Snowshoeing at Lowes
Creek in Eau Claire
EDITORS Tom Giffey, Thom Fountain, Tyler Griggs PHOTOGRAPHY Nick Meyer, Zach Oliphant DESIGN Kaitlyn Bryan, Thom Fountain
Catchin’ the Red Eye IT’S A PRETTY UNIQUE THRILL to be skiing down a mountain, poles up bouncing off the fresh powder as you guide yourself through the pristine winter scene. For the last 40 years, the Red Eye Ski Club has pursued that exact feeling, taking trips around the world to pursue the dream of the perfect ride. We talked to trip coordinator Dave White about the club, skiing, and watching the Super Bowl in German. BY THOM FOUNTAIN
How long have you personally been involved in Red Eye Ski Club?
think will help bring more area people to winter downhill activities.
About 12 years.
What drew you to the club originally, and what keeps you involved?
We don’t live in a particularly mountainous area. Why do you think people are still so drawn to downhill skiing?
I liked downhill skiing, but not alone. I needed to find people of similar ability to ski with and travel to bigger places. I had a friend that mentioned there was a ski club in town, so I went and found it. It’s been awesome. In 12 years I’ve skied in nine different states, three foreign countries, and at least 30 different ski resorts with the club.
It’s winter here for about four months of the year, so you need to find some activity that you enjoy. People are attracted to the thrill of sliding down hills and mountains. It’s an adrenaline rush at any age. The fact that there aren’t any nearby mountains makes our club’s group travel opportunities especially attractive.
What is your current role with the ski club?
What plans do you have for your 40th anniversary?
I’m the trip coordinator, planning the group ski travel for the club. It’s sort of a ski travel agent role. I’ve also taken on the duties of website manager.
Describe a bit what the purpose of the Red Eye Ski Club is. The role of the club is to provide an opportunity for people with similar interests in skiing and snowboarding to socialize, have fun, and promote the sport. We have nearly 100 adult members ranging in age from 22 to 72, and over 50 percent are female, so it’s a very diverse group of active skiers and boarders. We’ve recently added our support to the local Pinehurst Project, which we
We’ve got some “40th Anniversary” clothing apparel and commemorative pins that we had made up. We’ll also incorporate the theme into our club ski trips this winter and the spring banquet. We have club trips planned for Lutsen and Duluth (Minnesota), Indianhead (Michigan), Park City (Utah), and Telluride (Colorado).
Do you have a favorite memory from one of the trips? (Or a couple, if you can’t narrow it down!) I’ve got two. Being in Austria with the club was really exciting for me. Seeing the Olympic venues at Innsbruck, riding
the train to ski at Kitzbuehel, the “Sound of Music” tour in Salzburg, and watching the Packers win the Super Bowl on German television at an Austrian hotel with the U.S. Olympic ski team was a great experience. But the No. 1 memory for me was a
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night ride on a winch-cat snow groomer in Schweitzer, Idaho. That’s a 20,000 pound snow cat that’s suspended over the side of the mountain, by a single 2,000-foot-long steel cable, while it grooms the incredibly steep mountainside snow surface. Unbelievable!
The Eau Claire Ski Club Presents
what to do at the new PinEhurst Park If you want to ski, sled, snowboard, skate, or snowshoe in the Chippewa Valley, look no further than Pinehurst Park on Eau Claire’s north side. Over the past year a dedicated group of volunteers has put in countless hours transforming the long-underused park into a veritable winter recreation wonderland. (OK, the snow helps a lot, too.) Decades ago, Pinehurst was a destination for downhill skiers, but years of benign neglect led to overgrown slopes. Likewise, the park has been popular with sledders and snow tubers, but unsafe conditions sometimes sent them skidding into the parking lot. This winter, however, that has changed dramatically as Pinehurst Project volunteers – with help from city parks officials – have embarked on what they hope is a quarter-million-dollar campaign to transform the park. This fall, that meant clearing five acres of trees and brush and doing other earthwork. While the park will offer even more in future years, there will be plenty to do there before the snow melts this winter. Pinehurst Project board member Michael Paul gave us the scoop. BY TOM GIFFEY
SKI JUMPING COMPETITION & Pond Hockey Classic JANUARY 17 & 18, 2014 • SILVER MINE HILL • EAU CLAIRE Visit the
nt Heated Teby
d sponsore 13 NEWS WEAU T V d an lthcare Dove Hea
ADMISSION $10 in Advance, $15 At the Gate 12 and under FREE Gates open Friday night at 5pm and Saturday at 9am. Check the website for additional details. ADMISSION BUTTON LOCATIONS Bridge Stop Convenience Stores, Dooley's Pub, Eau Claire Energy Cooperative, Prestige Auto, Ray's Place, Spring Street Sports, Visit Eau Claire, Gordy's County Market Entertainment by the Bear Creek Band in the heated tent before and after the Saturday's jumps.
