Snow daze

With a thick blanket of white over most of the state, it may be easy to start suffering from cabin fever.  There are plenty of opportunities to get out and enjoy the snow this month, so don’t let shoveling the driveway by your only outdoor activity this winter.  Before the snow melts, make sure and take advantage of some of these great opportunities to enjoy the winter!

1. Cross-country ski at Clinton Lake

Located along the North Shore of Clinton Lake State Park, the trailhead starts near the park office and there are around 5-miles of cross-country ski trails through the park. With the bare trees and the blanket of white, you can more easily spot wildlife.  The best (and only) designated cross-country ski trail in the state!

2. Sled at Shawnee Mission Park

Cross country skis. Photo by Jeremy Bronson

Cross country skis. Photo by Jeremy Bronson

During the summer, the numerous trails at Shawnee Mission Park are frequented by singletrack enthusiasts and trail-runners.

During the winter, there is more solitude and with a deep snow there are great opportunities for sledding along the steep hills (just watch out for trees!).

Another top sledding location is Indian Rock Park in Salina.  The 35-acre park is centered around a high steep hill and when the snow flies, the parks department will close the gates and turn the long steep driveway leading to the top into a massive sledding hill.  The downhill run is popular, fast, and free of obstacles.  Personal experience and a broken sled leads to the recommendation to not venture off onto any insanely steep, tree-ridden, but oh-so tempting side trails.

3. Go ice-fishing at Kanopolis State Park

The bonus of sub-zero temperatures is that the ice will thicken on many state fishing lakes and reservoirs.  Venture out with caution and make sure to drill to check the depth of the ice before getting started.

4. Ice skate outdoors at City Park in Manhattan

With the winter Olympics underway, take your best shot at a triple lutz (or just enjoy gliding around the unique outdoor rink).  Access to the rink costs $3 per skater and skates can be rented for the same price.  Open through February 28th.