Old Man Winter is here, and with him comes a sickening sense of cabin fever. Symptoms include nagging and bored kids, exasperated parents, bulging midsections from holiday indulgences, and a lack of excitement and adventure in your life. Common remedies are centered on battening down the hatches and staying under lock and key until spring arrives (whenever that is in the Midwest!). This doesn’t sound like a recipe for a healthy lifestyle.
Luckily for us, we are blessed with a winter wonderland here in Winnebago County, which provides a better alternative than succumbing to cabin fever. We have great open spaces, trail systems, forest preserves, and winter amenities to help create memorable experiences for you and your family, all while promoting an active, healthy lifestyle. We have great stewards of these open spaces in the Rockford Park District and Forest Preserves of Winnebago County that maintain these open spaces and provide recreational opportunities. Embrace the change of seasons and take advantage of this winter wonderland! Learn
new activities, explore the way the change of seasons alters our physical environment, and find yourself actually looking forward to winter. The way my family and I see it, winter just means different toys to play with!
We hear from many of our participants in our cross-country skiing or snowshoeing classes, “We live in a winter environment and want to find a way to embrace it.” Worried about getting cold? Most people are, and they overlook the fact that they will be doing physical activity, which generates an ample amount of body heat to help keep them warm. As we say at Rocktown Adventures, there is no such thing as bad weather, just not good enough apparel to combat the elements. Believe it or not, my biggest concern when out skiing or hiking isn’t getting cold, it’s overheating!
That is enough evangelizing about getting outside in the winter. If you are reading this magazine, you already recognize the value of an active, healthy lifestyle. Here is a list of some of my favorite family activities to do in the winter:
Cross Country Skiing
Sinnissippi Golf Course, Aldeen Golf Course, Rock Cut State Park, and Atwood Park all have trails. Lake Kegonsa State Park and Nordic Trail in Wisconsin are within an hour’s drive from Rockford.
Winnebago County Forest Preserves have trails perfect for a winter hike; Hononegah is one of my favorites. Rock Cut State Park and Atwood Park have trails as well. The Natural Land Institute sponsors a moonlight hike complete with bonfires and guided tours of the facility in Rockton.
Take in a Rockford tradition and visit the Ice Sculptures at Sinnissippi Golf Course at the end of January. The rolling terrain is great for sledding, and the wooded hills make for a great hike.