Winter is Here, Now What?
It seems winter is here for most of us in central and northern Wisconsin. Some say it seems early others say we’ve had snow earlier than this. All of which I completely agree with. It seems a little early to be dealing with this much snow, but at the same time, it makes for a very pretty holiday season. How many times have we all dreamt of a white Christmas only to be disappointed? This year will definitely be white for Christmas and Santa won’t have any trouble getting around in his sleigh.
Maybe you were caught off guard by the amount of snow we received so early, I know I was. I’m used to seeing that dusting of snow or maybe an inch or two on the ground before the end of the year. I’m can say I was prepared for snow; I had my snowblower ready to go and all the shovels out of the shed. I even had all the necessary things in our cars before the first flakes flews. But I really wasn’t prepared to have this much snow so early. So, the question remains, now what? What can I do now that we have a good base layer of snow and the temps are cold enough that it’s not really going anywhere?
The quick answer is be patient. There are a few activities that you can start doing right away and others, you’re going to have to wait and give a little time before you can start and enjoy. Let’s start with some of the things you can do.
One of the earliest things you can do is start snowshoeing. The only real requirement is snow and guess what? We got that. Snowshoeing is a great way to get out and really enjoy the full beauty of early winter. Whether your hiking your own woods or trying a new trail, strapping on a pair of snowshoes is a great way to get an early start on your outdoor winter fun. Another activity that follows in this area would-be cross-country skiing. Although depending on where you like to do this, it may or may not be ready for skiing. If you’re one to go out and blaze your own trials, then by all means get out and start enjoying, but if you’re one who likes groomed trials that are offered and some county or state parks, you may have to wait just a bit before heading out.
Speaking of skiing, if you’re a downhill skier or snowboarder, then you’ve you’re in luck! Most ski hills have been open for more than a few weeks already. Mostly because they make their own snow and have a solid base already set. This recent snowfall only helps open up more runs that may have been lacking in that snow department. So, get your lift tickets and head to the top of the hill because downhill skiing is ready for you hit the slopes.
Those are a few things you can safely do without too much worry during this early snow season. Others you’re going to need a bit of patients from man and mother nature. If you’re into powersports and snowmobiling, I’m sure you’re itching to hit the trails and start logging some miles. If you live in the northern parts of the state close to the U.P. then you may have been out a few times already. I have a few friends that have trailered their sleds to those areas and have enjoyed some time on their sleds. Hunting season has prohibited them from all day rides but at least some trails are open. Here is central Wisconsin the snowmobiling season is close to starting. I’ve seen a few trails that have been groomed but the process is just starting and the trails are not open. Your best bet is to check with your local clubs and see where the trails are ready and where you need to wait. In the meantime, now is a great time to make sure your sled and gear are in tip-top shape and if you haven’t already joined a local club and be ready for when the trails open.
If you’ve been itching to get out on the ice and drop in some lines, all I can say is please be careful. I’ve noticed some out on the ice already and have been fishing safety. But before the snow most of the ice had melted and the process has been restarted. With the amount of snow we received, the thickness of the ice may be deceiving. Make sure you check the ice before you drop that first line.
When winter gets here, we have two choices; complain all winter until spring gets here or embrace it and enjoy it. For a long time, I was in the first category, but have moved into the second and I’ll tell you first hand, it makes for a much better life. I’m itching to get out and start enjoying everything winter has to offer, but I’m being patient and checking the Travel Wisconsin snow report to make sure winter is ready for me as I head out to be one of Wisconsin’s Outdoor Explorers.