Mar 10, 2014

Cabin Fever………………….Bring it on                      

By: Marc Drewek

As we all know winters in Wisconsin can be cold, snowy and long. So why not use that to your advantage and get out and enjoy some of the outdoor opportunities our state has to offer. Wisconsin has some of the best recreational options, many of which are located in the Fox Valley Area. If you remember a few years ago the Fox Valley was voted the best place to live if you were an outdoor enthusiast. I would like to share some of these hidden treasures so the next time you’re looking for an outdoor adventure you’ll have a few ideas to get you started.

The 1000 Islands Environmental Center located in Kaukauna, Wisconsin sprawls out over 350 acres dedicated to outdoor recreation and education. Established in 1969, this property was set aside to preserve the land in its natural state for the benefit of all who love the outdoors. Miles of boardwalk trails have been constructed to accommodate all who wish to participate. Many of these paths follow deer trails as well as some located along the shoreline. Winter activities include hiking, snowshoeing and cross country skiing. To check out this outdoor opportunity go to www.1000islandsenvironmentalcenter.com

Our next stop is Mosquito Hill Nature Center located in New London, Wisconsin. The center is open year round with both indoor and outdoor opportunities located on 430 acres along the banks of the Wolf River. Inside are natural history exhibits, hands-on displays and an art gallery. Mosquito Hill provides over five miles of snowshoe trails and an un-groomed cross country trail, snowshoe rentals are available. Mosquito Hill offers many organized events on the property go to www.outagamie.org and navigate to Mosquito Hill Nature Center for more information.

Our final stop on this journey through out Northeast Wisconsin is Barkhausen Waterfowl Preserve. This gem is located along the west shore of the Bay of Green Bay in Brown County. The preserve has 920 acres of forest fields and wetlands. The Preserve has over nine miles of hiking trails that are groomed for cross country skiing during the winter months. The West Shore Interpretive Center is also located on the preserve. The Center offers many outdoor educational programs year round and gives the visitor an opportunity to explore nature with hands on exhibits. For information on the center and it outdoor programs, go to www.co.brown.wi.us and navigate to Barkhausen Waterfowl Preserve.

And lastly, for those die hard archery enthusiasts, the new TRS in Appleton, Wisconsin offers the area’s largest indoor archery range. At TRS, there are two archery ranges to hone your skills. There is a range that is twenty yards and the larger range going out to fifty yards. We recommend that you start in the twenty yard range to sight in your bow. This range is equipped with multiple large targets that can be moved from ten yards to twenty yards. We also use this range for birthday parties where kids get an opportunity to try out archery. We set the targets at ten yards set up some balloons and let the kids have some fun. We also can set up some paper targets as well. The kids have the most fun when we wheel in some 3D targets to shoot at. We can have the kids shoot anything from a carp to a dinosaur.

As the kids get more proficient with their bows, they have the opportunity to shoot in the fifty yard range. We have over fifteen targets that they can shoot at within twenty yards, just like the grownups. The Reel Shot has open shooting, memberships and equipment rental if needed. If you are looking for something different and interactive consider an outing at TRS.

As the winter drags on and cabin fever sets in, remember that there are plenty of outdoor related options for a family outing. Take a day and replace the electronics with something real like a pair of snowshoes, a pair of skis, a fishing pole or even a bow. It’s amazing how an outdoor activity can create a positive attitude.

Always remember to share your passion for the outdoors with someone else; it will make you a better person.

LIVE LIFE IN THE OUTDOORS