How To Skate Ski
Downhill skiing and snowboarding may be the chic choices for carving up winter. But cross-country skiing is getting a makeover for a new generation at Lake Metroparks. A sleeker, trendier version — known as skate skiing — uses waxed skis, longer poles and stiffer boots to blaze the trails. "It's all about going faster," says Brian Fowler, Lake Metroparks chief of outdoor education, who teaches the discipline at Chapin Forest's Pine Lodge. "The outfits are nicer, the people are very fit, and it doesn't look like you're in the 1960s."
10381 Hobart Road, Kirtland, 440-256-3810, lakemetroparks.com
Find your rhythm. Push, glide, recover is the basic mantra. Angle your torso to one side as you bend your knees and plant both ski poles firmly into the snow at the same time.
Achieve balance. Thrust both arms behind you to propel your body forward in one swift motion. Like skating, shift your weight from the right to the left with each stroke.
It's easy to lose balance when looking at your feet, standing upright or positioning your arms behind your torso. Focus instead at the glistening path ahead.
Set your own pace.
Getting into the groove may mean a few tumbles. Be patient and go slow. As with everything in life, Fowler reminds us, "When you fall, you get back up."
For the Unmotivated
For some, exercise is its own reward. For the rest of us, it helps to have a little incentive. So Lake Metroparks offers a Moonlight Wine and Cheese Cross-country Adventure Jan. 9 with 90 minutes of nighttime skiing followed by fun at Pine Lodge Ski Center. Just bring a few of your favorite bottles. "Whatever warms you," says event coordinator Gloria Costello. //AD
For the Romantic
Snuggle up on a 20-minute horse-drawn sleigh ride through the Burton farm of Ma and Pa's Gift Shack. Then return to its 1820s cabin for chocolate chip or sugar cookies, hot chocolate and maple coffee. "It's romantic,"says owner Tammy Puleo. "The fields are lit by kerosene lamps."
For the Rock Star
Alan Cox, Erika Lauren and Bill Squire of 100.7 WMMS captain teams of radio listeners for tubing races Jan. 30 at Boston Mills Brandywine. "Erika is very competitive," says Steve Mackle, product manager of Boston Mills Brandywine. But everyone wins after the races. Try the 300-plus-yard frozen runs until 1 a.m. and then slide over to the after-party for drinks and music.
1146 W. Highland Road, Sagamore Hills, 800-875-4241, bmbw.com