When thinking about the term “winter sports,” most people imagine skating and skiing – and that’s all. But there are tons of other winter sports ranging from ice hockey to curling.
Some of the top winter sports (and locations where you can enjoy them) include:
For a truly exhilarating aerobic exercise, try snowshoeing. Snowshoeing is a challenging sport in which participants walk through deep snow on snowshoes. Each step forces the participant to lift up his or her feet high in order to take the next step.
The required equipment for snowshoeing is, of course, snowshoes – big clumpy footwear that resemble tennis rackets. The snowshoes are tied to the bottom of the wearer’s boot so that the person’s weight spreads evenly across the snow. This allows the walker to move through snowy terrain without falling in.
Snowshoeing is a fun sport in which to participate. It doesn’t require practice, previous experience or much knowledge, other than the ability to stick to a trail or safe path. One of the most glorious places to snowshoe is Krvavec, Slovenia where the Igloo Village spans huge stretch of open Alpine landscaping. Throughout the village there’s a network of tunnels that connects visitors to restaurants, hotels and bars for a cozy snow-lover’s paradise vacation.
You don’t have to prepare for the annual Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race to enjoy some dog sledding fun. A dog sled excursion offers an exhilarating experience that you’ll never forget. Dog sledding involves sitting on a sled behind a pack of dogs. The seat is chained to the sled and the participants race through the trails at high speed.
Greenland Explored, in snowy Greenland, offers visitors a chance to experience the excitement of a genuine dogsledding experience which is led by Inuit guides. Participants can book a day trip or a trip that lasts several days – all trips include the presence of the guide who directs the dogs as he gives an in-depth tour of the landscape.
Ice Fishing combines a sporting challenge with some relaxing winter fun. Many fishermen wait for the winter when, they say, the opportunities to catch the most delicious and freshest fish are the greatest.
One of the best places to enjoy ice fishing is in Cold Lake in Alberta. Winter resorts are set up to provide you with all of the equipment, space and know-how that you’ll need to catch the area’s walleye, pike and whitefish. The fish can weigh up to 18 pounds, offering a delicious winter feast.
It’s fun to slide downhill with the wind blowing through your hair as you feel the rush of adrenaline through your body. Skiing, of course, is one winter sport that gives you that feel but if you want something a bit more sedate, you can try tobogganing. Once you sit down in your toboggan and push off you’re on a downward ride that allows you to fully enjoy the winter chill.
One of the best toboggan hills in the world is located in Bramberg, Austria. The Wildkogen Sledding Arena, offering the longest tobogganing hill in the world, is located in Western Austria. Sledders can look forward to a trip downhill that takes anywhere from 30 – 50 minutes. The resort opens in December and stays open till March with daytime runs and nighttime tobogganing that visitors can enjoy until 10:00p.m.
The snow sculpting festival isn’t a participatory winter sport – other than for the artists. Yet visitors have a chance to see how the artists contort their bodies to create ice and snow models that express their visions and imaginations.
The snow sculpting festival is for artists, artist-wannabees and anyone who wants to see how the artists combine their creativities with their physical abilities, At the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival in China, visitors see some of the world’s biggest ice sculptures which have been created by sculptors who challenge themselves mentally and physically in order to create amazing images and breathtaking designs. Sculptors must be able to piece together the pieces in perfect detail and the results are a marvel. Every year more and more people make the trip to Harbin to marvel over the way that the designers mold the captivating layouts.
Snow tubing is similar to tobogganing but it’s a variation that takes you around in circles as you go down the hill. There aren’t many places that specialize in snow tubing but one popular snow tubing spots is the Mad River Mountain’s Midnight Madness in Mansfield, Ohio. For just $25 you can enjoy three hours of snow tubing fun during the day or in the middle of the night. The Midnight Madness slope isn’t for the faint-hearted so you might want to try it during the day before you go flying down at midnight. One of the biggest advantages of snow tubing is that it offers the challenges of skiing but it’s practical as a family activity.
Cross Country Skiing
Cross Country skiing is another great snow activity that offers terrific exercise without the coordination necessary for downhill skiing. You can get your own skis and go out at any time or you can rent skis and head to an area that’s specifically marked for cross country skiers. Cross country skiing basically involves walking on the snow with your skis and poles to steady you. You move at your own pace, propelling yourself ahead with your feet and your arms.
You can enjoy cross country skiing in any area where there is open land but the most cross country ski-friendly country is Norway which has numerous paths in almost every area of the country, most notably in the Stabbursdalen National Park. In addition to the scenic beauty of the area you can see the Northern Lights throughout the fall and winter months.
Winter is the time for great sports activity for seasoned athletes who thrill to outdoor action and couch potatoes who are accustomed to playing casino games on their gaming screen from the comfort of their living room armchair