Outdoor adventure businesses are actually benefiting from the prolonged winter elements, allowing folks to continue snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in March.
“This time of year is probably more conducive to people getting out to enjoy these kinds of activities because, in January and February, it was just wicked cold up here,” says Tim Hallock, owner of Northeast Mountain Guides, who has teamed up with Peter Becks Village Store, to provide year-round hikes of the Salisbury forest. “The main thing is to offer people opportunities to get out. If they don’t have the skills, equipment or experience, that’s where the guide service comes in.”
Now, snowshoes provide hikers with floatation, stability and traction. The South Taconic Range – including the Appalachian Trail and Bear Mountain – offers a beautiful landscape for members of a growing hiking club that anyone can join.
“We have a great following. It’s everywhere from high school kids to dogs to people who are retired,” says store owner Peter Feen. “Think of it like a pick-up game of softball. It’s a pick-up hike. You meet at the store. It’s very casual.”
Pretty soon, the birds will be singing, the ice melting.
“A lot of people don’t even believe this is Connecticut anymore, that we have such big mountains and vast open forest spaces. It’s a great place to play,” says Feen. “Salisbury is a great trail town. You can get your fuel, get a sandwich, get water, do your laundry. It’s perfect for hiking.”
A full-day snowshoe hike is coming up the weekend of March 15. The excursion costs $79 for adults. Snowshoe rentals are available for $20 a day. Click here for more information.