SLEDDING & TUBING The sledding area, on the right (west) side of the hill, is now “smoother, wider, and longer,” Paul says. The run-out area for sledders is wider to keep them from sliding in the parking lot. Likewise, one earth berm was built to keep people from sliding into trees, the parking lot, or a power pole, while another berm will separate sledders trekking up the hill from those speeding down.
Skiing & Snowboarding “The center of the hill is designated for skiing and snowboarding,” Paul says. “We hope to have some freestyle features in that area later this winter. It will most likely not be groomed, so conditions will be natural depending on weather.” (Luckily, though, skiers and snowboarders won’t have to dodge trees anymore.)
Crosscountry skiing A cross-country loop has been cut into the woods east of the skating rink and warming house, Paul says. However, because improvements won’t be made until next year, the loop will probably be better suited to snowshoers this year, he says.
Skating & HOckey As in past years, the city will maintain an outdoor skating rink at Pinehurst as well as a boarded rink for hockey. The rinks opened Dec. 13. (Most city outdoor rinks won’t open until Dec. 26.)
The Future Expect more – a lot more – from the Pinehurst Project in the future. “Our
vision is to create a grassroots, community snow park where Chippewa Valley families and residents can go to snowboard, ski, and tube,” Paul says. “In the future we hope to have two or three rope tow or paddle tow lifts, snowmaking ability, a fully-stocked terrain park, and wellgroomed snow like you would expect to find at any other ski area.”
Learn more To learn more about the Pinehurst Project, visit www.pinehurstpark.org or www.facebook.com/ThePinehurstProject.
DONATE The Pinehurst Project is accepting donations for park improvements through a fund at the Eau Claire Community Foundation. Donations may be mailed to the Eau Claire Community Foundation, Attn: Pinehurst Project Fund, 306 S. Barstow St., Suite 104, Eau Claire, WI 54701.
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the USA, N or way, Slovenia, Fi nland & Canada
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WINTER FUN LISTINGS SKATING • SLEDDING • CURLING • SKIING • SHOEING • BIKING • SNOWMOBILING • CLIMBING • RACING • HOCKEYING
Winter After Hours Thursdays Jan. 2-Feb. 27, 6-8pm • Boyd Park on Eau Claire’s Eastside Hill (just off Main Street) • FREE admission; rental costs are usually a couple bucks • all ages • 715-552-0457 • www.volumeone.org/winter Volume One and Eau Claire Parks & Rec invite you to enjoy a ton of cool winter action for adults and kids alike. Enjoy cheap, chilly fun with ice skating, snowshoes, snowshoeing, snow sculptures, winter Kubb, a giant fire pit, music, and a warming house with hot chocolate, tea and coffee. Ice skate and snowshoe rentals available. Come Slide with Us Sundays Jan. 13-Feb. 10, 1-4pm •
Pinehurst Park, 3523 Delbert Rd, Eau Claire • FREE • (715) 839-5032 An afternoon of supervised sledding fun at Pinehurst. We provide the hill, roaring fire to warm up next to, music, and a cup of hot chocolate. All activities will be supervised by our dedicated skating rink supervisors.
128th Annual Silver Mine Invitational and North American Nordic Combined Championships Jan. 17,
5pm; Jan. 18, 9am • Silver Mine Hill, Eau Claire • $10 In advance $15 at the gate 12 & under FREE • www.ecskiclub.com On Friday, gates open at 5pm with jumping & hockey start at 7pm. Happy hour in beer tent 5-7pm. On Saturday, gates open for hockey at 9am, with hockey starting at 10am. For the jumping portion, events start at 3pm, with jumping at 5pm. There will also be a nordic combined (cross country) race at Tower Ridge on Saturday morning (times TBA).
1st Annual Blugold “The Jig’s Up” Ice Fishing Contest Feb. 8, 6am-1:30pm • Lake Altoona County Beach,
604 Beach Rd., Altoona • Each participant may register one fish per ticket; tickets are $25 with no limit on the number of tickets an individual can purchase • 715-8362176 • www.blugolds.com $4,000 in cash and $10,000 in additional prizes will be awarded for the top 6 fish by weight and then every even place thereafter to 100th place so even a small fish can win big. State regulations/ bag limits apply. Northern, walleye, pan fish, and bass allowed. All proceeds support student leadership.
