Like some of the MacKenzie Center’s wildlife, visitors will soon have the chance to explore the wilderness by skimming over the top of snowbanks.
The MacKenzie Center will loan out snowshoes Feb. 12 from 1-4 p.m. during a free public event.
The event will start in the lodge, where families can borrow snowshoes as long there is six inches of snow cover. If not, the trails will still be open for winter hiking and personal snowshoe use.
For a post-hike warm up, the Center will have a crackling fire and serve hot chocolate in the lodge.
Natural Resources Educator and Wildlife Technician Hayley Parsons said this is the first time the MacKenzie Center has held a public snowshoe event. However, youth and school groups have long used the center’s snowshoes to explore the area.
Novices are welcomes, Parsons said, as are seasoned snowshoe users.
As with the long-established Maple Syrup Festival in April, Parsons said the day is intended to be a fun draw for families.
“We understand that in the winter, it’s harder for people to get outside and see the MacKenzie Center, or just go for a hike,” Parsons said.
The wildlife area, usually closed on weekends, will also be open on Feb. 12 – giving visitors a chance to see the wolves, foxes, raptors and other native animals.
This is the event’s Take Two. The first snowshoe hike, planned for late January, was canceled due to the high temperatures that melted the snow – not exactly ideal conditions to tramp around on snowshoes.
But so far, the Feb. 12 temperatures are looking to hit in the mid-30 with snow showers – hopefully yielding good hiking conditions.
The event will take place at the MacKenzie Center, located at W7303 County Highway CS, Poynette. For more information visit dnr.wi.gov/education/Mackenzie