MASSENA - According to the old saying, March comes in as a lion and goes out like a lamb. F
or many North Country residents, finally bidding Old Man Winter goodbye will be a welcomed occasion. But, for those who enjoy outdoor winter activities, there may be just a few more opportunities to enjoy the conditions.
The Friends of the Robert Moses State Park Nature Center, Inc., offer night-time excursions through the trails during the winter months. These Moonlight Ski & Snowshoe events are held each month on the Saturday closest to the full moon. On a clear night, the moonlight reflects off the snow and lights up the trails, so, no additional lighting is necessary to guide snowshoers and skiers through the trails.
Most people are surprised how quiet and peaceful it can be, out on the trails at night, according to Joel Danko, assistant recreation and education specialist. It can be a very unique experience.
Mr. Danko leads the ski group during the Moonlight events. Skiers need to be experienced. Its better to learn to ski in daylight. Many times, there are large holes to navigate around, and at times the conditions might be a bit icy. No experience is necessary for snowshoeing. Anyone who can walk can snowshoe.
Weve been fortunate at times to be able to hear the sounds of coyotes calling to each other, added Mary Danboise, the executive director of the Friends. The sound travels very well over the St. Lawrence, so it seems like they are close; but in fact, they are quite a ways off. There is no need to fear coyotes because they eat more rodents than any other large predator. They do not bother people.
The Nature Center has skis and snowshoes available to rent in all sizes for only $4/set. If you are renting, the staff asks that you come 20 minutes early. The guided groups head out on the trails at 6:30pm. Following the event, participants gather around the outdoor fire pit, roast marshmallows and socialize.
The next Moonlight Ski & Snowshoe event is scheduled from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. March 8. This will be the last one of these events this winter. Pre-registration is required. Call (315) 705-5022 or firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up. Check out the Nature Centers website for a full listing of events www.MassenaNatureCenter.org. Participants are invited to check the Friends Facebook page for updated trail conditions.
Debra Donatto is the Nature Center program coordinator.