Monthly Archives: January 2020

January 19, 2020

Your Active Winter Fun Guide

Snowshoeing in the Blue Hills

Enjoy outdoor winter activities that are as fun as they are healthy. Here’s what you can do and the best places to do it.

Here’s what to do: Outrun Winter

Where to do it: Middleton

Middleton is a great city for winter running because of what you’ll find – or perhaps not find- underfoot. One of the city’s premier running routes has a special feature that really sets it apart this time of year. The Pheasant Branch Creek Corridor Trail is constructed with a special porous asphalt surface that helps ice and snow melt away. This special trail construction keeps the surface good for running all year long. The sure footing you’ll find on this trail, combined with the picturesque terrain of the wooded Pheasant Branch corridor, makes this a best bet for winter running.

Here’s what to do: Trek the Blue Hills

Where to do it: Rusk County

Long before people snowshoed in this country. the Woodland Sioux called this place Paja Toyela-the Blue Hills. The reason for the name is apparent to anyone who experiences this place in the early morning. When you stand on a ridge you can see the hills receding into the distance in various shades of blue. The Blue Hills are what’s left of a mountain range that’s older than the Rockies. The Blue Hills are worn by years of erosion but still rise up about 600 feet above the surrounding forest.

Snowshoers and cross-country skiers can explore this dramatic landscape on the Blue Hills Trail System. These non-motorized trails are maintained by the non-profit Blue Hills Trail Association.

Here’s what to do: Ski a Glacier’s Ghost

Where to do it: West Bend

The glaciers that once blanketed Wisconsin receded and died thousands of years ago but they continue to haunt Wisconsin’s landscape. The glaciers dropped giant chunks of ice, which gouged big depressions into the soil called kettles. They also left behind huge amount of rocks and soil as they melted, forming piles of debris called moraines. So while Wisconsin’s glaciers are long gone, they have left some beautiful, hilly terrain that’s perfect for cross-country skiing. You’ll find a nice section of it- about 30,000 acres – just north of West Bend in the northern unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest. Today, trails run across the length of the park and thanks to the glaciers, the scenery is unforgettable.

Three Winter Recreation Tips:

  • Dress in layers

    Once you get moving it’s sometimes amazing how warm you can get. If you dress in layers it’s easy to shed a garment and stay the perfect temperature.

  • May the wind be at your back

    When there’s a breeze, it’s always a good idea to start your winter activities headed into the wind. That way, you’ll finish your workout on a warm note.

  • Not all water is frozen

    Staying hydrated is important in the winter, just as it is in the summer. When you’re out getting some exercise, don’t forget to bring a beverage along.