How to Hike in the Winter

Hilton Falls

Hilton Falls

And then the golden moon to light me home–
The crunching snowshoes and the stinging air,
And silence, frost, and beauty everywhere.

Winter Upland, by Archibald Lampman

Are you embracing winter at Halton Parks? Have you skied or snowboarded at Glen Eden yet? All seven of our parks are waiting to be explored this winter. You’ll see our trails differently in the winter, the trees bare, silence, except for the crunching snow underfoot. The bright winter sun shines through the trees and warms your body. A hike in the winter remedies the awful winter blues–vitamin D and fresh air invigorates the lungs and body. As much as we all love to hibernate with Netflix and snacks, there is nothing like a quiet hike on a sunny day through the woods and snow.

Crawford Lake

Crawford Lake

Follow a few quick tips to get the most of our your winter hikes.

1. Dress in layers

It’s cold in Canada. Very cold. Dress in layers for optimal comfort. Layer sweat wicking layers closest to the body, and then heavier wool blends, and sweaters on top. Sweat will cool your body down, and the wool will trap it under the layers if the fabric on your skin doesn’t wick away moisture. Some people don’t like to wear snow pants, but it is advised for long hikes. Wear thick gloves, a hat, and a scarf.

2. Appropriate footwear

Like the layers on your body, it is important to also layer socks. A thin sweat wicking layer on your skin, and then a thicker wool blend on top. Make sure your boots are water proof: cold, wet, feet will ruin your hike!

3. Pack snacks

Bring healthy snacks like dried fruits, nuts, seeds, and water along. If you have bird seeds, feed the chickadees at Hilton Falls!

4. Accessorize!

If you’re unsteady on the trails, bring a snow pole to help you with your balance. Some outdoor outfitters have products that attach to your boots for better traction.

5. Make a New Tradition

Go out once a week with your family or by yourself. Make a game of it to try out a different trail each time you go out, like an explorer. Identify tracks in the snow! Wind down the weekend on a Sunday evening, and hike on the Nassagaweya trail, and make a batch of hot cocoa to relax before bed.

Written by: Karlee May, Digital Media Coordinator

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