Berks County Parks and Recreation Department and the US Army Corps of Engineers/Blue Marsh Lake staffers teamed up to lead a cross-country ski/hike on Saturday, Feb. 8.
Though the area has had plenty of snow lately, even without the trip would have become a hike, the ice made the conditions less than ideal for both beginners and veterans of cross-country skiing.
“The cross-country ski adventure went well considering the conditions,” said Hallie Groff, Natural Resource Specialist, Park Ranger, Blue Marsh Lake. “There were 15 people in the group and seven had never skied before.”
The group was led by Dave Kline, a ski leader for cross-country skiing, who admitted that these were the worst conditions that he had ever skied in and told the new comers to cross-country skiing to not base this experience on what it is typically like.
“It was crazy,” said Groff. “There was a really thick crust of ice to break.”
Prior to the event, staff went out to break some of the ice to make a path for the skiers. Even with a path everyone fell at least once, including Kline, according to Groff.
“It wasn’t easy for people who did it before,” she added on the conditions.
The mile and a half trail was a perfect way to beat cabin fever that most have been feeling lately between the snow and the freezing temperatures limiting fun activities outside. Even with the ice making the course more difficult than planned, skiers had fun spending the day outside enjoying the activity. The trail even had a few hills.
“This is the first time in a few years,” said Groff on holding the event. “We always schedule it, but you never know if there will be snow or not.”
With winter slowly changing to spring in the next few months, there will be plenty of more outdoor activities sponsored by the groups. For more information and to see upcoming events visit www.countyofberks.com/parks.