Looking for a good reason to get out and enjoy the winter weather? Here are just a few. Remember to be smart about how you dress and be aware of the weather forecast. Weather here in Colorado can change at the drop of a hat, no matter what the altitude, so be ready.
1 - Backpacking - A year round sport. This is something that can be a wonderful learning experience for all ages and it's just simply relaxing yet invigorating. Trails are abundant in the National parks and National forests. Remember that if you do overnight camping you need a pass for national park but not the national forest.
2 - Sledding - This is great within your own town as well as the national parks and national forests. I love Bear Lake and Hidden Valley. There is also a great hill on Monroe in Loveland. Be aware that you need to dress appropriately, and bring your own sledding gear!
3 - Scenic Trails - Boyd Lake, City Park, Estes Park, really all parks offer some sort of great trails. Make sure you use appropriate foot gear and watch the trails for snow, ice and other hazards. Keep an eye out for wildlife and tons of great winter scenes.
4 - Scenic Drives - Great for those looking to get out but not wanting to get to cold. Peak to Peak and Pole Hill offer wonderful views.
5 - Fishing - A year round sport. You can find places in you're local city such as a local lake (Lake Loveland, Boyd, City Park etc ).Be sure to check the ice report to make sure that the ice is strong enough if you choose to do ice fishing. Otherwise from the shore you are good to go. River fishing is ok for the winter as well. Remember those 16 and under don't need a license but those older need to get one. Apply online here.
6 - Snowshoeing - Emerald Lake or Mills Lake are wonderful. Don't forget Bear Lake too. Just strap on a set of snowshoes and get walking. No special skill and it's kid friendly. You can snowshoe pretty much anywhere. It's one of the easiest winter sports to pick up and one of the least expensive.
7 - Wildlife watching - Check out your own back yard! Make a bird feeder or just find a pine cone and put peanut butter and birdseed on it. Check out the types of birds visit! You can take this up a notch and join a local club. National Forests and Parks also offer Ranger guided tours of wildlife and of nature such as What grows in the snow, and How wildlife forages in the snow in winter, Who hibernates, and What makes our state semi-arid even when we have snow on the ground. These are all past programs but they have new ones each month and each year. Check out Rocky Mountain National Park for a more detailed calendar.
8 - Hiking - Find some great trails in your city like around the local lakes or parks. These are at Rocky Mountain National Park - Sprague lake, Bear Lake, Moraine Park Discovery Center Nature Trail, the Pool, and Lake Estes Trail. Larimer County hikes, trails. Weld County hikes, trails. Colorado hikes, trails.
9 - Camping - Not just tents but you can do Cabins too! Walden is a drive but it is beautiful!
10 - Snow Angels, Snowmen - Open the door to your back yard and jump in the snow. It's the shortest trip, Easy on the kids and SUPER FUN! We have a tradition of the first snow of the season we either build a snowman (if the snow is the right consistency) or we do snow angles - perfect to do in any kind of snow.
Remember getting out is wonderful for all ages but bundle up appropriately. I love to get out and about all year and Northern Colorado in particular has tons to offer. Don't let the cold keep you in.