This time of year I always like to make a trip to the snow. We had planned on getting the kids on skis this year but after my husband partially tore his ACL and meniscus playing basketball it was advised that he didn’t ski on it until further notice. The kids always love a day of sledding but I wanted to try something different. Cross country skiing crossed my mind but when a friend offered to let us borrow a few sets of snow shoes I knew exactly what our weekend adventure would be. None of us had ever gone snow shoeing before but we will definitely be going again. What a fun adventure!
We started out our trip by stopping at The Powder House in Bend, Oregon. My friend only had snow shoes for three of us so we had to rent a pair for my daughter. The staff was very helpful and the cost was reasonable, $12 for the day. We went on a Monday so supply was plentiful but the gentleman who helped us said that they run out of rentals on some weekends. Plan ahead and make reservations or rent at your local sporting goods store.
I had researched SnoParks prior to our departure from home and found that the Virginia Meissner SnoPark would be a good, first snow shoe location. Snow shoe aficionados would likely turn up their noses at my choice since most of them love to trek off-trail in the back country but for first timers with two kids in tow, this seemed like the best choice. The park has nice, well-groomed and had clearly marked trails. We took the 1.5 mile trail to the warming hut. The hut, which is more like a small log cabin has a wood burning stove inside and a well stocked wood pile. When we arrived the stove was already lit but you might want to bring a few matches and some newspaper in case you need to start the fire yourself. In Oregon, SnoPark’s require a parking permit from November 1st through April 30th. We purchased a day pass for $4 at REI before making our trip. Annual passes are also available. Permits can be purchased at many different locations from sporting goods stores to resorts. Make sure you have a permit because tickets are steep and the parking lots are regularly patrolled. For further information click here.
Upon returning to our car my husband and I decided that purchasing snow shoes of our own would be a wise investment. This will definitely be an activity we enjoy for years to come. Give it a try and let me know what you think.