Thankful for the snow and moderate temperatures in Wisconsin this past week, I have filled my days actively cross country skiing with my like minded daughter, Mary. She has been home on her holiday break and will be returning south tomorrow. Her wish for some snow during her stay arrived the day after Christmas! Therefore, we have been getting out on the trails near my home in central Wisconsin and have had some wonderful peaceful adventures.
The Plover River Trail of The Green Circle Trail can be accessed from Hwy. 66 (north of the airport) or on Maria Drive just east of Barbara’s Lane in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. This is the only segment of the Green Circle Trail that is regularly groomed for skiing. There are several loops (red, green, yellow, orange, and blue) that allow you to extend the distance you go with skis, snowshoes, bikes, or walking. Skiing the full loop of the trail takes about an hour or less, as you are able to add or subtract loops taken and the number of rest stops or photos.
Skate Skiing – It’s Hard!
Trying something new on January 1 was on the agenda for the day. I have always enjoying traditional Nordic cross country skiing but felt willing to try something new for 2021. Skate skiing is “classic” Nordic’s zippy younger brother. If traditional Nordic skiing is like a walk in the woods, then skate skiing is more like trail running. It’s swooping. It’s fast. It’s graceful, when you get the hang of it! In order to achieve this, I needed to find a location that was open with rentals available. There are 2 options nearby – Iola Winter Sport Club in Iola or Nine Mile Forest Recreation Area in Wausau. We selected Nine Mile Forest and enjoyed some of their trails with rentals for the day. After reviewing a YouTube video, my daughter felt she could guide us with some of the basic techniques. Following a bit of practice, I felt like I was picking up on this style, but it is much harder than it appears! Instead of the kick and glide motion of traditional Nordic skiing, it is more like ice skating. Skate skiing incorporates a V-stride in which a skier pushes off with the edge of one angled ski and shifts his body weight to the other ski, driving forward, then repeating the process — and, with luck, gliding down the trail. Then you add the poles. Well, I practiced and completed about a 3 mile loop and then switched back to my classic skis. Mary continued for the rest of our time and completed another 6 mile loop. Overall, we decided some real lessons might be beneficial to help with coordinating the pole technique with the glide. We survived our visit in Wausau with smiles and laughter, thoroughly enjoying our new experience – A Lasting Impression!