It has been warm for the past few days, but today snow fell again, to remind us that winter hasn’t let go just yet. I’m getting antsy for spring to begin, but in the meantime I’ll continue to showcase the joys of the winter wonderland we live in, here in the frozen North.
A couple of weeks ago, I took a morning to go cross-country skiing on a trail system I’d never visited before, in Niagara, WI. Afterwards, I headed across the river to Michigan to hike the trail in to Piers Gorge, and check out some more frozen waterfalls. I thought I’d share some of the experiences of that day.
The trails in Riverside Park feature 17 winding km of groomed classic skiing. Despite living only 20 miles away, I hadn’t even known that this trail netweek existed, until I went onto SkinnySki to look for some new adventures. I highly recommend that site for information about trails near home or in unfamiliar locations, at least in the upper Midwest. The trails lead through some pretty scenery, from recent aspen clear-cuts and red pine plantations, to fields, spruce swamps, marshes, and riverfront. There are some hills, but most of the terrain is flat (in the Menominee River floodplain), or rolling at best. Despite being just outside of town, it feels like skiing in more remote parts of the Northwoods (which I’ll get to in later posts). My only criticism is that it could use some maps. There are a lot of loops, most of which eventually connect up at some point, but it would have been nicer to have been able to plan the journey better.
Though tired from skiing, I wanted to see how some of the more turbulent portions of the river were looking in frozen condition. I crossed over into Norway, MI, and hiked up the snowy trail to Piers Gorge. It is beautiful in any season, and this was no exception. It’s hard to capture the intricacies of the ice buildup without more sunlight to provide contract… which should be an excuse for you to come and visit it yourself sometime!