Trails Day full of free fun |

Trails Day full of free fun

Adia Waldburger, of the Record staff

It’s hard to find a reason not to try cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Its good exercise, it’s affordable and it’s an activity easily done with family and friends.

But for the many who have not yet graced the groomed and ungroomed trails yet, they are held back by not having the skills or gear to do it.

To that end, a nationwide Winter Trails Day will be held on Saturday offering the motivation to get out there offering everything from free gear to free instruction and local ski areas are taking part. Soldier Hollow in Midway and Mountain Dell, located just a few exits from Kimball Junction off Interstate 80, have both gotten in on the act and hope to see plenty of Parkites partake.

Mountain Dell

This golf course turned outdoor playground for skiers, sledders and snowshoers is teaming up with local entities to put on its Winter Trails Day event. Local retailers Recreation Equipment Incorporated (REI) and Wild Rose are working with two nonprofits, The Utah Nordic Alliance (TUNA) and Cottonwood Canyons Foundation, to host the event designed to promote both the sport and the outdoors.

According to Eric Spreng, REI outreach coordinator, a lot of people are interested cross-country skiing but are somewhat daunted to give it a try.

"We’re offering instruction in a safe, secure environment," Spreng said.

The event will take place from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. The day will include guided snowshoeing, cross-country and skate-ski instruction, and outdoor interpretation.

For the past few years, the event has been held in Big and Little Cottonwood canyons, but accessibility and elevation became an issue. So, this year the decision was made to move the event to the more accessible Mountain Dell. Now that the venue is located off a major highway and is in close proximity to both Salt Lake City and Summit County, Spreng is expected the number of people attending the free day to skyrocket. He also hopes it increases the number of people who visit Mountain Dell for the rest of the winter. Mountain Dell on a regular day charges just $5 for a day of cross-country skiing.

"It’s so nice," Spreng said. "If you have the gear, you can just go."

There will also be plenty of demo equipment provided at no charge by the top brands in the snow-sports industry.

Attendees can participate in a bunch of winter activities, including hour-long snowshoe interpretive tours, and introductory classes to classic cross-country skiing and skate skiing.

Spreng said that another motivator for hosting the event is to introduce the public to a very healthy sport. Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing offer good low-impact cardiovascular workouts and, according to Spreng, don’t take long to learn.


The Cottonwood Canyons Foundation will provide basic snowshoeing instruction and insight into winter ecology. Tours are beginner and family friendly. Recommended for ages 10 and up.


Participants will be introduced to cross-country skiing while exploring Mountain Dell’s beautiful groomed track. Taught by the experts from The Utah Nordic Alliance and REI. Recommended for ages 12 and up.


Skate skiing takes classic Nordic style up a notch in speed and cardiovascular exertion. This introductory skate-ski lesson builds on classic style, and will be taught by the instructors from The Utah Nordic Alliance and REI. Basic Classic skiing experience is required for all participants. Recommended for ages 14 and up.


Participants can try out the newest in snowshoes, Nordic skis, boots and poles from the leading manufacturers of snow-sport technology. Tubbs, MSR, Atomic, Fischer, Salomon, Rossignol, Swix and more will be on hand with the latest and greatest gear all day long.

Activities will generally begin on the hour and half hour. Participants will be served on a first-come first-served basis. No advance registration is required. Participants should allow ample time for registration and equipment fitting.

Mountain Dell Golf Course is located in Parley’s Canyon on Interstate 80, west of Park City at exit 134. Participants must be at least 10 years of age and in good physical health. All participants must sign a waiver before participating in any activity or using demo gear. Any participants under the age of 18 must have a parent/legal guardian present. Mountain Dell is located in a protected watershed area. Sorry, dogs or other pets are not permitted by law. Inquiries can be directed to Eric Spreng at or at (801) 486-2100

More information visit:

Soldier Hollow

The 2002 Winter Olympic cross-country skiing venue is hosting its first Winter Trails Day event on Saturday. According to Soldier Hollow general manager Howard Peterson, the venue had been unable to host a Winter Trails Day previously because of conflicts with cross-country national championship races. But this year, the schedule was clear and the Peterson decided it was time to get involved and offer the public a chance to learn about all the venue offers.

Not only is he excited to be able to introduce the sport to the public, but he also wants to alert people to the affordability of cross-country skiing.

"In this state, there aren’t that many affordable opportunities and we need those right now," he said.

He champions the Nordic sport as a great workout and also a good stress reliever for people.

"We just have to get them introduced and they’ll have a great time on our winter trails," Peterson said.

Soldier Hollow will be offering free trail passes, equipment, and mini lessons to all first-time skiers. The venue offer 33 kilometers of groomed trails for every level of cross-country skiers. After enjoying the trails, Solider Hollow will offer hot cocoa and a warm fireplace in the Day Lodge. Soldier Hollow will also be offering free snowshoeing on marked and mapped trails.

Soldier Hollow will be hosting the Winter Trail Day activities on Saturday from 12:20 to 4 p.m. The venue is located at 2002 Soldier Hollow Lane in Midway. Cross-country ski lessons will be held every half hour from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. For more information, call (435) 654-2002, send an e-mail to or visit .

For information about cross country skiing, snowshoeing and other snow sports, log onto . Winter Trails is organized nationwide and in Canada by SnowSports Industries America (SIA), the Cross Country Ski Areas Association (CCSAA) and the American Hiking Society.

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