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Top 5 Ways to Enjoy Winter on the Trails

Jan 20, 2016

Regardless of your age, fitness level or work schedule, one of the best ways to enjoy winter in Winnipeg is to explore the city’s nature trails.

While there are many amazing trails in Winnipeg — including the Seine River Greenway, Bishop Grandin Greenway, the Harte Trail, and Louis Riel Sr. Route — Sage Creek boasts nearly 10 kilometres of regularly cleared trails right in the heart of the community.

Check out our list of the top five activities to enjoy on Winnipeg’s incredible winter trails. This is your ticket to staying fit in winter, enjoying the fresh air and spending time in nature with the whole family!

START WITH A STROLL

Walking is one of the most popular, inclusive and accessible way to enjoy Winnipeg’s nature trails. Whether you’re catching up with a friend, pulling your toddler in a sled or enjoying the fresh air with your partner  on a casual stroll, walking the nature trails is great exercise, with the added bonus of peace and tranquility.

If you want to step it up a notch, consider Nordic pole walking, also known as urban poling. Originally a method of summer training for competitive cross-country skiers, this sport is becoming wildly popular among non-athletes as well!

Walking with the adjustable poles, which run about $60, provides a full-body workout and is an excellent option for arthritis sufferers or those recovering from surgery or injuries, as the poles absorb up to 60 percent of body weight. Research shows that it strengthens the upper body and core, decreases stress on the hips and knees, increases your heart rate and burns 20 per cent more calories.

TOBOGGAN!

What better way to enjoy time outside with the kids than to go tobogganing? Sage Creek's Ron Duhamel Park is easily accessed by the network of trails and has a toboggan hill perfect for all kids to enjoy safely. 

STRAP ON THE SKIS

Sage Creek's Manitoba Hydro Corridor is a great location for cross-country skiing. Skiing is a great activity for the whole family! If you don’t own skis, Winnipeg has many places where you can buy or rent them, including Woodcock Cycle Works, Windsor Park Nordic Centre, Mountain Equipment Co-op, or the Cross Country Ski Association of Manitoba, just to name a few.

CALLING ALL DOG LOVERS: TRY SKIJORING!

This new sport is incredible trendy right now, and it’s no surprise. Skijoring — derived from the Norwegian word for ‘ski-driving’ — offers amazing exercise for you and your dog, and all you need is a harness!

Here’s how it works: The skier is outfitted with a skijoring belt, which hooks to a quick-release line which is attached to an X-back harness on the dog. The skijoring line has an internal bungee at one end which absorbs the shock when you are starting out, or if you fall. 

This amazing combination of cross-country skiing and dog sledding has caught on like wildfire as a great form of exercise for both dog and owner.

As long as your dog weighs at least 35 pounds and has the energy, stamina and willingness to take part, all you will need is some basic training to get started - and you can find it at Snow Motion, Manitoba’s local skijoring club!

PUT YOUR BEST SHOE FORWARD

Snow-shoeing is one of the most relaxing ways to enjoy winter trails — and explore the outback. Whether you end up rambling through the brush with family or friends, or setting out to explore designated trails, snow-shoeing offers an unsurpassed freedom. Enjoy getting close to nature, travel at your own speed and let the crisp winter air rejuvenate you! 

Winter in Manitoba can last for a good part of the year, so don’t let the cold weather keep you from the great outdoors - bundle up and hit the trails!