2014 Flying Eagles Invitational Feb. 16, 11:45am • Mt.
Washington Ski Complex: 1805 Menomonie St., Eau Claire • www.flyingeaglesskiclub.org Registration/practice starts at 9am, 11:45am is opening ceremonies, noon is the jumping comp on the 7, 15, 30 & 40 meter hills & the Nordic combined race and then awards will follow the jumping. There are concessions and the warming house available.
US Winter Log Rolling Championship Benefiting Special Olympics Feb. 22, 1pm • Half Moon Beach, Ran-
dall St, Eau Claire • FREE to watch log rolling, $75 minimum donation to Plunge. Raise more money, get more prizes • Never seen before: log rolling in the middle of winter! Join Special Olympics, as part of the Polar Plunge, as professional log rollers compete for cash & bragging rights. Bring the whole family. Competition starts at 1pm, Saturday, Feb. 22. Concessions, beer, and a heated entertainment tent.
Cross-Country Skiing Introduction to Cross Country Skiing Jan. 11, 11am-
1pm • Wise Nature Center, Beaver Creek Reserve, S1 Cty Rd. K, Fall Creek • $5 for Friends, $8 for Nonmembers, $3 for Adult Rental, $3 for Child Rental • All ages • 8772212 • beavercreekreserve.org Come to Beaver Creek to learn the basics. After a brief classroom time inside, we’ll head to an open field in front of the Observatory to try it out firsthand. There will be fun and adventure for the whole family and maybe a cup of hot chocolate too. Registration and full payment required by Jan. 8.
Cross-Country Ski the Henke Farm Jan. 18, 1-3:30pm
• Wise Nature Center, Beaver Creek Reserve, S1 Cty Rd. K, Fall Creek • $5 for Friends, $8 for Nonmembers, $3 for Adult Rental, $3 for Child Rental • 877-2212 • beavercreekreserve.org Ski and traverse the interesting lands at the Henke Farm with retired DNR manager Terry Valen. Terry will lead while you learn about the wonders in the winter landscape as you skirt the edges of the recently established prairie. The terrain is gentle and the pace is slow - allowing skiers to enjoy the quiet beauty of the trails. After your guided trip, you can warm up with hot drinks and treats around a bonfire at the farm. We’ll meet up at the Nature Center and caravan to the Henke Farm. Register by Jan. 15.
Snowshoeing Candlelight Snowshoe Hikes Dec. 27, 6-9pm; Jan. 24,
6-9pm; Feb. 21, 6-9pm • Wise Nature Center, Beaver Creek Reserve, S1 Cty Rd. K, Fall Creek • Friends $1, Nonmembers: Entry fee applies; $3 snowshoe rentals • 877-2212 • beavercreekreserve.org Candles will light your way as you travel by snowshoes along the trails at Beaver Creek. Two shifts of snowshoe rentals are available. Pick from one of two hikes: 6-7:30pm or 7:309pm. If you own your own snowshoes, register for either session. Refreshments and a warm fire will be available after the hike. Registration and full payment required for respective hikes by Dec. 24, Jan. 22, and/or Feb. 19.
Camp Manitou Shoeshow Hike Jan. 5, 1-3pm • Camp Manitou, 27960 137th Street, New Auburn • $5 • (715) 836-8460 • www.ycampmanitou.org This winter, come to Camp Manitou for three great snowshoe hikes. We provide the snowshoes, transportation to and from camp, and hot chocolate. Snowshoe Hike for Elder Explorers Jan. 9, 9:30-
11:30am; Feb. 13, 9:30-11:30am • Wise Nature Center, Beaver Creek Reserve, S1 Cty Rd. K, Fall Creek • Friends $3, Nonmembers $5, snowshoe rentals $3 • ages 55+ • 877-2212 • beavercreekreserve.org Come join a Beaver Creek Naturalist for a snowshoe hike this winter. It’s a great chance to explore the winter woods and get some exercise too. Participants should expect a moderately strenuous outing, over uneven terrain, with a 3/4 to one mile hike. Wear winter clothes and boots. Snowshoes provided. Register & pay by Jan. 6 and Feb. 10.
