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|Enjoy Winter Outdoors In Missouri|
|News Releases - Travel & Tourism|
|Written by Stephen Foutes|
|Wednesday, 16 January 2013 13:37|
You can do both right here, in Missouri. No need for a 12-hour road trip through treacherous mountain terrain, or to endure the long, demanding lines of airport security. Missouri’s tourism website, VisitMO, has listings for everything you need to get out and experience nature, even in winter.
Missouri has two venues for swishing down the slopes: Snow Creek, north of Kansas City, and Hidden Valley, on the western fringe of St. Louis. Both are perfect for an exhilarating afternoon, regardless of your skill level. Just pick your ride of choice, from downhill or cross-country skis, to snowboards, to tubes, and enjoy a refreshing day outdoors. Yes, both offer professional instructors.
Snow Creek is about 10 minutes north of Weston; a half hour south of St. Joseph. Their state-of-the-art snowmaking machines can blanket the hillside with 12 inches of snow. The venue has a total vertical drop of 300 feet; a 700-foot long tube area; and a terrain section for snowboards. One-day, two-day and season tickets are offered.
The lodge at Snow Creek includes a bar, cafeteria, picnic and barbecue area, a bonfire pit, equipment rentals, souvenir and gift shop, an award-winning ski school, and (just in case) a first-aid station. They hold nighttime sessions some weekends. Watch their website for details.
To make a weekend of it, stay just down the road, in Weston — voted Missouri’s No. 1 Day Trip by Ingram’s Magazine, and the No. 1 Best Overnight Destination by VisitKC.com.
Across the state, in Wildwood (a western suburb of St. Louis), the skiing hot spot is Hidden Valley ski resort. Their snowmaking system can provide all the snow necessary for skiing, tubing and snowboarding, on 30 acres with an overall 310-foot vertical drop. The ski lodge holds a bar, cafeteria, equipment rentals, and (just in case) a first-aid station. Certified instructors offer skiing and snowboarding instructions (all levels and ages; private and group). Trails at Hidden Valley are lighted for night skiing and special moonlight sessions, some of which last until 3 a.m. Day tickets, group and senior rates, and season passes are available.
After a day on the slopes, it’s about 10 minutes to Eureka, where you can relax, dine and spend the night.
Not into snow skiing? How about floating a cool Missouri stream? Yes, in winter. This is a swell season to enjoy the solitude, while drifting along in a canoe . . . and it isn’t crowded. The water this time of year is especially clear; the winter views give you a different perspective of the Missouri countryside; fishing is always good; and there is an abundance of camping and cooking spots on gravel bars. Caution: take extra clothes in a dry-bag, just in case.
About 10 miles east of Steelville, the folks at Bass' River Resort can set you up for a trip on three rivers: the Courtois, the Huzzah and the Meramec. Their facilities include tent camping sites, RV sites and cabins. In January, they offer one free canoe rental with the rental of a log cabin; other specials apply in February and March.
Outdoor and nature enthusiasts are sure to enjoy Missouri’s wintering eagle population. America’s symbolic bald eagles can be spotted along open waterways and lakes throughout Missouri. In winter, Missouri’s resident eagle population is supplemented by migrating birds from the north, with numbers reaching more than 2,500 eagles, the second-largest number of wintering eagles in the lower 48 states.
Several organized “Eagle Days” are held, giving you the opportunity to witness these magnificent birds in their natural habitat. These events include discussions by professional naturalists; spotting scopes for an up-close-and-personal view and refreshments are usually available.
For eagle viewing on your own, try:
Missouri has an abundance of outdoor winter activities; these are but a few ideas. The key is . . . get outside and experience this diverse and fascinating season. There is no need to get the winter blahs.
To find more exciting things to do, information about lodging, attractions, events and dining across Missouri, check out VisitMO.com.
About the Missouri Division of Tourism
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