Have you heard? There is a growing trend in Wisconsin that’s literally had a snowball effect throughout the Midwest. It goes by many names with the most common being “Snow Sports.”
A greater and greater number of people each year are participating in the snow sports movement due to there being so many ways and reasons to get outdoors for cold weather fun.
One of the most powerful motivators for many is the long list of unexpected health benefits, including…
In Boscobel – Wisconsin’s Outdoor Recreation Destination – we absolutely love being outside and active this time of year, so we’re inviting you to join us in a variety of activities available nearby.
It’s officially time to pause Netflix, get off the couch, and bundle up because there are exciting winter experiences for you to get outside and try!
What makes Wisconsin such an amazing place to hop on a Polaris, Ski-Doo, or Arctic Cat and zip through the frosty countryside? One might say it’s the perfect combination of culture, climate, and infrastructure.
For starters, lots of snow is needed in order to go snowmobiling. Luckily, for a snow sport aficionado like yourself, the annual snowfall totals in Wisconsin range anywhere from 30 to over 100 inches, depending on the part of the state you’re in.
Winter weather also picks up in November and can linger as late as April or May (roughly 5 months/year). This extended snowy season provides a wealth of opportunities to not only maintain but expand an enormous network of snowmobile trails – over 25,000 miles statewide.
In Grant County alone – where Boscobel is located – we have over 330 miles of scenic, snowy trails winding through bluffs, forests, and farm fields. It’s one of the truly unique ways to explore our Driftless landscapes in southwestern Wisconsin.
Could this be the year that you give it a try?
Learn More: Snowmobiling in Boscobel, WI
Slide, glide, and try not to fall! When Wisconsin lakes and ponds freeze up, it’s finally time to lace up your skates and fly around on these icy surfaces by participating in a variety of snow sports.
Ice hockey, figure skating, speed skating, and (our personal favorite) leisurely ice skating all fall under this thrilling category. Each of these activities will help improve your fitness while having a blast at the time.
These cold weather experiences can be as versatile as you’d like. Take your special someone on a romantic ice-skating date, enjoy a couple hours of play with your kids, or spend some quality time with a group of friends. No matter the occasion, you won’t be disappointed.
In Boscobel, we have an outstanding outdoor ice-skating rink complete with a warming house and concession stand.Admission is free (but donations are accepted) and skates, hockey sticks, and pucks are provided for convenient use.
So, really, what are you waiting for?
It’s pretty tough to beat a classic, and downhill sledding is certainly that. In fact, three Olympic events are based on sledding. It’s true – bobsledding, skeleton, and luge are all deeply rooted in this essential winter activity.
Most of us have raced down hills on a saucer in the past, and many of us look forward to taking our children each year. After all, one of the subtle perks to having kids is regaining your ability to do some of your favorite childhood activities completely judgement-free.
But sledding or tobogganing isn’t just for kids 18 and under. It can actually be an incredibly fun activity for groups of friends and/or large family gatherings during the chilly winter months.
Come on – all the cool kids are doing it, so you might as well take advantage and join us on the snowy slopes of Boscobel on your next visit, such as the hill at Kronshage Park.
Bonus Tip: If you go with a group of adults, make sure someone is filming. Something entertaining is bound to happen.
What if you could have nature all to yourself? In winter time on cross country ski or snowshoe trails, that’s a realistic expectation because there are less people out.
With leaves missing from the trees and snow covering the ground as well, wildlife and signs of wildlife are more visible than any other time of year. The reduced friction of snow and ice forces you to slow down, providing additional time to appreciate the grand sights and sounds around you.
But how do you decide which of these snow sports is right for you? The decision comes down to understanding the type of outdoor experience you’re looking for.
If you love a good challenge, cross-country skiing is likely for you. This grueling yet rewarding winter sport takes some practice to become proficient, but once you are, you can move through long stretches of scenic trails in less time than hiking while enjoying a fantastic low-impact workout.
An added benefit is that it’s inexpensive to start. You can often find secondhand equipment at your local thrift store.
If you prefer to take your time and do some in-depth exploration of nature, snowshoeing is probably the right choice for you. It’s essentially hiking but with panels strapped to the bottom of your boots to help distribute your weight and provide traction and stability in icy conditions.
A new pair of snowshoes can be somewhat pricey, but rental options are often available at a nearby sporting goods store or parks and rec department for those interested.
Further Reading: Snowshoes vs. Cross-Country Skis: Two Fans Make a Case
Positioned along the Lower Wisconsin Riverway with access to 44,000 acres of public land, Boscobel is the perfect place for you to embark on a cross-country ski or snowshoe adventure.
We also have the 389-acre Boscobel Bluffs State Natural Area in our backyard, which offers a diverse set of geographic areas (such as dry prairie and oak savannah) and features wind-blown terrain to photograph, explore, and investigate.
Aside from being the title of a delicious Belgian White Ale from New Belgium (cheers!) “Fat Tire” refers to a type of mountain biking that’s become a staple within the snow sports community. Outdoor enthusiasts just can’t get enough!
The extra width and rugged tread of these bike tires, along with a lower psi, helps provide greater traction on snowy, icy, and sandy terrain that riders covet.
Now, make no mistake – fat tire biking isn’t your typical ride through the park. It’s an intense workout. If you’re looking for a way to get outdoors and stay fit throughout the snowy season, however, this could be your newest addiction.
The benefits for a determined fat bike rider far outweigh any disadvantages you may be contemplating. As long as you dress warm, get familiar with your route, and prepare for an epic experience, you’ll discover it’s never been easier to bike the trail less traveled.
Speaking of routes you can ride, we have several great bicycling trails for all skill levels right here in Boscobel and even more in neighboring areas. These courses are well-groomed and enjoyable, whether it’s your first time on a fat bike or you need a new challenge to conquer.
Ready to give it a go?
Get back to nature and come join us in the heart of Wisconsin’s Driftless Region this winter.
A simple drive along our rural river roads, viewing scenic vantage points along the way with family and friends, is an adventure within itself. You can begin making plans by browsing a few of Boscobel’s lodging, dining, and local shopping places. See you outside!