While we all know the classic winter sports of skiing, snowboarding and tobogganing, some people are always yearning for the next hot trend in outdoor fitness and activity. 2018 will be no exception, with the emergence of a few new trends and increases in popularity of some “tried and true” winter activities.
If you’ve been in a bike shop lately, you may have notice an unusual emerging trend. Fat bikes, or snow bikes, as they are more commonly called, have been around for decades, but have recently made a re-emergence in the past couple of years, appealing to the year-round athlete as yet another way to stay active during the winter months.
Similar to mountain bikes, fat bikes, are equipped with oversized tires which are under inflated to traverse a variety of soft, unstable terrain such as snow and mud. Riders often use the same trails in winter that are used during other seasons for hiking and walking. In some areas, specially groomed trails provide a more unique experience.
This winter sport offers a fast-paced way to take in the winter scenery as an alternative to the standard winter activities. For more information on fat biking, ask your local outdoor sporting good store, or check out the trails in Muskoka or elsewhere in Ontario.
Would you believe there is a winter version of golf where the “greens” are called “whites”? Snow golf is exactly that, played in the same manner as traditional golf, but where the playing surface is covered in cold, crisp snow rather than manicured grass.
If you own a set of golf clubs, you already have most of the equipment necessary to play snow golf. The only purchase you’ll need to make is a set of brightly coloured golf balls so they don’t get lost in the snowy terrain. Dress warmly and consider bring a thermos of cocoa to keep you warm throughout your game.
Want to give this wintery version a try? There are many destinations featuring this snowy sport including Colorado, Montana and Vermont. Certain places in Ontario, such as Camisle Golf in Burlington, stay open during the winter for rounds of snow golf.
Likely originating in Central Asia, snowshoeing has been around for thousands of years. Indigenous people in North America developed a sophisticated snowshoe prior to the 20th century and that design is what most snowshoes are modelled after today.
More recently, snowshoeing has gained popularity among recreational athletes looking to stay active throughout the winter season. Snowshoeing is an activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities. Like hiking, the difficulty varies based on terrain, distance and pace, and is easily modified on the fly. Snowshoeing provides people from all walks of life with an outdoor winter activity that is easy on the body while still being fun and healthy.
Snowshoeing is easy to learn, inexpensive and very accessible. In Ontario, there are ample opportunities to enjoy this outdoor sport. Ontario Trails provides information on trails throughout the province though Muskoka claims to have the “best snowshoeing in Ontario”.
Whatever your winter sport of choice, be sure to consider your footwear and equipment when enjoying an outdoor activity. Appropriate footwear in combination with warm outerwear will make for a far more enjoyable experience, no matter what the activity. Have questions about your footwear for winter activities? We are always here to help — Contact us at any time with questions!