Grand Lake Snowshoe Festival hits its stride |

Grand Lake Snowshoe Festival hits its stride

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi Daily News
Tonya Bina/Sky-Hi Daily News

Organizers of Grand Lake’s Fourth Annual Snowshoe Festival tested this year’s course and announced it’s rich with trees and views of Grand and Shadow Mountain lakes.

The 5K starts in the town square this Saturday, Jan. 19, then ascends toward Shadowcliff Life Center, through Grand Lake Lodge property. Eventually it returns to the town center.

Tim Markel of The Village Hub and Jim Cervenka of the Grand Lake Art Gallery are two Snowshoe Festival enthusiasts who adopted the event this year to ensure it would not dissolve.

The organization Catch the Spirit started Grand Lake’s Snowshoe Festival three years ago, an event that gained in popularity as a healthy and enjoyable mid-winter activity.

Last year, the event raised significant funds for “The Greening of Grand Lake,” and several outdoor areas around town were refurbished with new trees, shrubs and flower gardens from event proceeds. The event became a year-round commitment for its few volunteers, however, so this year, the organization opted to pass on it.

Cervenka, Markel, and Grand Lake citizens Becky McBride, Jeremy Kennel and Tom and Mary Goodfellow volunteered to keep it going.

The Grand Lake Recreation District stepped up to be a sponsor, and businesses are helping out.

“The event shouldn’t die,” Cervenka said. “It’s had three successful seasons. We’ve found a way to keep it going.”

This year, they are keeping the event as simple as the sport itself. Three races will take place, with the timed 5K starting at 10 a.m.; a kids race in the town park afterward around 11:30 a.m,; and the Local Celebrity Challenge taking place around noon.

Grand Lake’s winter is a special time, when downtown Grand Avenue is blanketed in snow and townspeople can take time to greet one another then swap a story or two.

Mount Baldy looks in need of a stocking cap, the lake is a frozen field and trails are silent corridors.

Snowshoeing, Markel said, is a perfect way for locals to get out and share in something healthy and fun.

And, both he and Cervenka agree, Grand Lake has quite enough room for more winter visitors.

This weekend’s event “is a chance to discover Grand Lake’s winter,” Cervenka said.

There are several activities surrounding the main 5K event on Saturday, some snowshoe appropriate, others walking or dancing shoe appropriate.

– See antique snowshoes and skis at the Kauffman House Museum. Admission and refreshments are free.

– Take a free sleigh ride to Winding River Resort, and bring snowshoes or skis to play in the snow at the destination. Reservations are required: 970-627-3215.

– The Grand Lake Metropolitan Recreation District is hosting a Full Moon Cross Country Ski and Snowshoe.

There will be free hot chocolate with marshmallows, but the trail fee is required. 970-627-8008.

– Anytime throughout the day, enter into a geocache Scavenger Hunt. A full set of hints will be posted early on Saturday morning, Jan. 19, at the Grand Lake Art Gallery on the boardwalk and at Mountain Lake Properties doors down. The clues can also be seen on Mountain Lake’s Web site, The first person to find the toy snowman and bring him to Mountain Lake Properties will win a $50 gift certificate. No GPS device needed to win.

– The Grand Arts Council Concert in the Pines is set to take place at the Community House. The night will feature Grand Lake’s favorites: Brad Pregeant, Walter Holland, Patrick Brower, Warren Ward, Peggy Mann and the Colorado Highlanders. Cover charge is $10 adults and $5 kids.

And throughout the day, people are encouraged to visit restaurants and shops.

Grand Lake snowshoe and cross-country ski equipment rentals and purchases are at Grand Lake Sports 970-627-8124 and Never Summer Mountain Products 970-627-3642.

” Tonya Bina can be reached at 887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail

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