Looking for an excuse to get away from the soupy haze and smog that have settled in along the Wasatch Front? An annual event highlighting some of Northern Utah’s best trails may be just the ticket.
Saturday marks the celebration of Winter Trails Day, with three locations in the area hosting a variety of snowshoeing and cross-country skiing events.
The closest to home will be at North Fork Park near Liberty in Ogden Valley. From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Weber Pathways and Ogden Nordic will stage several events beginning with a 10-kilometer nordic ski race, followed by skate ski lessons, classic ski lessons, ski waxing clinics, youth ski programs, guided snowshoe tours and a nordic ski tour. There will also be a winter expo featuring free equipment demos courtesy of the Weber State Outdoor Program and the Ogden Nordic Center.
REI and Eden Coffee and Cocoa will provide complementary hot cocoa and coffee. Other sponsors include GEAR:30, Salomon, GOAL Foundation, Ogden Nature Center, and Diamond Peak Mountain Sports.
Activities will be based at the Ogden Nordic Center, located at the south gate of North Fork Park. The events are free, but there is a $5 entrance fee (or $10 per family) to help maintain more than 20 miles of groomed trails within the park. Dogs are allowed, but must be kept on a leash. For more information, call 801-393-2304.
In the Logan area, Winter Trails Day will be celebrated from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Sinks Winter Trailhead in Logan Canyon, approximately 28.6 miles east of the Logan Ranger District office.
Free events this year will include demonstrations, experiences and information on winter fun: Learning about ways to have fun and stay fit, warm and safe in the winter; discovering nature in the winter through snowshoe hikes; accessible recreation using adaptive equipment; and cross-country ski demos. Avalanche awareness education will also be part of the program.
For more information on the Logan Canyon events, call 801-690-4287.
The third location of the day is Soldier Hollow, which will be hosting a free program from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. for first-time cross-country skiers. Trail passes and equipment will be issued free of charge along with free mini lessons, and all ages are invited.
This is a nationwide program designed for first-time skiers with the goal of promoting and growing the sport. Pre-registration is not necessary, but you will need to sign a waiver when you arrive.
The Soldier Hollow event is organized by SnowSports Industries America, a national nonprofit, member-owned trade association. The event is also supported by the Cross Country Ski Areas Association, American Hiking Society and several snow sports companies.
Soldier Hollow was a venue for the 2002 Winter Olympics and is rated one of top four Nordic ski resorts in America. For more information, call 435-654-2002 or visit soldierhollow.com.
Each year, more than 11,000 people participate in Winter Trails Day, now in its 18th year, at more than 100 resorts and nordic centers throughout the United States.