The Centerville City Trails Committee is offering a free snowshoeing class at 9 a.m. on Jan. 31. The class will feature a hike along Firebreak Road as well as the possibility of other Centerville trails. It is designed to accomodate snowshoers of all levels (as long as they have some basic knowledge and comfort level with the equipment).
“If you can throw on snowshoes and make it up to the meeting place, we’d love to have you,” said Stephanie Wheatley, head of the Centerville Trails Committee. The meeting place for the class will be at the parking lot at the top of Parrish Lane, 700 West and 400 North. “It’s just kind of a way to get people introduced to the hillside, to help people get more used to snowshoeing and not be so intimidated by it.”
Snowshoes, which are often tennis racket-shaped items that are strapped to boots or sneakers, are designed to help hikers move across the top of a snowpack without sinking in.
“It’s a little more strenuous than hiking, depending on how deep a snow you’re in, but it’s fun,” said Wheatley. “Our snowshoeing class will be very laid back and low key, much like our committee is.”
The class will also be adaptable to different skill levels, depending on who ends up attending the class. There will be at least a few committee members present, all of whom are familiar with snowshoeing and can lead different hikes of different levels. Firebreak Road will offer a flatter hike, which is easier on new snowshoers, and class leader Mark Day has said that he would be willing to take more experienced snowshoers up Parrish Creek Trail.
“It has switchbacks, so it’s more of a challenge,” said Wheatley.
In the end, the committee’s goal is to get more people interested in Centerville’s trails throughout the entire year.
“We’ve been trying to get more trail activities in winter,” said Wheatley. “There’s a lot of opportunities in spring and summer, but not so much at this time of year.”
Still, Wheatley had been worried that the weather would end up causing a different kind of trouble.
“With the weather we’d been having, I hadn’t been sure how much snow there would be for the class,” said Wheatley with a laugh. “Now, though, that doesn’t seem to be a problem.”