Make Your Own Snowshoes Jan. 11, 9:30am-3:30pm; Jan. 12, 9:30am-3:30pm; Jan. 13, 9:30am-3:30pm • Beaver Creek Reserve, S1 County Road K, Fall Creek • Friends $160, Nonmembers $170 • (715) 877-2212 • www.beavercreekreserve.org Snowshoeing has become a popular winter activity. Make your own snowshoes in this two-day workshop. Choose from three styles of snowshoes. Bring to class a bag lunch, tape measure, pencil, scissors and matches or lighter. Register and pay by Nov. 11/Dec. 16. Snowshoe Hike at the Henke Farm Feb. 9, 1-3:30pm • Wise Nature Center, Beaver Creek Reserve, S1 Cty Rd. K, Fall Creek • $7 for Friends, $10 for Nonmembers • 877-2212 • beavercreekreserve.org Snowshoe the interesting lands at the Henke Farm on this afternoon with BCR Director Erik Keisler. Erik will lead you through the winter landscape as you skirt the edges of the recently established prairie. Snowshoe under the evergreen cover, cross the creeks on the bridge and get a bit of exercise in a new setting. After your guided trip, you can warm up with hot drinks around a bonfire at the farm. Snowshoe rental is included. Register by Feb. 6. Dog Sledding and Snowshoeing at the Henke Farm
Feb. 15, 1-3pm • Wise Nature Center, Beaver Creek Reserve, S1 Cty Rd. K, Fall Creek • $40 per adult / $20 per child / $70 per couple / $100 family of 4 for Friends, $45 per adult / $25 per child / $75 per couple / $120 family of 4 for Nonmembers • 877-2212 • beavercreekreserve.org There is something magical about watching a string of dogs as they lunge and pull on their ropes while barking, yipping and yowling. Howard Thompson, our guide, has a sled that he will drive; two additional riders can choose to sit or stand. Bring your kids or grandkids to share a special winter moment or surprise your spe-
cial someone with a post-Valentine’s Day activity. We’ll caravan from the Nature Center to the Henke Farm.
More Winter Fun
Winter After Hours Thursdays Jan. 2-Feb. 27, 6-8pm • Boyd Park on Eau Claire’s Eastside Hill (just off Main Street) • FREE admission; rental costs are usually a couple bucks • all ages • 715-552-0457 • www.volumeone.org/winter Volume One and Eau Claire Parks & Rec invite you to enjoy a ton of cool winter action for adults and kids alike. Enjoy cheap, chilly fun with ice skating, snowshoes, snowshoeing, snow sculptures, winter Kubb, a giant fire pit, music, and a warming house with hot chocolate, tea and coffee. Ice skate and snowshoe rentals available. Vintage Snowmobile Show Jan. 11, 9am • Dale’s-DPR Enterprises Shop, W559 US Hwy 10, Mondovi • (715) 495-7111 Gilmanton Sno-blazers are hosting a vintage snowmobile show. Event will begin at 9am with judging at 1pm. Food and beverages will be for sale on the grounds. Giving away lots of door prizes. Beaver Creek Reserve’s Annual French Toast Breakfast + Chippewa Valley Watercolor Artist Reception + Open House Feb. 2, 8:30am-12:30pm • Youth Camp
Side of Beaver Creek Reserve, S1 Cty Rd. K, Fall Creek • advance: $6 for Adults, $3 for Children; at the door: Adults $7 Children $4 • 877-2212 • beavercreekreserve. org French toast, maple syrup, sausage and beverages will be served in the Main Lodge. Then starting at 9am the Wise Nature Center host the Chippewa Valley Watercolor Artists’ watercolor exhibit, sale and reception in the lower lobby. Upstairs there will be fiber spinning demonstrations, sales in the Nature Store, plus FREE cross-country skis and showshoe rentals.
Menomonie Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Feb.
8, 11am-6pm • Elk Point Resort, N8535 618th St, Colfax • $75 to Plunge. The more money you raise the more prizes you earn • (715) 962-3055 Put on a wacky costume, raise money, and jump in a lake in winter to benefit 1,000 local Special Olympics athletes. Chicken? That’s okay. You can still participate by registering as a chicken plunger and staying on dry land. Food, bonfires, beer, & more.
Open Ice Rink Events
Lunch Break Open Skate Weekdays until May. 23,
11am-1pm • Hobbs Ice Center, 915 Menomonie Street, Eau Claire • $3 (fee includes skate rental) • (715) 8395032 No skating Nov. 28, Dec. 24-25, Jan. 1.
Adult Open Hockey Sundays until Dec. 29, 7:459:15pm; Wednesdays Jan. 8-Apr. 30, 8:45-10:15pm; Sundays Jan. 5-Apr. 27, 7:45-9:15pm • Hobbs Ice Center, 915 Menomonie Street, Eau Claire • $6 • 18+ • (715) 839-5032 Co-ed program. School’s Out Rink Rats Dec. 23, 26-27, 30-31, 11:30am1:45pm • Hobbs Ice Center, 915 Menomonie Street, Eau Claire • $3 • ages 7-14 • (715) 839-5032 Age brackets: 11:30am-12:30pm (ages 7-10); 12:45pm-1:45pm (ages 11-14). School’s Out Open Skating Dec. 23, 1:15-3:15pm; Dec.
