The Upcoming Snowshoe Season-2022

This time of year between Thanksgiving and Christmas always has me longing for just a bit of snow. Once those leaves fall, I am looking for the snowflakes to come next. The Richland County area is beautiful but it looks so much better at this time of year with about 4″ of snow on the ground. As my thoughts go to snowshoeing, my mind is constantly planning my next opportunity to put those snowshoes on.

I am always excited to hear people tell me they got snowshoes at the end of the season last year. I want them to enjoy the activity as much as I do and I hope they are anxious to get out there as well. Snowshoes are tough to find during the season so now is a good time to be looking for them. Expect to invest between $75-200 for a great pair of snowshoes. They tend to last a while, so choose wisely. I have had great experiences ordering from REI sporting goods but you can find them at Costco, Amazon, and other sporting goods stores. My personal favorite is the Atlas brand, as I have had my Atlas pair for over 8 years now but I also love the Yukon Charlies brand and Tubbs makes a great pair as well. I also recommend a strap binding over a ratchet binding because I believe they will last longer. But many people like the ease of ratchet bindings and we have a mixture of both in our rental inventory.

We have diligently reinvested our snowshoe income from last year into our snowshoe inventory and we now have upwards of 30 pairs of snowshoes. We have a variety of children’s sizes as well. Wild Hills Winery was also pleased with the impact snowshoeing had on their bottom line and they invested their money into 30 snowshoes. The City of Richland Center’s Park & Rec Department had over 15 pairs of snowshoes last year and they have purchased some new snowshoes as well. There are options all over Richland County to rent snowshoes! We welcome all of this great inventory because we are passionate about Richland County becoming the snowshoe destination of Wisconsin. If you are a short-term rental unit in Richland County and you offer snowshoes to your guests for use-let us know as we are trying to keep stats on how many snowshoes are available in the county. We are trying to evaluate the impact snowshoeing has on the tourism industry in our area and want to show that impact to Travel Wisconsin and other regional tourism entities.

Last year, I wrote a few snowshoe reports with trail information for many of our public local parks in Richland County. We had some of our short-term rental guests that used our snowshoes on those trails. They loved the snowshoe experience on our beautiful trails. I intend to continue writing those reports this winter and making those posts available to all. I welcome reports from others, as there are so many trails in our area-it is hard to keep up with all of them!

We are excited to announce our Full Moon Snowshoeing event dates just released yesterday. We are collaborating with Wild Hills Winery again to bring you a great opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors in a unique way. Come to Wild Hills Winery and enjoy a magical evening of twilight snowshoeing along the ridge tops and down into the valleys of the vineyard.

Our event is Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights on January 14, 15, 16, and February 17, 18, 19. The trail opens at 5 pm and there are tickets for each time slot until 8:30 pm. The trail will be closed down at 9:30 each evening.

There will be the full moon, multiple bonfires, solar lights, and tiki torches to light our twilight trail. Your ticket holds your snowshoe rental, any needed assistance with applying snowshoes, your time slot on the trail, and participation in the snowshoe portion of the event. Sorry, but we cannot give any price breaks if you bring your own snowshoes. We will be happy to help you put on your snowshoes if you are new to using them. Liability waivers are required for all Twilight Trail participants and can now be signed online during the ticketing process.

This year, all wine tastings and food options are booked directly with Wild Hills Winery and are not included in the twilight trail ticket price. We encourage you to stop at the tasting room to order your tasting and any food options before your trail experience. We will have complimentary hot chocolate available in the snowshoe pavilion at the top of the driveway. The Full Moon Snowshoe events are perfect for groups to do. Drop us an email if you are wanting to coordinate a group larger than 6 and we will make every effort to coordinate your special group event.

Because we know snowshoeing is a weather-pending event, we set up the tickets with a pre-registration option. You will book your tickets for each participant and place your credit card number on file securely with TicketSpice. They will do a pre-authorization for the validity of the credit card on file but no charges will be incurred and no holds will be placed at the time of ordering.

On the Monday prior to the event, we will determine if the snow conditions and weather forecast are conducive for our event. Your credit card will then be batch processed that Monday at 6pm. We felt this option would be easier for us to cancel if necessary and easier on your holiday budget. Please reserve your ticket today knowing that we will make every effort to hold our event if our Wisconsin winter provides us with snow. Click on this link to order your tickets: https://ridgeandvalleyhospitalityllc.ticketspice.com/full-moon-snowshoeing-2022-season

One of the most talked-about features of our 2021 Snowshoe season was our Snowga classes. We had such a great time developing these classes last year. Catrina, our yogi instructor, coined the term “snowga” (snowshoeing & yoga together) and it’s stuck with us ever since. Catrina will be back this year as our instructor and I will continue with the snowshoe guiding portion. A true collaboration where we can take larger groups to give you a unique experience. We felt the snowga class really helped our participants to enjoy the snowshoeing sport to its fullest and the engagement of our minds & spirits with yoga really brought awareness to the nature & beauty surrounding us. As we move forward with planning our snowga classes in the next week or so, we want to bring a consistent day and time to our schedule. Look for those dates in the very near future.

It has been my goal to start a snowshoeing group in Richland County. We will begin simply by having a weekly snowshoe group experience. No costs involved (unless you need a rental) and each week we will meet at a different trail at the same time and go out together. Informal. No structure. A perfect opportunity to meet with others that enjoy snowshoeing and want to see it become a “thing” in our area. If you are needing weekly motivation to exercise, join along. I am thinking Friday mornings, beginning in January, at 9:00 am starting as soon as there is enough snow. If we have enough snow in December, we will meet on Thursday mornings (to accommodate my work schedule.) Once the snow flies, I will announce the trail meet-up location and we will go from there. If you need a rental set of snowshoes, let me know via email: ridgeandvalleytours@gmail.com, and I will bring the appropriate size along.

I will be offering guided snowshoe tours throughout Richland County on Airbnb experiences and thru our business. If you have short-term rental guests or friends/family visiting the area and you want them to have a great snowshoe experience in our area, I would love to connect with them and either set them up with a rental or a guided tour. I can help all levels of participants from beginners to those looking for a full & challenging experience. Wild Hills Winery also has guided snowshoe experiences available at the winery, see their website for details. https://wildhillswinery.com/

We will have rental snowshoes available for rent most weekends except for our Full Moon Weekends (January 14-17 and February 17-20) of $20/pair. Pickup of snowshoes will be at our home: 23921 State Highway 58 Richland Center, by appointment. You will receive brief instructions on wearing/using the snowshoes and advice for the trail system in our area. They must be returned by Monday morning. Photocopy of Driver’s license will be required. The City of Richland Center Parks & Rec Department has snowshoes available to rent as well: https://ci.richland-center.wi.us/snowshoe-rentals/ You will also find trail information at this link.

Please watch for all of our upcoming snowshoe reports for trail conditions, snowshoe gear advice and, locations of some of the best trails in our area. Once we have snow, we will begin the weekly group experience. Share this snowshoe report and our website: ridgeandvalleytours.com with others and spread the word-Richland County Wisconsin is the place to go for snowshoeing!

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