First activity: XC Skiing on the Red Cedar Trail
About: Menomonie is unarguably a city with a small-town feel, but still a city all the same. We invite you to start your day with an escape to the humble outdoors of the Red Cedar State Trail. This trail stretches from both Menomonie to Downsville and Downsville to the Chippewa River State Trail. In the winter, the city keeps seven miles of this abandoned railroad grade groomed specifically for cross-country skiers. The public is welcome to enjoy the total 15.6 miles of trail, running near to the river from which its name originates, passing beautiful scenes of frozen waterfalls and dripping snow wonderlands. The seclusion of this area offers skiers a location for seclusion or companionship, either path offering some peace of mind from public life, an experience where social face becomes as obsolete as snowflakes along the trail.
(Ice anglers head out to the lake toting their equipment on ATVs)
Winter is a season that that can give one a feeling of solitude, but that doesn't always have to be the case! Winter sports can bring everyone together, whether it be at a basketball game or ice fishing with friends- winter can be a very social season!
Although most fishermen have years of experience under their belt, this is a community that encourages solidarity with newcomers- their website states: “There is an unmistakable common-folk quality to the sport of ice fishing that seems to attract hard-working people who naturally like to help others excel in the sport. It is common for elite ice competitors who have spent years honing their skills and developing new techniques to pass their knowledge on to enthusiast ice anglers.” There are some teams that are local and some teams that are not, but in the past, more than 50 teams of two are hoping to qualify for the honorable North American Ice Fishing Champion. Come seek new friendships and new knowledge in this all-inclusive competition, a competition that recognizes the value in its novel opportunities!
Official NAIFC website:
Come and enjoy a basketball game at UW-Stout at the Johnson Fieldhouse. It is a great chance to get a feel for the community the team plays for as well as get a feel for the campus that is located right in downtown Menomonie. Everyone is welcomed to support the men and women athletes who dedicate a substantial amount of time out their school year to play to the best of their ability for each other and for the sake of bringing a high level of athleticism to the college community and the community of Menomonie.
Length: 15.6 Miles
Elevation Gain: Minimal
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill level: Easy
Duration: Day use
Trailhead elevation: 250 feet
Other uses: Skate-skiers
Local Contacts: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Topo Map: http://www.trails.com/topo.aspx?trailid=SGM004-041
Guide Book: https://www.trails.com/catalog_product.aspx?productfamilyid=10199
Red Cedar State Trail
921 Brickyard Road
Menomonie WI 54751
Hopefully these activities give a good idea of why winter is a season worth experiencing, and especially here in Dunn County! While many perceive these winters as a time to stay at home, it can be a very social season. There are plenty of things to do that can get you moving, or you can sit down and enjoy the game. Either way you choose to enjoy winter hopefully it'll remind you why we're crazy enough to live up here.
This page was designed by Pearl Gronquist and Drew Luedke.
Sledding! Another way to embrace the snow is on the hills of Dunn County. A great activity that only requires a sled, or, if you're feeling up to it, a snowboard. Sledding is one of those great activities that get you active and moving and enjoying yourself while doing it in the now. This activity is great for either a couple of people or a large group. This activity also gives you most of the control to plan it out and invite whoever you'd like. [Dunn County Fairgrounds have some pretty legendary sledding hills.]
Second activity, DIY Snowshoes!
About: Snowshoes are the footwear of winter! As much as they offer a convenient form of mobility through thick snow tundra, they also offer the user a great form of exercise as snowshoeing is considered a form of hiking. The origins of these types of shoes are believed to be invented between 4,000 and 6,000 years ago, so although their old-fashioned styles are not used much anymore, they are still valued for the artisanship it takes to construct them. Recreational snowshoes don’t have to be a huge expense, for it is the time and work put into them that adds the value. Do-It-Yourself projects are a valuable way to take time out of the day to create something artistic from your own household items, with people you care about. We have included a link to a set of directions, instructing you how to make your own snowshoes, using moderately inexpensive means and in a timely manner. The domain of the website may seem misleading- this DIY project does not exclude any age group, or certainly any gender preferences. [And, of course, you can rent snowshoes from Stout Adventures at UW-Stout!]
Snowball fights! A classic way to embrace the snow that falls every year on the ground. A great game go play with the family and/or friends. If you feel like embracing the town or community but don't feel like going out on the ice, then stop by Wilson Park in downtown Menomonie. This is also great way to include anyone around who might be daring enough to join in the fight.
(A team of two begins their tournament day bright and early)
About: At least a hundred fisherman travel from all over the country to Lake Menomin to participate in the North American Ice Fishing Circuit Tournament (NAIFC). This is an event established by fishermen, for fishermen, bringing together our nation’s top ice anglers and providing them with the highest level of competition and education.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED (makes one pair):
1 six-ounce can of CPVC clear cement
2 pieces of ¾-inch hot/cold CPVC pipe, each 10 feet long
(Although they look alike, CPVC piping will work better than PVC because CPVC tends to be a bit more flexible and less likely to crush. Schedule 80 is recommended.)
4 ¾-inch CPVC pipe tees (they’re shaped like the letter “T”)
20 45-degree-angle CPVC elbows (they’re shaped like elbows)
200 feet of ¼-inch hollow braid poly rope
Bungee cords, rope, Velcro or other materials to hold snowshoe to foot.
Yard stick or measuring tape
Hand saw, hack saw or PVC pipe-cutting tool
File or sand paper
Clamp vise or an extra set of hands
Flat work surface
Three Perfect Days of Winter Sports
Winter in Wisconsin is the season that we all share a love/hate relationship. When the snow falls we look at the new landscape adoringly but a few weeks later we're cursing the long winter season. Thankfully winter is full of ways we can take our minds off of the snow by either embracing it or making the most of the indoors, especially for those interested in sports!
Some other great activities that take place during the winter season is hockey and ice skating. They are great activities to do either on your own or with multiple people. If you can't find a good spot outdoors then stop by the Dunn County Ice Arena or Hobbs Municipal Ice Center in Eau Claire. You can check out a hockey game put on by the UW-Eau Claire Blugolds, Menomonie Mustangs, UW-Stout Blue Devils, or there are open skate times available. Also if you wish to reserve time on the rink that can be done through their websites.
For the final day, here a couple of great activities that could be done either individually or in a group of people, whether it'd be a group of friends or a family. Two sports that dominate the winter and are super popular in the Midwest are basketball and hockey. And there are plenty of great opportunities in the Dunn county to participate some way in both.
Wilson Park Location:
Address: 800 Wilson Ave
Menomonie, WI 54751
Although...there is nothing wrong with taking advantage of the solitude of winter! It's a great opportunity to to get to know yourself better as well as get in touch with nature. And because there are great advantages to both enjoying yourself and the company of others, here are ways to spend three days in Dunn county where you can use winter sports both as a way to get to know yourself and those around you.