Winter Trails Day, now in its 15th year, takes place Saturday, Jan. 9, at a number of locations across the upper Midwest.  There are over 100 locations across the northern tier of the U.S. and southern Canada and offers children and adults new to snowsports a chance to try snowshoeing and cross-country skiing for free on that day.

Six events are scheduled in Michigan. Cross Country Ski Headquarters, near Roscommon, has clinics, tours and hot dogs, hot cocoa, and a bonfire at Trapper's Cabin 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Crystal Mountain is offering free two-hour rental and trail pass along with introductory lessons 1 to 7 p.m. Hartwick Pines State Park, near Grayling will host a snowshoe event only with demonstrations, guided hikes, clinics and children's activities 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Homestead, near Glen Arbor, will be hosting snowshoe and cross-country tours 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Shanty Creek Resort will be hosting events 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The VASA Pathway, TART Trails and Brick Wheels, will be offering ski lessons 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the VASA trailhead.

Three events are being hosted in Minnesota.  Shingobee Hills Recreation Area, located near Walker offers events 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  This is the site of the Gopher State's first downhill ski area, which was cleared by the CCC.  The historic chalet is still the day lodge.  Fort Snelling State Park, located near the Twin Cities, will be hosting demos, classes, and activities 1 to 4 p.m.  Midwest Mountaineering, in Minneapolis, has planned a fun filled morning tromping along the banks of the -ississippi River 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Two events will take place in Wisconsin. Minocqua Winter Park & Nordic Center will be offering complimentary morning trail pass to first time visitors 9 a.m. to noon.  Camp 10 Ski Area, near Rhinelander, will be setting up a demo loop for cross-country skiing and their regular snowshoe trail network will be available for those who wish to try snowshoeing 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

All events require pre-registration, and you can find individual links for each participating area through the link below.  

Thousands of new people have been introduced to the liberating feeling of getting out on a pair of skis of snowshoes during winter thanks to this annual event.   You won't be sorry, and you'll be healthier.  Cabin Fever is a preventable disease, but you have to make the effort to get outside. 

More information.