By Michael P. Neufeld
Fawnskin, CA – The second Southern California Winter Trails Day at the Big Bear Discovery Center will be held January 12.
The Southern California Mountains Foundation (formerly San Bernardino/National Forest Association) and co-presenter, REI, will host the event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Winter Trails is a national event that offers those new to snow sports an opportunity to try snowshoeing and and other winter activities FREE.
It all begins with a 30-minute introduction to snowshoeing every hour starting at 10:30 a.m. Registration will be available at 10 a.m. limited to 20 people per demo. Snowshoes will be provided. Participants will provide their own transportation to demonstration location; maps will be available at registration.
“Strap on a pair of lightweight aluminum snowshoes and you’ll quickly see why snowshoeing has become one of the fastest-growing winter sports,” said Stacy Gorin, NFA director of operations. “If you can walk, you can snowshoe. People are using snowshoes for a variety of activities — everything from hiking into pristine wilderness and aerobic conditioning to pure recreation with family and friends. We’re using snowshoes for discovery and adventure at the Discovery Center for this FREE event and weekend paid tours through March.”
Snowshoeing is an excellent form of low-risk, low impact aerobic exercise that can help improve or maintain cardiovascular fitness as well as burn calories, according to co-presenter, REI, Rancho Cucamonga. REI will also host a booth geared for outdoor winter sports and offer in-store and online couponing.
Other community partners who will host booth demos and winter sports information include: 1) North Shore Trading Company, 2) Bear Valley Trails Association, 3) City of Big Bear Lake, 4) Open Air Big Bear and 5) San Gorgonio Wilderness Association. The Adventure Outpost and Book Store and Bill Knick’s Café will be open. The Discovery Center youth volunteers will sell hot chocolate and snacks – including making s’mores – as a fund raiser for their youth volunteer program.
ANIMAL TRACKING – 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Learn how to track animals and make your very own track; program is ongoing every 30 minutes. Fee: $3 per person
FIREWOOD RELAY – 11:30 a.m.
Hosted by Open Air Big Bear
NATURE WALKS – 1 p.m. & 2 p.m.
30 minute naturalist-led walk around the Center’s forested grounds; meet at the bronze Grizzly Bear.