26, 1:15-3:15pm; Dec. 27, 1:15-3:15pm; Dec. 30, 1:153:15pm; Dec. 31, 1:15-3:15pm • Hobbs Ice Center, 915 Menomonie Street, Eau Claire • Cost: $3 (includes skate rental) • (715) 839-5032 Popcorn and a movie included on the 23rd.
Open Skating Every Sundays until Dec. 22, 5:307:30pm; Wednesdays Jan. 1-Mar. 26. 6:30-8:30pm; Sundays Jan. 5-Mar. 30, 5:30-7:30pm • Hobbs Ice Center, 915 Menomonie Street, Eau Claire • $6 adults, $6 youth, skate rental $3 • (715) 839-5032.
Winter Nature Classes Bird Banding Demonstration Jan. 11, 7:30-10:30am •
Wise Nature Center, Beaver Creek Reserve, S1 Cty Rd. K, Fall Creek • FREE • 877-2212 • beavercreekreserve. org Join the Beaver Creek bird banding crew anytime during the morning to learn about bird banding. Learn about bird identification, bird behavior, how to attract birds to your yard and what to feed them. You will even be able to “adopt” one of the birds you see banded. Register for this event.
Feb. 22, 2:30pm • Half Moon Beach, Randall St, Eau Claire • FREE admission • How many times has the boss made you sweat? Here’s a chance to watch bosses be Freezin’ For A Reason during the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics. Join the fun Saturday, Feb 22 starting at 2:30pm to watch bosses jump in a lake. Concessions, music, beer & hot cocoa in the heated entertainment tent.
Timber Wolf Winter Ecology Workshop Jan. 25, 9am4:30pm; Jan. 26, 8:30am-noon • Beaver Creek Reserve, S1 County Road K, Fall Creek • Friends $65, Nonmembers $70 • (715) 877-2212 • www.beavercreekreserve. org The Timber Wolf Information Network (TWIN) will discuss wolf ecology, population biology, management issues and field study techniques. Fee includes instruction and materials. Bring your own Saturday lunch and beverage. Call for lodging info. Registration and full payment required by Jan. 17.
Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Feb. 23, noon • Half Moon Beach, Randall St, Eau Claire • $75 per Plunger, includes long-sleeve shirt. Raise more money, get more prizes • www.SpecialOlympicsWisconsin.org Put on a wacky costume, raise money & jump in a lake to benefit 1,000 Special Olympics athletes at the Polar Plunge! It’s the 15th Anniversary so be prepared for extreme fun & games. Register right now, show up February 23 at 11am to check in and Plunge starting at Noon. Be Freezin’ for a Reason.
Feb. 26, 9:30am-noon • Wise Nature Center, Beaver Creek Reserve, S1 Cty Rd. K, Fall Creek • $5 for Friends, $8 for Nonmembers • 877-2212 • beavercreekreserve.org Leaves are one of the biggest clues for tree and shrub identification. So what do you do when there are no leaves? Winter offers a special time to appreciate trees and shrubs in a totally different way. This program points out unique bud and bark characteristics of many of our native trees and shrubs, making iden-
Toss Your Boss Polar Plunge for Special Olympics
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Tree and Shrub ID in Winter Feb. 22, 9:30am-noon;
tification possible even in winter. Register by Feb. 19.
Downhill Ski & Snowboard
Afton Alps 6600 Peller Ave. S., Hastings • 651-436-5245
Learn to Ski Dec. 28, 10am-6pm • Mt. Washington Ski
• aftonalps.com They boast 48 runs up to 3,000 feet long with possible vertical drops of 350 feet. Two tricky terrain parks, tubing, tow ropes and chairlifts galore, all types of rentals, a ski shop, two chalets, two restaurant/ bars, and instruction available.
Complex: 1805 Menomonie St., Eau Claire • FREE • ages 4-12 • 715-552-1428 • www.flyingeaglesskiclub. org New skiers will begin on the small slopes/Bunny Hill and may progress to a small jump if desired. Bring your own downhill equipment OR we will outfit you with skis and boots for this free lesson. We will have complimentary hot chocolate in our clubhouse for you. To reserve a one-hour time slot, please email your name, children’s names and ages, boot sizes, phone #, and any time preference to FESkiClub@Gmail.com or call 715552-1428. Parents must attend.
