Celebrate National Winter Trails Day This Week

Celebrate the day outdoors on Jan. 14

By Clare Menzel
A skier glides the well-groomed trails at Stillwater Mountain Lodge during a recent Winter Trails Day event. Beacon File Photo

Trails aren’t just for summer use, and Winter Trails Day aims to help outdoor enthusiasts embrace the beauty and solitude found on paths during wintertime. Celebrate the event, organized by the Flathead Community of Resource Educators, on Jan. 14 by getting outside.

There are a few free events in this neck of the woods:

Winter Birds and Tracks in Owen Sowerwine Natural Area with the Flathead Audubon

Join longtime Audubon educator and naturalist Denny Olson for a hike through a portion of the 442-acre stretch of land southeast of Kalispell. More than 100 species of birds call the OSNA home, and the unstructured syllabus may include winter birds, bird songs, tracking, botanizing, natural history lore, and interpretation. Binoculars and field guides are available to borrow. Call 249-3897 or email [email protected] for more information or to register. Meet at the Treasure Lane gate in Kalispell at 10 a.m.

Guided Hike in Lone Pine State Park

A Lone Pine ranger will lead visitors on a moderate guided hike through this community state park, which offers vistas of the Flathead Valley, Big Mountain, the Jewel Basin, and Glacier National Park. The state park is five miles southwest of Kalispell. There will be snowshoes for children and adults available to borrow, but call in advance to reserve them. For more information call 755-2706 ext. 2. Meet at 10 a.m.

Snowshoe Walk at Blacktail Mountain

Hosted by the Flathead National Forest Swan Lake Ranger District and Foys to Blacktail Trails, a group of hikers will spend two hours exploring the cross-country trails at Blacktail Mountain, which is 14 miles west of Lakeside. A limited number of snowshoes will be available by reservation. Meet at the upper trailhead parking area at 10 a.m.

Ranger-led Snowshoes

Hike at Glacier National Park Hikers will depart from the Apgar Visitor Center at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. for two-hour long hikes in the park. Snowshoes are available to borrow, and visitors must gain entrance with a park pass. Call 888-7800 for more information.

Winter Ecology Hike Hosted by the Montana Wilderness Association

This is a four-mile round trip hike to Stanton Lake south of Glacier National Park and U.S. Highway 2. To register, visit www.wildmontana.org. For more information, call 303-726-3931.

Free Skiing at Glacier Nordic Center

Enjoy free skiing, lessons, and rentals at Glacier Nordic Center just west of downtown Whitefish. Forty-five minute-long lessons begin on the hour starting at 11 a.m., and run until 2 p.m. For more information call 862-9498.

Always dress warmly for any outdoors winter activity. Make sure to wear layers, and bring protection for face and other exposed skin.

The Flathead Community of Resource is a network of individuals and organizations working together to increase awareness and understanding about the natural, historical and cultural resources of the Flathead Region. Learn more about local events at www.flatheadcore.org.

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.