Embrace the Cold and Hit the Trail
Once winter rolls in, most of us slow down, stay in, and wait for the first signs of spring. Resist the temptation of warm blankets and seize the opportunity to experience nature in its most peaceful state. Whether it’s skiing through a winter wonderland at Grand Teton National Park or hiking through a bare and calm forest at Shenandoah National Park, the opportunity to embrace the national parks in a brand-new way is available to you right now.
This year, we’re transporting 900 4th grade students to experience ‘A Trip to the Moon’ at Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve through our support of the Every Kid in a Park initiative. In January, students experienced a ranger guided tour, snowshoeing their way around the monument, taking in the scenic views and learning about the history of the land. Field trips will continue into the spring and will vary based on weather conditions. Guided snowshoe walks are available to anyone by reservation every weekend this winter.
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is known for miles of sunny, sandy beaches, and lush forests in the summer. Unbeknownst to many, this Lake Michigan park also has wonderful winter activities available for all ages: cross country skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, and ice fishing to name a few. This year, NPF will be providing funding for 1,000 students from Title 1 schools to snowshoe into the dunes and learn about winter ecology.
Introduced in 1989, the Learn to Ski & Ride program is a community outreach program designed to introduce 4th graders to the sports of skiing and snowboarding in Utah’s public lands. NPF is supporting this program this winter, anticipating to help over 5,000 students learn how to ski in their local national park. With some 50 elementary schools throughout the state of Utah participating in this program, the reach is broad and serves all economic and cultural backgrounds.
These are just a few of the many activities and programs to take advantage of this winter. Look up your local national park and see what offerings are available near you. As the old saying goes, ‘there's no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.’ Layer up, get out there, and #FindYourPark!