First Day Hike, First Day Paddle or both! No reason to stay indoors on New Year’s Day. Kick off your morning by joining the folks of Mad City Paddlers for the annual Fog Bowl paddle at Lake Columbia near Portage, Wisconsin. The water of Lake Columbia is heated by the local power plant which keeps the water around 50 degrees at the launch, rising up to nearly 90 degrees by the power plant itself. The boat launch is located on the south side of the lake, accessible from County Highway V west off Highway 51 just south of Portage. This is generally a morning event. Paddlers then will head over to the Cactus Club for a warm up, lunch and to watch the Badgers play in the Outback Bowl! For more information about Winter Paddling in Wisconsin & the Fog Bowl, check out this Wisconsin Trails article.
FIRST DAY HIKE – Later on New Year’s Day, you are invited to join Devil’s Lake State Park Naturist, Susan Johansen for a First Day Snowshoe… Um, probably a hike actually… on the Ice Age Trail in Roznos Meadow at the foot of the Baraboo hills. This event will run from 3:30pm – 5:00pm. You will be guided on a twilight exploration of this beautiful prairie as the sun sets behind the bluffs. Dress warm and bring a flashlight and, if there’s snow, your snowshoes. There will be snowshoes to loan as well. Meet at the Ice Age Trail/Roznos Meadow Parking Lot on HWY 113.
Of course there are many more “First Day” hikes going on at a variety of state parks and forests around Wisconsin and there may be one closer to you as well. Check out the full list of First Day events here.
PREPARE TO HAVE FUN – Just a reminder that dressing warmly is the key to having fun outdoors during a Wisconsin winter. Warm gloves, boots and hats are a must! Layers are best because as you exercise, you will warm up. Being about to peel off a layer when you heat up, then putting it back on when you cool down is a real luxury. A thermos full of hot chocolate and some treats are a real bonus as well. This is especially true for your kids. If they are cold, they are not having fun.. if they are not having fun, then they’ll be focused on getting home to the Xbox. (That’s a hard enough battle on a warm day!)
See you Thursday!