Diana Lynn Rau: Get out there and hit the trails
Grand County, CO Colorado
The snow has started to fly and there is good cross-country skiing to be had.
Back-country higher elevations are already being tracked by the adventuresome. The Experimental Forest trails, St Louis Creek trails, Corona Road, Vasquez, to name a few, and eventually the waterboard roads on each side of the Fraser Valley will be packed by snowmobiles and other cross-country skiers.
These areas are not patrolled and not maintained and winter conditions already exist. Get out there, but go prepared with heavy-duty equipment and a pack with extra clothing, food and water.
These areas are great for your dog, but be careful of animals that your dog might chase or might chase you. Remember the hunters are out until just before Thanksgiving so you and your dog should be colorful and be seen. And remember to tell someone where you are going.
Free recreational skiing that is more central in the Fraser Valley will be available at Pole Creek Golf Course – another great offering to the public from your Fraser Valley Metro Recreation District. With a bit more snow, the cart paths will be packed and the rolling terrain is delightful for both you and your dog. To keep this free privilege, please stay away from the greens, tees and water hazards. The greens are roped off – trekking over the greens will kill the special grass and give reason to revoke the privilege of skiing there. Skiing is free, watch for monthly moonlight skis. Dinner will available on weekends at Bistro 28 starting in December. The public will be welcome, but remember to stay away from greens, tees and water hazards. A great free spot to ski with your dogs this winter, Pole Creek and the Rec District does not maintain trails but does pack the cart paths to get around themselves.
Another free spot right in the center of town is Grand Park. With more snow, they will be packing trails right along Highway 40. Park in the lot west of the General Store and remember to pack out your trash and clean up after your dog. The public is welcome, but please treat this private property with respect. No rentals or other services are available, but it is perfect for a midday ski on your lunch break. And the hot tub and other facilities are available at the Rec Center next door for a relaxing afternoon. Ski rentals are available at Ice Box Sports in Fraser.
Sign up now for your annual membership in Grand Nordic online – students with school ID pay $5 or youth under 18 $10, adult individuals $25 or family $35. Grand Nordic is again having three free lessons for everyone with a lesson day scheduled at each of the major Nordic areas. Grand Nordic members also get free trail pass and rentals that day, so it is perfect to try skating or just hone in your skills with classes available from kids to never-ever, intermediate and advanced for both skate and classic. What a deal! This year, free lessons are on Dec. 10 at the Devils Thumb Tommelfest, Dec. 18 at Grand Lake, and Jan. 29 at the YMCA Snow Mountain Ranch. Local ski shops and Nordic centers give discounts ranging from 15-20 percent to club members on merchandise and both day and season passes. Moonlight and ski party dates will be announced later on the website. Benefits are shared with Grand Nordic and Boulder Nordic members as well and are outlined on website http://www.grandnordic.org . Visit the website to keep abreast of events, races, kids skiing programs, school races, volunteer opportunities and more. Free kids lessons are held each winter at each Nordic area. Watch here for details or visit the website.
Grand Nordic also supports our Middle Park High School and East Grand Middle School cross-country teams wherever possible. Come get your Grand Nordic cowbell to make noise at the races and find out how to volunteer your time to support our kids and help races run smoothly.
See you on the trails.
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