Cross-Country Skiing the Red Cedar Trail

Barbara YoungHello UW–Stout. I have a little story to tell you before we get started. I have this amazing friend named Bailey Bollin who does cool things like go on crazy long bike 1DSC00003rides, does ear candling (strange, but also intriguing) and goes cross-country skiing for fun.

She is the kind of person whose Snapchat story you watch and just die because all you want is to be doing whatever it is she’s doing. We all have that friend, trust me.

I have never wanted anything more than to be a very cool person, so I decided to accompany her on a cross-country skiing trip on the Red Cedar Trail last week.

I think I’ve fallen in love with the sport.

Now, Bailey is cool enough that she owns her own skis, but I had to find a way to get a pair myself. I turned to Urec’s Stout Adventures for assistance, as I didn’t want to spend $500+ on a trial run. I was able to rent skis, ski boots and ski poles for 24 hours for just $7. That’s cheaper than a movie! You can check Stout Adventures’ other items for rent on their homepage.

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The rental was easy, I just headed over to Stout Adventures, at the end of the building closest to the football field. I told the lovely Allison what I wanted, signed a contract saying I wouldn’t break anything or myself, paid my fee and got all of my equipment from her.

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Then Bailey and I were off to the Red Cedar Trail! We strapped on our gear (with a good deal of struggle on my part – I’m not the most coordinated person) and then shuffle-glided our way onto the path.

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For anyone who hasn’t been cross-country skiing before, I assure you it is a unique experience. You wouldn’t think a couple of sticks strapped to your feet would affect your balance, but they do. You have to kinda’ lean forward as you shuffle-glide along the snow. Your poles will play a large role in helping you move. It’s kind of like walking on a Nordic track, with only your heels lifting up. It takes a bit of getting used to, but after a while it becomes easy enough you can unglue your eyes from the tips of your skis.

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I only have pictures of Bailey struggling because I was holding the camera. I promise, this was her only time falling. And I captured it like the great friend I am.

The Red Cedar Trail’s snow was packed down, to make skiing easy, and tracks littered the path. It was easiest if I stayed in previously made ruts in the path where many skiers had gone before. We passed several other skiers, all friendly and happy from a beautiful ski beside the river. A bonus of skiing the path were the beautiful views all around.

8DSC00024 I would definitely suggest this as an afternoon activity to anyone looking for not only a fun afternoon but also a light workout. My arms were quite tired afterward.

9DSC00035 Just a quick note: Using the path does require a trail pass, so check out the rules and costs here: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/trailpass.html

Have a great week Stouties!

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