Categories: Family Fun
This Christmas our family all got snowshoes so we were keen to get out and try them. You can start small in your own backyard or neighbourhood park or for a bigger workout and adventure head to a local conservation area or regional forest.
Our kids got brand new light-weight aluminum snowshoes as presents from their aunt and uncle. They're easy to put on and take off (an essential feature for kids!), comfortable to walk in, have great grip with their built-in crampons and are nice and light-weight. They even come with their own carry-case and telescopic/adjustable poles! You can buy snowshoes at most sports stores these days, but my sister bought these ones online through www.bigfootsnowshoes.com in Waterloo, Ontario.
The kids were now outfitted to head out in the snow with their new shoes...but my husband and I didn't have any to join them with. Very kindly, my father and step-mother lent us their snowshoes for the winter so now we can go out as a family and enjoy the snow. My step-mother's snowshoes are fairly new and the current style so also light and easy to use. My dad's snowshoes, however, were more like the classic "tennis-racquet" ones you think of from the past. He got them from an army surplus store years ago, so they're great quality and still light-weight (with a magnesium frame)--just a slightly different style. We actually love the combination of old and new! My husband's snowshoes are ideal for cutting the trail on ungroomed areas and our newer shoes have great grip with their crampons to climb hills etc.
Our first trip out with the snowshoes was to Durham Regional Forest in Uxbridge. It's FREE to use and there are plenty of trails to explore (the forest has 405 hectares of land). We've enjoyed mountain biking in the forest in the summer and my daughter had a fantastic school field trip there just last month. We're thrilled we can now enjoy this gorgeous forest in the winter now too!
For more snowshoe trails in your area, you can visit the Ontario Trails website.
Snowshoeing is a perfect family winter activity... it doesn't cost much to get outfitted, there are lots of FREE trails around you can use, it's great excercise but not difficult to do and it's a wonderful way to get out and enjoy nature with your kids during the winter!