Want an aerobic winter option other than skiing or skating?
The sport is easy to participate in, provides great exercise, and the start-up costs are low. Snowshoeing also gives participants a chance to enjoy peace and quiet and beautiful scenery.
Canton resident Bill Clark, a former ski instructor and longtime snowshoeing participant, is a major proponent of the sport.
Its great, he said. If youre not sure if its for you, you can rent snowshoes first and buy them later if you like it. And its something that most anyone can do. If you want a good 20 minutes of exercise, you can just put on snowshoes and circle around your backyard. If you want anywhere from an afternoon hike to an all-day workout, there are so many trails in our area.
Its especially nice to go after a fresh snowfall, he added. You can experience the beauty of nature, and enjoying a little solitude is always nice.
If theres snow, you can go as long as at least 6 inches are on the ground, according to many snowshoeing experts. And unlike downhill skiing, participants dont have to rely on a particular facility being open.
The Adirondacks and the tri-county region of Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Lewis offer numerous snowshoeing opportunities.
In St. Lawrence County, Wear on Earth in Potsdam rents approximately 50 pairs of snowshoes and sells about 65 pairs each year.
The beauty of snowshoeing is that its the winter equivalent of taking a walk, said Shannon Klein, who along with her husband, Mike, owns and operates Wear on Earth. Its great for families getting their kids interested in an activity, and you can get a good pair of snowshoes that can last you eight to 10 years.
Klein recommends heading to Red Sandstone Trail in Potsdam or Stone Valley Trail in Colton for a solid, short outing. For a mid-level experience, she points to Azure Mountain on Blue Mountain Road near Santa Clara. And for an expert outing, she recommends the High Peaks in the Adirondacks, with Algonquin providing a superior all-day experience.