This past weekend was the Great Maine Outdoor Weekend with many wonderful events scheduled throughout the state. The event encourages people to get out and participate in outdoor activities. Winter can sometimes be a more challenging time to get outside but there really are many great options available in Maine.
I knew that we wanted to participate in the Great Maine Outdoor Weekend this year, so I looked through all the events listed on their website to pick one that seemed like a good fit. There were a large variety of options from which to choose. We decided on a snowshoeing hike with the Maine Outdoor Adventure Club as it seemed like a nice activity for the uninitiated. They were heading to Sebago Lake State Park in Casco for a two hour snowshoeing trek.
While I have never been snowshoeing, I was hopeful that genetics would kick in and help. My grandfather was a champion snowshoer. Sadly, I never got to see him in his prime, and by the time I came along a series of strokes had impacted his physical abilities. But, I had heard the stories and seen pictures of him in his snowshoe uniform. He use to travel throughout New England and Canada on his snowshoeing adventures. Surely, some of that ability would be passed onto me.
Five Things I Learned
- It’s fun! Not really an earth shattering revelation. I expected it to be something fun otherwise why would I try it? What I especially enjoyed was how peaceful it was. We were walking at a leisurely enough pace where we could really enjoy the scenery. There is nothing better than walking through the Maine woods.
- It’s not hard to use snowshoes. While I was hopeful for the genetic boost, I was relying more on the fact that I love to walk. Although I have been sidelined recently, I normally walk three miles a day at least three or four times a week. I was happy to find that snowshoeing wasn’t much different than regular walking.The snowshoes were easy to walk in and maneuver. It only took a little time to get use to them. We were a little worried when we started, in that we were the only snowshoers without poles to help on the hike. I’m sure if we did it regularly, we’d invest in the poles, but for our first hike it was fine, and we never felt like we needed them.
- It’s a zero cost activity. The snowshoeing itself was free, but we did spend some money having dinner with the rest of our new snowshoeing crew after the hike. There would also be a cost if we invested in equipment, although significantly less than what you would spend on many other winter sports.I learned that my local parks and rec department loans snowshoes out for free which was a huge bonus as we weren’t ready to purchase equipment quite yet. Check out your town parks and rec department, or your local library. Many of them loan out equipment.
- It’s not an overly strenuous activity. While I love to walk, I’m not athletic and certainly not in shape for intense sporting activities. Snowshoeing was the perfect activity level for me. Although we selected a two hour moderate hike for our first trek, and I’ll admit we over committed a bit, as that last half hour was a little tough. However, the hike leading up to that final stretch was fantastic. We ended up snowshoeing about 4-5 miles, and 3 miles was probably a better distance for me, but we hung in there and made it to the end. I’m sure like most sports, if you’re looking for a more intense activity level, that you can find it with snowshoeing too, but I like that we could go at the pace that was right for us.
- It’s not as cold as you think it’s going to be. There was a bitter cold snap going on this past weekend, so I was a little concerned about the temperatures. As long as you dress for the weather, it’s not too cold once you start moving. We dressed in multiple layers and piled on the winter gear. Once we got going, I didn’t even need my gloves for much of the walk. Standing in the cold is tough, but as long as your moving you’re good.
We loved our snowshoeing adventure and would be up for more winter hikes. I’m sure my grandfather would be glad to know that there’s hope for his snowshoeing legacy.
|things to know|
|Address||Sebago Lake State Park
11 Park Access Road, Casco, Maine 04015
|Website||Sebago Lake State Park|
|Favorite ♥||The Views|