Snow has finally arrived this winter.
It is now the middle of January and snow is here to stay. Now that we have more snow to play in, winter activities such as snowshoeing, snowmobiling, hiking, sledding and many more are now possible.
Snowshoeing is a very popular activity during the winter. If you are just getting into it, Endlessly Outdoors, located at 8 Covington St. in Perry, not only has rentals, but they also educate anyone willing to learn about snowshoeing, or safety precautions for participating in winter activities.
Endlessly Outdoors owner Brianne Blaszak said that every time someone rents snowshoes, she teaches the customer all the basics, such as “how to get them on and off, getting back up, etc.,”
“I’m a teacher first…whether someone rents snowshoes from here or another place, I’m willing to answer any questions,” Blaszak said.
If you are a beginner, she recommends that you start off somewhere easy, such as a local village park.
“Going there, you’re not way out in the backcountry,” which makes it easier in case you get too cold, or if you get lost, there may be more people around.
Right now, Blaszak has group outings with people, if you want you can come and hike or snowshoe with them. They also host full moon hikes where they start off right before sunset, and she makes homemade hot chocolate.
At Letchworth State Park, “there are 66 miles of hiking, snowshoeing and/or cross country skiing trails in Letchworth. Trails range in length from a 1/4-mile to 24 miles – and everything in between – so it’s easy to choose the length of your adventure,” the Wyoming County’s Chamber and Tourism website reads. For more ideas, visit gowyomingcountyny.com.
Snowmobiling is another popular winter activity.
Since COVID-19, some people may take solace in knowing that they can enjoy the fresh air outside without any worry about being surrounded by people from outside of their household.
“COVID actually drove our membership numbers up in 2020 to 2021,” said Chance Vogt, president of the Oatka Snowmobile Club. “People learned life is short and the outdoors is the place to be. There are other things to do in the area.”
Trails were officially opened Monday, Jan. 17. When snowmobiling, Vogt cautions that, “trail conditions vary with snow pack and weather. Light fluffy snow doesn’t pack well, which makes the base thin and rocks and uneven spots are more prevalent, versus heavy deep snow packs tighter and forms a taller base.”
Vogt said some other precautions included trees and ice on the trail with thin snow coverage, and ice on lakes, creeks and ponds.
“If you don’t know, don’t cross it,” he said.
The Northern Erie Sno-Seekers snowmobile club is holding a vintage snowmobile show from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 6 at the Akron Acres, 12607 Stage Rd., Akron. Admission is free. There will be all different indoor and outdoor activities for people to enjoy, such as sleigh rides, a kids coloring contest, vintage snowmobile parade and more.
The event also includes food trucks on site, basket raffles and a snowmobile raffle. For more information, call (716) 912-2607 or visit snoseekers.com.
Of course, nobody can forget sledding and tubing. Most village parks have sledding hills for people to enjoy. Popular sledding hills to visit include the ones in the Arcade and the Warsaw village parks.
If those activities are not for you, pick a day when there is some packing snow and make a good old fashioned snowman, and maybe have a snowball fight.
Just remember when going out and playing in the snow, one should always wear the correct apparel to stay warm and dry, stay hydrated, make a plan and be aware of your surroundings constantly. Now that the snow has finally decided to stick around, go out and have some fun.
By Maya Borer, Staff Reporter