For Holly Millin, snowshoeing is a reliable way to get around the Cariboo.
The Deka Lake woman, who started snowshoeing six years ago after a friend introduced her to the activity, said snowshoes allow her to explore the area, especially when there’s a lot of snow, ice or uneven terrain because they offer her more stability to keep moving.
“I like being outside, it’s fresh air I have two dogs so we take the dogs with us and sometimes we’re on the lake and sometimes we’re on a trail,” Millin said.
Outdoor activities such as snowshoeing have seen an increase across B.C. this year as more people seek to get outside. 100 Mile Nordics president Kristi Iverson said it’s been a busy winter across the board at the Nordics site at 99 Mile – 500 Ainsworth Rd. – with membership up by 50 percent over past years.
Cross-country skiing remains the most popular sport – with a huge surge in interest this year – but Iverson said there are more people trying out the snowshoe trails as well. The Nordics have two five-kilometre snowshoe loops around the lodge that link up to a larger 10-km loop, which passes by a cabin where snowshoers can rest and snack.
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The Nordics lodge is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and rents both skis, snowshoes and other gear.
“It just seems to be people wanting to get out and enjoy the outdoors,” Iverson said. “It’s a great activity, low impact, good exercise and beautiful scenery. You feel better for having gotten out.”
Millin, whose family has owned a home on Deka Lake for 25 years, has only been living permanently at Deka for four years and said she has yet to try the Nordics trails. She has preferred to snowshoe around Deka Lake and at Sun Peaks Resort in Kamloops, though she’s begun to explore more snowmobile and quad trails in the area. She usually snowshoes from December to March, or as long as the snow lasts.
She is hopeful that as interest grows, more dedicated snowshoeing trails will be developed and marked off. In the meantime, though, she notes snowshoes can take you anywhere and urges everyone to give it a try.
“Go with somebody you know and just check it out,” she said. “You don’t have to go anywhere fancy. You can go out and snowshoe on a snowy road, on a sidewalk … you don’t have to go onto the trails but as you get more comfortable you can.”