Cascade Mountain W10441 Cascade Mountain Road, Portage • 608-742-5588 • cascademountain.com They have 41 runs, the longest being a full mile, and a vertical drop of 460 feet. Six terrain parks will keep anybody occupied, while they have tubing for less intense riders. Towropes and chairlifts, rentals, a ski shop, chalet/restaurant/coffeehouse, and lessons available.
Tiny Scientists - Winter Lab Wednesdays Jan. 8-Feb. 5, 9:15-10:15am; Thursdays Jan. 9-Feb. 6, 10:3011:30am; Thursdays Jan. 9-Feb. 6, 5:45-6:45pm • Lily Pad Lab, 2524 Golf Rd S2D, Eau Claire • $40 • 2-6yrs • 715-529-6186 • www.lilypadlab.com Winter Lab is a 5 week, parent/child class where you and your little ones can explore everything winter has to offer while being warm and cozy in the Lily Pad Lab. Examine snowflakes, identify pine trees, learn about animals that love the cold, play with lots of white sensory materials and make lots of wintry white art.
Christie Mountain W13755 County Hwy. O, Bruce •
(715) 868-7800 • christiemountain.com 21 lighted runs up to 4,000 feet long, with a 350-foot vertical drop. Four terrain parks, tubing runs, towropes and chairlifts, rental gear, chalet, and instructions available.
Coffee Mill Ski & Snowboard Resort 99 Coulee Way, Wabasha • 651-565-2777 • coffeemillski.com They only have 10 runs, but the longest is 5,100 feet long with a vertical drop of 425 feet. A sweet snowboarding terrain park, towropes and chairlifts, rentals, a chalet, cafeteria, snowmaking, and instruction available.
Beaver Creek Acorns - Winter Outdoor Adventures for Little Ones Jan. 22, 9:30-10:15am • Wise Nature Center,
Beaver Creek Reserve, S1 Cty Rd. K, Fall Creek • $5 (per child adults Free) for Friends, $8 (per child adults Free) for Nonmembers • 877-2212 • beavercreekreserve. org It is never too soon to expose your children to the outdoors. Babies are curious and want to investigate their world at a very young age. Nature provides children with the opportunity to explore using all of their senses. Children from birth to 2 ½ years and their guardian are invited to join Beaver Creek Reserve to discover nature. Register by Jan. 17.
“Who’s Been Here?” Winter Tracking for Kids Mar.
1, 9:30-11:30am; Mar. 1, 12:30-2:30pm • Wise Nature Center, Beaver Creek Reserve, S1 Cty Rd. K, Fall Creek • $5 (one chaperon is free) for Friends, $8 (one chaperon is free) for Nonmembers • ages 8+ • 877-2212 • beavercreekreserve.org Kids can come to this program and learn some of the detective work it takes to figure out the answers. If conditions allow, children will take a short walk outdoors, guided by a naturalist, to look for tracks and identify who may have passed that way. Register by Feb. 26.
Skate & Hockey Rinks
Altoona Hobbs Sport Center 2300 Spooner Ave., Al-
toona • altoonahockey.com Open skate times vary based on hockey leagues. Check website for times.
Boyd Park 1202 Fairway Street, Eau Claire • (715) 839-5039 • www.eauclairewi.gov Boyd Park provides access to the Eau Claire River. People can partake in some shoreline fishing. There is also a pedestrian bridge that crosses the river granting access to city recreational trails on either side of the river. During the winter season A great outdoor rink with hockey nets and a useful warming house. Open 4-8pm during the week, and 1-9pm on weekends.
Chippewa Area Ice Arena 839 1st Ave., Chippewa Falls
• (715) 723-1612 • Open skate 7-8pm on Sunday evenings.
Demmler Park 524 Putman Drive, Eau Claire • During
the warm weather season, a large community garden is located in the park. In the winter, a portion of Demmler Neighborhood Park is used as a general ice-skating rink with a snow-banked hockey rink alongside. Open rec. field. Rink hours: Mon.-Fri. 4-9pm & Sat.-Sun. 1-6pm.
Dunn County Recreation Park 620 17th St., Menomonie
• Open all day. The only rink in Menomonie with lights and hockey nets.
Eau Claire Indoor Sports Center 3456 Craig Road, Eau
Claire • 715-552-1200 • ecsportscenter.com Offers a variety of indoor sports activities including batting cages and leagues. Also has pucks and nets to use for free during open gym times. Not on ice. Call ahead to find out open gym times, as they vary day to day.
