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  • Writer's pictureSecond Opinion Magazine

Making the Most of Those Shorter Winter Days

During the winter, the days may seem long and cold, but they are actually the shortest days of the year! This is because the Earth tilts away from the northern hemisphere resulting in less sunlight throughout the day. Here at Beaver Creek Reserve, we are open year-round and embrace every season with new opportunities always waiting to be explored!

In the winter, it can be difficult to get outside and connect with nature, especially when all you want to do is snuggle up inside by the fireplace with a warm blanket and a cup of hot cocoa. However, getting outside in the winter can be just as enjoyable as in the warmer seasons—as long as you dress for the weather. Finding fulfilling activities for these shorter days may feel difficult, but Beaver Creek Reserve has multiple ways to help you make the most out of those short winter days:

1. Go hiking! Bundle up in your best jacket and coziest socks because we offer nearly nine miles of hiking trails all year long. Hiking in the winter, although it may sound brutal, can actually be a beautiful experience. The sparkling snow-covered trees and trails guide you through a winter wonderland. Take a Winter Phenology Hike with a Naturalist and learn to easily identify tracks left in the snow, and discover what critters may also be enjoying the trails. Or sign up for our Winter Tree ID and learn to identify trees by characteristics other than their leaves.

2. Try cross-country skiing! If hiking isn’t something you are interested in, we also have cross-country ski trails on our North campus. We have over four miles for all skill levels, whether you’re just starting out or have mastered the sport. If you’d like to learn how to cross-country ski, we offer multiple classes to teach the basics. We also offer rentals everyday throughout the winter as long as there is enough snow. Check our website for rental updates or stay updated on our Facebook page.

3. Try snowshoeing! If you’re looking for something easier that doesn’t require any prior experience, our South campus has over four miles of snowshoeing trails. Check in at the Wise Nature Center to rent a pair. This activity is not only offered during the day, but also at night. Explore Beaver Creek Reserve after dark on one of our Candlelight Snowshoe Hikes as you adventure out on our trails illuminated by candles and moonlight. Visit our events calendar to see when these hikes are offered.

4. Make your own snowshoes! We offer a two-day workshop that teaches you how to make your own traditional, wooden snowshoes. Choose from one of three styles of snowshoes: Green Mountain bear paw, Alaskan trail, or the all-purpose Ojibwa style. You will also learn how to lace them and care for them after the course is complete. You can take your own snowshoes on new adventures outside of Beaver Creek Reserve, or just have a unique keepsake pair made by you. See our events calendar for registration information.

5. Try dog-sledding! This may be something you thought only existed in movies and on TV. Sit back and zoom through the frosty forests of Beaver Creek Reserve with a furry friend or two on a dog sledding ride. Registrations fill up quickly, so we recommend signing up as soon as possible.

With countless new things to see and experience, Beaver Creek Reserve can help you fill your short winter days with fun activities to get outside and explore. Take advantage of this winter weather at Beaver Creek Reserve!

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