High Country Winter Snowshoes |


For hikers who want to add a unique seasonal element to their outdoor adventure, a snowshoe excursion may be considered. A centuries-old practice, snowshoeing has recently become a popular activity for outdoor enthusiasts who want to get off the beaten track.

There are times in the High Country area when snowfall can be heavy. In recent years there has been snowfall in parts of the High Country of over a foot, making riding difficult, but ideal conditions for snowshoeing as the activity requires at least six inches of snow. snow.

Over time, the wooden racquets of the past evolved into plastic or TPU (a rubberized fabric) and metal. However, the same basic concept behind snowshoes remains: having an even distribution of the boot on the snow.

Those hoping to get into the sport can expect to pay anywhere from less than $ 100 to around $ 300 for new shoes. Compared to its rival sport, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing is a cheaper activity and some say it is a more adaptable sport when it comes to walking in various snow conditions.

Additionally, most people who snowshoe also use trekking poles, also known as trekking poles, which help maintain balance and also aid in the upper body training that comes with sport. These can cost between $ 30 and $ 200 or so, depending on where they are purchased and the material they are made of.

The High Country offers plenty of places to snowshoe, ranging from local parks and greenways to the nearest trail. Another option is to park near the closed Blue Ridge Parkway and walk the flat and beautiful road. When doing this, make sure you do not park in front of a barrier. Beyond that, access to the promenade, even when the gates are closed for the winter, is from the highway. 221 at mile post 305, on Roseboro Road at mile post 208, and on Old Jonas Ridge Road at mile post 311.

Elk Knob State Park is also one of the few state parks in the region that offers both snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

Elk Knob strives to keep the park open in extreme winter conditions when many other parks are forced to close. This allows unprecedented access to state parks during some of the most extreme whiteout conditions. The park is located at 5564 Meat Camp Road in Todd.

As for finding a pair of snowshoes and a place to hike the trails here in the High Country, local outfitters Footsloggers are a go-to source. Currently, Footsloggers has offices in Boone, Blowing Rock and West Jefferson.


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