Editorial: Deal with winter by embracing itPublished 10:43am Thursday, January 10, 2013
It sure is warm outside for January. Temperatures are above freezing. The high on Friday might even reach 40 before the air cools back to the 10s and 20s for the weekend.
There’s no reason not to get outside and enjoy yourself. Albert Lea offers quite a bit in the way of winter activities. Here are some suggestions:
• Ice fishing: Albert Leans never seem to stop fishing. Popular spots are on Albert Lea Lake by Frank Hall Park, on Albert Lea Lake across from St. Nicholas, on Fountain Lake near the Hatch Bridge, on Fountain Lake near the entrance to Dane Bay.
• Snowmobiling: Because Albert Lea surrounds or is next two five different lakes, the city offers a surprising amount of places to snowmobile when compared to other places. They can go on the lakes, and they often visit Myre-Big Island State Park, Bancroft Bay Park, Pickerel Lake Park and various back routes around the city.
• Sledding: Childhood winters wouldn’t be complete without time spent on a hill. Albert Lea’s sledding hills are at Lakeview Elementary School, Frank Hall Park, Sibley Elementary School and Hayek Park.
• Ice hockey and skating: The Albert Lea Parks and Recreation Department sets up outdoor ice rinks near supervised warming houses every winter. These are great places for children and grown-ups alike to spend time in skates or even just sliding around on boots. The rinks are at Hayek Park, Lakeview Park, Academy Park and Hawthorne Park.
• Disc golf: Believe it or not, local disc golfers have kept the concrete tee pads clear of snow and ice at the two courses at Bancroft Bay Park. Save your back by hauling your disc bag on a sled. Be warned that errant throws into untrampled snow can result in lost discs.
• Snowshoeing: The popular places to go are Myre-Big Island State Park, Brookside Park and Bancroft Bay Park, where snowshoers will hit the trails or venture onto the lake ice. With warm temps this week melting the snowcover a bit, the surface likely will harden quite nicely, making for good snowshoe snow.
• Cross-country skiing: This cardio-friendly activity has a special location — Big Island. Snowmobiles are in the park, but they stay off the island, as that is reserved for walkers and skiiers. Cross-country skiing and nature loving go hand in hand.
• Walks: Take the sidewalks and the trails and get moving. Who doesn’t enjoy a walk in the winter? It’s nice to walk across the lake to see a friend or relative, instead of walking around it.
It’s nice on winter weekends in Albert Lea to see so many people outside enjoying themselves. The best way to get through winter is to embrace it. Let’s keep it up!