Hobbs Ice Arena 915 Menomonie Street, Eau Claire •
(715) 839-5040 • In addition to a ton of leagues, Hobbs offers youth open hockey clinics on Wednesday evenings. Open skate times are Sunday and Wednesday evenings. Rentals available. There is an admission fee.
Hobbs Municipal Ice Center 915 Menomonie St.,, Eau Claire • (715) 839-5040 • eauclairewi.gov
Oak Park Circle Oak Park Circle, Menomonie • Open all day. No lights or warming house.
Pinehurst Park 3523 Delbert Road, Eau Claire • eau-
clairewi.gov The location of Pinehurst Recreational Area includes off-street parking and an open recreational field. A borded skating rink and a general ice-skating rink is also made available during the winter and is open 4-9pm Mon.-Fri.;1-6pm Sat. & Sun.
Putnam Heights Playground 530 W. Tyler Ave., Eau Claire • (715) 839-5032 • eauclairewi.gov Borded hockey rink and general skating rink with a warming house. Mon.-Fri. 4-9pm and Sat.-Sun. 1-6pm. River Heights Elementary School 615 24th Ave., Menomonie • No lights or warming house. Roosevelt Playground 908 Folsom St., Eau Claire • (715) 839-5032 • eauclairewi.gov Borded hockey rink and general skating rink with a warming house. Mon. & Wed. 4-9pm, Tues. & Thurs. 4-8pm, Fri. 4-10:15pm, Sat. 1-10:15pm, and Sun. 1-8pm. Sam Davey Park 3001 Mercury Ave., Eau Claire • Mon.-Fri. 4-9pm, Sat.-Sun. 1-6pm. Wakanda Elementary 1801 Wakanda St., Menomonie • No lights or warming house.
Cross Country Skiing
Beaver Creek S1 Cty Hwy K, Fall Creek • (715) 877-
2212 • beavercreekreserve.org A few minutes in your car and you can spend an entire afternoon in the quiet beauty of the woods. Beaver Creek Reserve has a number of wooded, groomed trails for snowshoeing and cross country skiing. Rental equipment is available as well.
Blue Hills Between Rusk County and Rice Lake, Bruce • bluehillswisconsin.com If you don’t mind a short drive (about an hour and a half from Eau Claire), check out the Blue Hills winter sports area, named for the blue-tinted forested hillsides when seen through the mist. There are tons of super sweet trails to choose from, for either ski skating or traditional cross-country skiing. Make it into a day trip or spend an entire weekend there.
Carson Park 101 Carson Park Dr, Eau Claire • (715)
839-5039 • enjoyeauclaire.com One of the more historical parks in the Upper Midwest. Carson Park in Eau Claire contains three major attractions, the Paul Bunyan Logging Camp, the Chippewa Valley Museum, along with Eau Claire’s baseball stadium. The Eau Claire Express became the newest tenant of Carson Park in 2005. During the winter season Carson Park offers cross-country skiing with several shorter, groomed trails perfect for beginners looking to stay away from steep grades.
City Wells Area Riverview Dr., Eau Claire • (715) 839-
5032 • Located on the east side of Riverview Dr.. About 3 miles of flat trails across from Riverview Park. A good course for beginners.
Coon Fork Ski Trail County Highway CF, Augusta •
(715) 839-4783 • eauclaire-info.com Located on Coon Fork Lake County Park, this trail is most suitable for beginner to imtermediate skiers, and offers level areas and rolling hills. It has a total length of 3.2 miles. Only diagonal striding is available as the trails are not wide enough to groom for skate skiing. Snowshoeing along
the side of the ski trails is allowed.
Fairfax Park 4200 Fairfax St., Eau Claire • (715) 839-
1680 • 75-acre park located on the south side of Eau Claire, with access off either Golf Road or Fairfax St. This park includes a baseball field, two Little League fields, an outdoor municipal swimming pool, cross country ski trails, and walking trails.
Hickory Ridge - Cross Country Skiing Bob Lake Road/225th Ave., Chippewa Falls • (715) 726-7880 • co.chippewa.wi.us This cross-country ski trail winds 14.2 kilometers through the quiet and scenic northern hardwood forest. There are three challenging loops with lots of hills and steep grades. Entire trail is groomed from both classical and skating style skiers. Hoffman Hills State Recreation Area 730th Ave.,
Colfax • (715) 232-1242 • dnr.wi.gov Don’t overlook the 707 acres of preserved and restored wooded hills, wetlands, and prairie, scribbled with cross-country ski trails for all levels. Glide through the snow while feasting your eyes on spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. Vehicle admission stickers aren’t required, but all skiers over 16 years of age must have a state trail pass.
