out for deer in the woodland areas at Bever and Seminole Valley Parks and along the Sac and Fox Trail. You can spot eagles at the Prairie Park Fishery and find many birds around Cedar Lake.

Enjoy the physical benefits of cross-country skiing on trails at Cherry Hill and Seminole Valley Parks, Ellis, Jones and Twin Pines Golf Courses and the Sac and Fox Trail. Cross-country ski trails are open, marked and groomed when a solid base of heavy snow six inches deep is achieved. This sport is an excellent form of cross-training that improves cardiovascular endurance and health while burning 250-860 calories in 30 minutes. You get a full-body workout, while relieving stress and connecting with nature.

Soar down snow covered hills at Bowman, Jones and Shawnee Parks. Sledding is a great memory (and Instagram) making activity. Make sure to observe safe sledding tips that are posted at each site and are also listed at crrec.org.

Participate in a pick-up hockey game or practice your spins at ground ice rinks at Bever Park and Arthur School. Warmer temperatures have prevented these rinks from being built the past couple of years so take advantage of this fun opportunity this year. Rinks are open from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and lighted from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m.

Be adventurous, bundle up and enjoy winter outdoors.

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