Hartwick Pines State Park will celebrate Winter Trails Day, Saturday, Jan. 10, in conjunction with the national event, now in its 14th year, that encourages the public to get outdoors in winter and spend a day on the snow.
Winter Trails Day at Hartwick Pines will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Snowshoeing equipment and instruction will be available at the Michigan Forest Visitor Center, so advance registration is recommended.
In addition to free snowshoe rental, activities will include guided snowshoe hikes; clinics on winter wildlife; winter fitness, survival and first aid; children's activities and free giveaways. The Cross Country Ski Shop in Grayling is helping sponsor the event by providing snowshoes for the day's activities.
"Snowshoeing is a great activity to get people outside in winter and is a healthy activity besides being fun," said Rob Burg, Hartwick Pines historian and local organizer for the Winter Trails Day event. "This also is a great way to enjoy the park's famous old-growth forest that so many people come to see in the summer from a different perspective."
According to SnowSports Industries America, a national nonprofit trade association, snowshoeing is an excellent form of low-risk, low-impact aerobic exercise that can help improve or maintain cardiovascular fitness as well as burn calories.
"It's a great way to work off those extra pounds that people usually put on over the holidays," Burg said.
To learn more about Winter Trails Day and register online, visit www.wintertrails.org. Information also is available by contacting the park at (989) 348-2537 or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hartwick Pines State Park has more programs scheduled this winter. Cross-country ski nights will be held Jan. 3, 17 and 31 and Feb. 14 and 28. Guided snowshoe hikes will be Jan. 24 and Feb. 7 and 21. A two-day evening snowshoe-building workshop will be held Feb. 28-March 1 and the park's Winter Lecture Series returns Jan. 18, Feb. 15 and March 8. All programs and events, except the snowshoe-building workshop, are free; however, all motor vehicles entering a state park or recreation area must display a Motor Vehicle Permit, available for purchase at the park entrance. Cost is $24 for a resident annual and $6 for a resident daily.