Absolute silence! So pure that it pulsates within your whole body. Yet the absence of sound screams at your consciousness. Combined with the sound of crunching snow, the crackling of tree trunks, the fleeting glimpses of abundant wildlife, the wind whistling through tall pine and getting close to nature in the clean, crisp, cold winter air is what snowshoeing is all about.
Snowshoes were a common cultural characteristic of Indian tribes in snow covered regions which allowed them to hunt during severe winters. The French were probably the first white people to become experienced snowshoers because of their association with the Indians. During the French and Indian War, the French with the help of the Indians, used snowshoes to conduct raids on the English settlements.
Simply, snowshoeing is walking with a slightly exaggerated forward step with feet kept wider apart than normal. This prevents stepping one shoe on the other. Also, shifting weight from side to side with a rolling motion imitates seasoned snowshoers who traveled long distances without tiring. The key is not to hurry, but to maintain a brisk and steady pace.
Confidence for the novice comes quickly with a little practice. Remember, if you can walk you can snowshoe. And you can snowshoe anywhere that has sufficient snow.
Ok, hikers! Put on your “tennis racquets.” It’s time to savor the snow covered scenes of unsurpassed beauty and adventure.
Where to go Snowshoeing in Lake George Region?
- Carl Heilman II Nature Photographer – This award winning nature photographer and avid snowshoer provides tips, techniques, articles, and snowshoe workshops.
- Natural Stone Bridge & Caves – This fun & educational nature attraction provides self guided & guided winter snowshoe tours; rentals also available.
- Up Yonda Farm Environmental Education Center – This spectacular 73 acre farm overlooking Lake George in the town of Bolton Landing provides guided & self-guided snowshoe hikes; snowshoe rentals also available.