14th annual WinterFest set for Jan. 21 at Lake Elmo Park Reserve
Cross-country ski lessons, fat bike demonstrations, wax demonstrations, snowshoeing, winter birding, and a food truck will all be part the 14th annual WinterFest 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21, at the Lake Elmo Park Reserve.
Experienced cross country skiers and novices ready to learn are all welcome to the event with the Ride and Glide XC Ski Club providing a day of free lessons, demonstrations, and comradery.
All levels of ski enthusiasts are welcome to sign up for lessons; skiers must be at least 14 years old. The day includes free one-hour lessons available at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. Registration is required at www.rideandglide.org. As part of the festival, free classic and skate equipment will be provided by Joe's Ski Shop and the Ride and Glide Ski Club.
Fat Biking equipment and demonstrations will be provided by Now Bikes and Fitness. Wax demonstrations and ski race videos will also be part of the day.
Try snowshoeing free as part of WinterFest at Lake Elmo Park Reserve. Snowshoe the rolling hills, woods, and prairies of the park. The snowshoeing area consists of a groomed trail along with vast spaces available for bushwhacking for those wanting their own space, to be more adventurous, or those seeking a greater workout.
Register with DIRO Outdoors through the Washington County Park’s webpage to reserve your snowshoes for a specific time, or show up at the park at the DIRO tent near the trailhead with an ID; if there are snowshoes available, check them out and go explore. Arriving 10 minutes before the top of every hour is recommended.
For those who want to start the day off earlier, there will be a guided morning bird hike at 9 a.m. that meets at the Nordic Center.
Kabomellette Food Truck will sell hot chili, cinnamon rolls, coffee, and cocoa from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Skiers from the Nordic Center Trailhead will have access to 10 miles of groomed cross-country ski trails and 5.5 miles of LED lighted trails from dusk to 9:30 p.m.
Beginners may learn how to glide without shuffling, skate skiers may make their move to the next hill. Helpful downhill survival techniques and "how to get up the next hill" will be demonstrated. Intermediate skiers will receive tips to improve their glide on both classic and skate skis, or work on their hill climbing or new skate techniques. Advanced skiers may receive help honing techniques for more efficiency.
Registration with the Ride and Glide Ski club is required for all lessons and bike demonstrations at www.rideandglide.org. Plan to arrive early to sign in for a desired time and get fit for equipment. As part of the festival, free skate and classic equipment will be provided by Joe's Ski Shop. Skiers will also need a MN Ski Pass ($6/day or $20/annual) and a valid Washington County Parks vehicle permit ($7/day or $30/annual). The ski pass and vehicle permit are both available for purchase at the Lake Elmo Park Contact Station.
The Nordic Center has ample parking (overflow is across the park road at Eagle Point Trailhead), indoor seating and tables for guests, WiFi, restrooms with lockers and changing stalls, a water refill station, indoor fireplace, outdoor bonfire pit, and ski racks and ski waxing stations.
Lake Elmo Park Reserve is at the intersection of County Road 19 and County Road 10, one mile north of Interstate 94 in Lake Elmo.
For more Washington County Parks programs and events, see www.co.washington.mn.us/parks .
Join events and like the parks on Facebook at Washington County Parks½Official
Follow the parks on Twitter @WashCtyParks for events and @WashCtyTrails for current trail reports.