Great Lakes Nordic Walkers reported that 147 Nordic Walkers participated in last weekend’s fourth annual BirkiTrail Run & e Trek in Wisconsin. The Trail run is a marathon, while the Trek is a half-marathon that welcomes Nordic Walkers. The organizers describe it thus: “The Birkie Trek is a “Nordic walking” event where use of poles is suggested. The Trek is a non-competitive, un-timed walk on the beautiful American Birkebeiner Trail. The Trail, used in the Winter for the American Birkebeiner Cross-Country Ski Marathon, is mowed, relatively smooth, but hilly and challenging.” The Birkie Trek remains on my bucket list, but this time, I was in Connecticut while it was going on. Below is an image from the Great Lakes Nordic Walkers blog.
Writer finds quiet sports that highlight the wintry months on Wisconsin peninsula
Door County occupies a slender finger of land in the eastern Wisconsin, lying north/northeast of Chicago, Madison, Milwaukee and Green Bay, which is the Door County gateway community as well as home to the NFL’s Packers. The county, which is to say the peninsula, is a popular Midwestern warm-weather destination that is both rural and sporty. With a long Lake Michigan and Green Bay coastline, it’s splendid for sailing, kayaking, canoeing, windsurfing, fishing and enjoying the many beaches and the local fruit and other produce are fabulous too. Like so many summer places, Door County turns inward in winter, with the quiet sports of snowshoeing and cross-country skiing popular.
My friend Laurel Kallenbach has started writing about sustainable travel for a the website of Greenwala,a loose collective dedicated to green living. She could have picked any number of tropical eco-tourism destinations, low-impact beach-bumming or a voluntourism project where visitors restore habitat, assist communities or do other good work. But for her inaugural column, she chose a cold-weather destination. Snowshoeing, a favorite activity of Nordic Walkers when there’s snow on the ground, is involved in two of her four recommendations in her piece, “4 Carbon-Neutral Ways to Enjoy Winter in Door County, Wisonsin.”
She suggests a horsedrawn sleighride through the vineyards and woods at the Lautenbach’s Orchard Country Winery, near Fish Creek. I’m all for helping wineries make it through the winter, so thumbs-up on that one. Snowshoeing at The Ridges Sanctuary, which also offers guided snowshoe walks in January.
In addition to 16 miles of groomed Nordic skiing trails with an additional 6 miles of ungroomed snowshoeing trails through scenic and remote areas of Peninsula State Park. The park also offers 17 miles of separate snowmobile routes, but if that bothers you, better snowshoe elsewhere. Finally, she suggests candlelight cross-country skiing, snowshoeing or (if there isn’t a lot of snow) winter hiking at Door County’s state parks: Whitefish Dunes State Park: January 29; Peninsula State Park: February 5, and Newport State Park: February 12. Terrific.