Winter recreation booms in Esky

ESCANABA – Though this season’s snow and cold temperatures may be unwelcome weather to some, others are enjoying the outdoor recreational activities made possible by the winter conditions.

In Escanaba, the city’s ski trails, ice rinks and snowshoe trail have proven to be popular places to go to, according to Recreation Director Tom Penegor.

“It’s been a very good year on the trails and the ice rinks are doing very well,” he commented Monday.

More than 50 inches of snow has fallen so far this winter making for good conditions on the ski trials which are groomed by Terry Reynolds, a volunteer from Escanaba, said Penegor.

Penegor said the groomer is reporting this has been the best year for the ski trails in the past 12 years because of the amount of snowfall.

In addition to the two-mile oval cross-country ski trail at Ludington Park, there are four loops of nearly seven miles of ski trails off of North 30th Street. The paths challenge different levels of skill and distance, he said.

The first trail is fairly flat and includes a frozen swamp area, Penegor said, adding that other trails take skiers to higher ground where there are hills and additional scenery to enjoy.

Because of the increased use of the ski trails on North 30th Street, Penegor said he would like the city to consider expanding the parking lot there.

A snowshoe trail – which can be accessed from the North 30th Street trail parking lot – has also been a popular outdoor activity in Escanaba, said Penegor.

The civic center has 14 pairs of snowshoes – 10 adult and four youth pairs – which have been consistently used, he noted. The snowshoes can be rented free of charge for a 48-hour period. The health department also has snowshoes available for use, he said.

Penegor said the city’s two ice rinks are currently in excellent shape because of the cold temperatures.

The rinks at Royce Park and Webster Elementary School are open from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 1 to 8 p.m. on Saturdays, and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

“This is the first time we’ve had an ice rink open before Christmas in 15 years,” he noted.

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Jenny Lancour, (906) 786-2021, ext. 143,