Anyone looking for ways to enjoy the snowy winter need venture no further than Midcoast Conservancy’s Hidden Valley Nature Center in Jefferson for a multitude of options. Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and fat tire biking are all on the list of events there in the upcoming weeks. Trails at HVNC are groomed and open daily; Midcoast members are free and non-members pay a $5 day-use fee.
Currently in session, the Youth Cross-country Ski Clinic is offered Saturday mornings from 9:30 to 11 until Feb. 8. Kids ages 5 to 14 get fun and professional instruction in ski skills and take to the nearly 30 miles of trails at HVNC. An adult X-C ski clinic will be offered on Sundays, Feb. 9 and 16; ski rentals will be available for all adult participants.
Also in February, two Family Days at HVNC will give people a chance to ski or take some of Midcoast Conservancy’s fat tire bikes out on the trails. Staff will be on hand to offer basic instruction and advice on trails to explore. Monday, Feb. 17, families are encouraged to come ski HVNC; skis will be available. Tuesday, Feb. 18, the fat bike fleet will be ready for riders; helmets will be provided to those who don’t have their own. Registration is suggested for both events to ensure that equipment is available; go to https://www.midcoastconservancy.org/explore/events/ to sign up.
Saturdays in February, from noon to 4 p.m., gear will be available for use at HVNC on a first come first served basis. Rent skis, snowshoes or bikes by the hour and take to the trails for a winter adventure.
And finally, everyone is encouraged to put their ski, snowshoe or fat bike skills to the test at the annual winter Biathlon at HVNC on Saturday, Feb. 29 from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. All ages and abilities can have fun in the snow, taking laps around the 1k course between turns on the paintball rifle range. Rifle safety instruction is provided for all racers, four-person teams are welcome, and creative costumes could garner an award at the end of the racing day! Fire pits will be blazing, and chili and cocoa will be available to warm people up from the inside. Register at https://www.midcoastconservancy.org/events/midcoast-conservancy-biathlon-3/