Irvine Park Bridgewater Ave., Chippewa Falls • 7233890 • 2 miles - This is a gently rolling trail for bikers and hikers. The trail is located in Irvine Park in Chippewa Falls on Bridgewater Avenue. Also features three miles of groomed cross country ski trail. Lake Wissota State Park 8127 County Hwy 0, Chip-
pewa Falls • (715) 382-4574 • dnr.wi.gov The park offers over 11 miles of scenic trails that pass along Lake Wissota’s shoreline and through woodland, prairie, lowland, forest, and marsh areas. Bikes are permitted on all but three of the trials. Also features 7.5 miles of groomed and tracked cross-country ski trails. There are also campsites located in the park. A State Park sticker is required.
Lowes Creek County Park - Cross Country Skiing S.
Lowes Creek Rd., Eau Claire • (715) 839-4738 • co.eauclaire.wi.us Just minutes south of Eau Claire, experience 250 acres of cross-country ski, snowshoe, and pet walking bliss. The two-way trail system separates skiers from snowhoers, and has many loops and shortcuts giving you a wide selection of route variety. Trails twist up and down hills, through creek bottoms and white pine forests, and range from easy to difficult, so a trail map is a good idea for those new to the park.
River Road Cross Country Ski Trail about 2.5 miles
north of Cornell • (715) 726-7920 • Enjoy two separate trails for intermediate and advanced skiers through rolling terrain and along the more-gentle grade of the River Road to the parking area.
Tower Ridge - Cross Country Skiing 955 S82 Ave.,
Eau Claire • (715) 839-4738 • co.eau-claire.wi.us This popular cross-country ski site is the largest 12 miles of groomed trails in west central Wisconsin, and has both hilly and flat areas. Trails snake through wooded, rolling terrain and offer fun to all skill levels. In addition to the cross country trails, this park offers a shorter snowshoe trail that runs adjacent to the lighted portion of the ski trail.
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Granite Peak 3605 N. Mountain Road, Wausau • (715) 845-2846 • email@example.com • skigranitepeak. com A massive place with 74 runs up to 1.5 miles in length and an awesome vertical drop of around 700 feet. They also have tubing, tons of rentals, a ski shop, chalet, lodging, restaurants, snowmaking, and instruction. Mt. LaCrosse Ski and Snowboard N5549 Old Town Rd., La Crosse • (608) 788-0044 and (800) 426-3665 • firstname.lastname@example.org • mtlacrosse.com Offers 18 slopes and trails that are serviced by four chair lifts and one tow rope. Slopes include the gentle Mileaway, which is Wisconsin’s longest run, and Damnation, which is America’s steepest trail. They also have a convenient chalet, rental and repair, food and a bar, and a 516 foot vertical drop. Spring Street Sports 12 W. Spring St, Chippewa Falls • (715) 723-6616 • springstreetsports.com They have snowboarding, cross country, skating and snowshoeing packages for the day or entire weekend to use at the place of your choosing. Prices range from $15 to $30 for the day, or $25 to $60 for a weekend. Rentals also available. Trollhaugen Ski Area 2232 100th Ave., Dresser • 800826-7166, (715) 755-2955, or (651) 433-5141 • trollhaugen.com Has 22 runs, tubing, towropes and chairlifts, rentals, a ski shop, chalet, restaurant, snowmaking, and instruction available. The longest run is 2,500 feet with a vertical drop of 286 feet. Wild Mountain 37200 Wild Mountain Road, Taylors Falls • (651) 465-6315 • wildmountain.com They have 25 runs, the longest of which is a full mile with a vertical drop of 300 feet. They also have a snowboarding terrain park, tubing, towropes and chairlifts, rentals, a chalet, restaurant, snowmaking, and instruction.
Snowmobiling Trails Barron County 148.2 miles • (800) 523-6318 Buffalo River Trail 36.4 miles • 839-1607 Chippewa County 281 miles • 726-7880 Clark County 265 miles • 743-5140
Dunn County 233 miles • 235-3294
Eau Claire County 144 miles • 839-4738
Fond du Lac County 300 miles • 937-9123 Jackson County 260 miles • 284-0224
Marathon County 641 miles • (800) 236-9728
Old Ave State Trail 19.7 miles • (800) 866-6264 Pepin County 113 miles • 672-4342
Pierce County 222 miles • 639-5611
Red Cedar State Trail 2 miles (Meno) • (888) 523-3866 Rusk County 300 miles • (800) 535-7874
Wild Rivers Trail (Rice Lake area) 100 miles • (800) 523-
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Published on Oct 22, 2014