6 Snow-Based Activities for Group Travelers
Winter provides brilliant ways to have more fun in numbers
Winter isn’t always a brutal force of nature. In fact, the season provides various ways to have fun in the big blanket of snow. The best part is that its large amounts are too much for one person to consume, so it’s best to participate in a group. Here are some snow-based ways for you and your fellow group members to make the most out of the coldest season of the year.
This activity is a favorite for youngsters, who often liken their experiences to flying. But sledding is for everyone, so why not take all your loved ones out on the hill together? Sledding comes at almost no cost. Make sure that you and everyone else participating is bundled up with the appropriate coats, hats/helmets, scarves, gloves, snow boots and snow pants. Retailers additionally tend to sell snowsuits to ensure optimal insulation.
Sledders should purchase the best sled according to how many people will be whizzing down hills at a time. Some sleds are built for individual use; others specifically hold two or three passengers. Snow enthusiasts can further personalize their experience by building sleds from smooth wood or plastic materials. If the sleds are not rented, allow the children to label and decorate theirs with family drawings, their favorite characters or stickers. Did we mention that sledding is also pet-friendly? Let your pups join in by pulling the sled across flatter snowy surfaces like Santa’s reindeer.
Try your hand at sledding down hills or across plains in Montana, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Colorado valleys, Minnesota, Alaska and the Adirondacks region of New York.
Both beginners and professionals find skiing to be a thrilling and enjoyable activity in the winter. Skiing is another winter option that is highly accessible due to the endless choices of snow lodges and equipment rental locations. Though the actual activity of skiing takes place individually, groups should at least ride the cable cars and participate in a training session or two together before hitting the slopes. Not only does the group effort maximize safety, but it allows everyone to have to the same kind of fun and learn something new together.
Skiers should take turns going downhill with the intention of meeting up during their trips or at the bottom. You can even share routes so that you can participate together.
Prime locations for group skiing include Aspen and Beaver Creek, Colorado; Lake Tahoe and Big Bear Lake, California; Stratton and Stowe, Vermont; Park City, Utah; Whitefish, Montana; Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania; and Sugar Mountain, North Carolina.
Those who enjoy hiking, walking or jogging during other times of the year will like snowshoeing as well. Snowshoeing is easy to learn and is known for being a good workout. Most say that it is a lot like walking, but with a wider stance, snow boots and two poles for balance. You and your group participants should get fit for your snow shoes depending on their shoe size and the grounds they are traversing – either flat, rolling or mountain terrains. Then, you should train together on their chosen surface and decide on routes to take. Although snowshoeing follows a standard technique, participants will have to learn a few different skills for going up and down hills and for crossing rough snow terrains.
One of the best parts about snowshoeing is that you and your fellow group members will have access to routes that skiers and other winter athletes may not be permitted to ride along. You will therefore want to stay hydrated throughout their trips and carry electronics if they stray too far from their lodge or get lost. In the case where snowshoers share the routes, then you should be mindful of any athletes who are traveling at higher speeds to avoid collisions.
Snowshoers can get a taste of this sport in Concord, North Carolina; Snowshoe, West Virginia; Park City, Utah; and other locations in Maine, Wyoming, Utah, Washington, Vermont, California and Colorado.
What better way to bond with family, friends and colleagues than by playing a team sport? Of course, hockey requires teams to play on ice, but it is possible to try field hockey on lightly snowed grounds. Players should divide themselves into two teams and color coordinate jerseys to tell each other apart. You can purchase equipment, but there are plenty of locations to rent items from instead.
Consider making your own rules if you’re playing for recreation or if the ages are varied. You might even divide the teams into smaller ones and conduct mini scrimmages. Look for smooth iced surfaces or even grassy grounds to play on.
Here’s where you can play: Geneva, Illinois; Bloomington, Minnesota; Aspen and Fraser Valley, Colorado; Park City, Utah and more.
Winter Mountain Biking
Get the gang together for a snow outing on bikes! Snow resorts usually accommodate mountain bikes and offer rentals if you don’t feel like lugging yours along. Besides the appropriate clothing, cyclists will need either a mountain or fat tire bike, both of which sport the wider wheels needed to plow through snow. Be sure to adjust the tire pressure and the types of tires based on the chosen surface. Bikers riding through ice, for example, will want studded tires to increase friction and minimize skidding.
Almost the same rules apply to mountain biking as they do for snow shoeing. Cyclists should ride in groups and take advantage of the trails that are specifically mapped out for bikes. In other cases, they should observe other snow participants who take the same path. Bikers should always ride more slowly than they would on regular bikes due to the surface density and more dangerous collision impacts.
Some wonderful places for mountain biking are Bend, Oregon; San Jose, California; Sedona, Arizona; Moab, Utah; Dedham, Maine; McCall, Indiana; and the CAMBA bike trails in Wisconsin.
Another amazing way to bask in the snow and do some sight-seeing is for groups to travel in snowmobiles. Snowmobiling is a nice crossover between driving and jet skiing. Snowmobiles do not require a paved road or trail, but most prefer to drive along some path. Though some snowmobiles carry up to two people, most modern versions are manufactured to carry only one passenger. A way to overcome this challenge is for groups to conduct team outings or participate in group tours.
Groups that plan on using snowmobiles during their next trip should contact winter resorts and lodges to check on the availability. Chances are that if they do not carry snowmobiles, then there are sports shops where you can rent them. You should then map out a route with your group and stick together. Try to find even surfaces so you don’t damage the vehicle, and don’t forget your helmet!
Snowmobiling also allows you and your group to participate in other snow activities. Ride out into the hills, where you can then use your sleds or drive up to your favorite trail with your snowshoe equipment, where you can then snowshoe your way through forests and mountains.
Drive through St. Germain, Wisconsin; Vail Colorado; Michigan’s Upper Peninsula; Pittsburg, New Hampshire; Old Forge, New York; Yellowstone, Montana and other select locations for nature’s scenic views.