Snowshoeing – Blackwell Forest Preserve


Are you tired of Winter yet? If you’re not, perhaps you’re more zen than most, or maybe the polar vortices have not affected the area you live in. I’ve done my share of belly-aching, but in reality, it’s been a pretty great winter. It has been so cold and dry that the snow we are getting (and we’ve gotten a LOT!) has been light and fluffy, champagne pow if you will. I’ve also worked at getting out as often as I can motivate myself, doing a lot more skiing than in many, many years, supplementing that with some bodyweight training and time on the trainer. If we had a working treadmill, I would definitely add that in as well.

This weekend, Tazer and I headed over to the Blackwell Forest Preserve to do an activity I’ve been dying to try for years: snowshoeing. Want to get out and get a workout in, but it’s too snowy and cold to run? Snowshoeing will do it for you. Snowshoeing is a challenging workout that burns up to 600 calories per hour, according to Snowsports Industries America. It also uses different muscles than running or walking, as my hips can attest.
Snowshoeing Blackwell Forest Preserve Video

When we first started out, we followed the preserve trail, which was covered with snow an inch or two or so deep. Not overly satisfying. Finding deeper snow along the edges, we tested that out, finding the snowshoes worked pretty well as long as the snow was firm. Soft depressions had us sinking knee deep into powder, but still easier to move than potholing without the shoes. Running came next, which also worked pretty well.

Geocaching - Blackwell Forest Preserve

We eventually decided to combine our maiden snowshoe outing with another favorite pastime: geocaching. During the summer (or fall, can’t remember), we had skipped a geocache in this preserve due to poison ivy and time constraints. No such worries this time, adding number 71 to the family’s total – we’ll have to step it up if we want to make 100 in 2014.

We really had fun going off the trails, glad we tried snowshoeing. It’s really tiring and, based on the somewhat inexpensive models we rented from the Forest Preserve, it would be worth doing some research to find higher quality, appropriate snowshoes for our next outing, though renting is definitely an option. Snowshoes aren’t cheap.

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3 thoughts on “Snowshoeing – Blackwell Forest Preserve

  1. I'd love to do some snowshoeing!

    This winter…I've really enjoyed getting out in it and haven't let it stop me yet as far as fun stuff goes, but it really makes those trips from house to car to work kind of a drag.

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