Walking Mountains Science Center announces snowshoeing schedule | VailDaily.com

Walking Mountains Science Center announces snowshoeing schedule

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AVON — Open Snow's Joel Gratz says the snow is coming, and that means it's time to hit the trails.

Back for a third season, the snowshoe guides at Walking Mountains Science Center will lead hikes that are open to the public and will run on Tuesdays and Thursdays, now through the end of March. Snowshoes, poles and transportation from Walking Mountains Science Center in Avon are included with registrations.

"This winter, we are looking forward to again taking visitors and locals to our awesome snowshoe trails throughout the White River National Forest," said Peter Suneson, community outreach coordinator. "We'll be focusing again on all of the educational and recreational opportunities our public lands provide and hopefully all our snowshoers will leave with a renewed sense of stewardship."

Exploring the trails

While exploring the great outdoors does require some motivation and commitment, the guides at Walking Mountains take their time in introducing locals and visitors alike to the Colorado wilderness.

These hikes are designed with a wide variety of interests and abilities for participants ages 14 and older. Hikers should be prepared to spend three to four hours exploring trails, observing the changing snow conditions or tracking winter wildlife.

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"Snowshoeing with our experienced and knowledgeable guides is the best way to experience and learn all about what our local environment has to offer," Suneson said.

The weekly snowshoe excursions will follow a rotating schedule of trails depending on where conditions are best. However, guides at Walking Mountains will do their best to accommodate requests for specific trails.

Other offerings

Walking Mountains Science Center and merino wool outfitter Icebreaker have also partnered this season to bring a special series of free snowshoe tours to the valley. Test demo layers, challenge yourself with a gentle snowshoe run led by Josiah Middaugh and discover the local trails by night. Learn more and register at walking mountains.org/snowshoe.

Walking Mountains guides also love special events. Whether you have a family reunion this winter or a bachelorette party, a private snowshoe excursion is a great way to welcome visitors to Colorado or experience the trails on your own terms. Contact Suneson, Walking Mountains community outreach coordinator. at peters@walkingmountains.org to plan your private snowshoe outing.

Hikes are led by instructors trained as certified interpretive guides, wilderness first responders and outdoor enthusiasts.