Winter in Wisconsin can be so long and tough. Most years it seems it will never end! Our winter usually starts some time after Thanksgiving and although rare, has been known to snow even until May. In fact, May 31st is actually our last frost date and it's not safe to plant until then. That makes a very short growing season.
A lot of people get depressed in the winter: they get bored, and they are tired of being cooped up inside. Hey, my husband built me a huge sunroom so I could have sun and plants all year long so I wouldn't get depressed.
But if you can't build a sunroom onto the back of your house like my husband did, the next best thing is to get out and play in the snow! There are so many winter sports in Wisconsin: sledding, skiing, snowshoeing, skating, and hockey to name a few. Many people in my neck of the woods love to snowmobile and we have snowmobile trails everywhere! Ice fishing is also very popular.
For my husband and I we love to hike! I know, I know, you're so surprised since the majority of my vacation posts involve trails we've done. But yes, if you dress for it, you can hike even in the winter! If the snow is too deep, then you have to either wear snow shoes or go cross country skiing. On this day, the snow wasn't deep enough for snow shoes plus it was actually kinda frozen so when we stepped on it we didn't fall through the snow.
My husband discovered through a local magazine that we could hike on a golf course in Black River Falls. Golf courses are so pretty in the warm weather months, of course they are pretty in winter too. This course also allows snow mobiles! The biggest concern about hiking in winter is that you may not be able to see the trail because it's covered in snow, but this one was very clearly marked with posts and flags.
Now please excuse "me" being in all the photos. It was Valentine's Day Weekend (read more about our Valentine's Weekend in this post) and hubby was feeling a little enamored with me and took way too many photos with me in it. I even told him, "Just take some pictures of the nature without me, people want to see the scenery and not just me", but I don't think he listened. 😀
Although we thought the golf course was pretty in winter, we really enjoyed this trail BEHIND the golf course. I have no idea if it was private property and we were trespassing or if it really was a trail. It seemed to be a trail as there was plenty of matted down snow and footprints. At first I thought it was part of the "Foundation Trail", as that one runs near the golf course, but the description says it is paved, and this was more a meandering through the woods.
I did get a 'selfie' of the two of us, since it was our Valentine's Day celebration. Yes, we're old but we're still in-love and adventurous!
We did wonder if we were lost as we had no idea where we were. One minute we were walking on the golf course, then we saw this cute little bridge behind the golf course so we decided to check that out, then we looked further and saw all the woods and we decided to explore that. Before we knew it, we were deep in the woods having a grand old time exploring! It was an adventure for sure!
What trail it was, and who it belongs too, we have no idea but it had to be a public trail of some sort as there were so many cute bridges to cross.
I always hike with walking sticks, but this was the first time I got to use my "snow tips". My poles came with many different tips to use depending on the terrain. The snow tips keep the poles from falling too deep in the snow. I was so grateful to have my poles as the frozen snow was quite slippery.
We were elated to discover a stream on our "mystery trail".
I'm laughing my head off in this shot because hubby was making fun of me as I very cautiously made my way down this steep snow bank. As I said earlier, the snow was so slippery! We had warmer weather earlier in the week, and all the snow started to melt. Then it got really cold, and the wet, melted snow froze over the snow that didn't melt creating very slippery conditions.
Another cute foot bridge over the stream.
Yay, here is the one picture my hubby took without me in it!
Hiking in the winter is so much fun. We don't have to worry about bears because they are hibernating. We don't have to spray ourselves with bug spray. We certainly don't get hot and sweaty. And the best part is there's usually no other hikers and we get the trails all to ourselves!
The weather this day was a high of 17 degrees, but with the exception of my cheeks, I stayed toasty warm all day. I love Under Armor "Cold Gear". It keeps me toasty warm and I don't sweat wearing it. To hike on this day, I wore Under Armour "Cold Gear" top and leggings. I then put super thick Puma sweat pants over my leggings. My boots are by Sorel and keep my feet warm to -40 degrees, but I also had on two pairs of socks. My coat is 100% down filled. I wore a fleece neck gaiter that I pulled up whenever my cheeks got too cold. And of course I wore a hat and gloves.
So what about you? Do you enjoy being outside in winter or are you more like a bear and hibernate all winter? I'd love to hear from you!
Next week I'll be back with another hike we took that very same day in the Black River Forest. That was a beauty.
Have A Great Day! Amy
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