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Embrace Winter

Get your winter on—outside



Apoplectic weather forecasts, high fuel bills, frozen pipes, and that bane of New England existence: the “wintry mix.” Yes, it’s pretty to watch as snow softly falls on farms and fields. But after a few weeks of slippery roads and blocked driveways, a certain winter weariness sets in. 

That’s the wrong attitude. 

You can’t fight the weather, and complaining about it won’t make it go away, as Jen Cherosnick, owner of Sportsmen’s, an outdoor-equipment store in Bantam, points out, “We live in an area that is beautiful in all seasons. Thriving in it means learning to enjoy it.”

I learned about winter immersion many years ago when I began a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, living, walking, and sleeping outside—in January. In recent winters, I’ve made it a habit to be outside every day, no matter the conditions. Here’s the lowdown: Snow is fun. The right warm clothes make all the difference. And the combination of exercise, invigorating cold, and the beauty of a winter wonderland is a recipe for instant attitude adjustment. 

Litchfield County has an abundance of winter opportunities: White Memorial Foundation, Bantam Lake, ski areas, the Appalachian Trail, and more. To help you thrive in winter, we’ve selected some activities—from adrenaline-pumping sports to soul-soothing walks in the woods. 

Start with the classics: skiing and snowboarding. Litchfield has three ski areas to choose from—Mohawk Mountain, Ski Sundown, and Woodbury—along with close-by ski areas just over the border in nearby Berkshire County: Catamount (with the steepest slope in the Berkshires), Ski Butternut (with tubing for little kids), and Otis Ridge (a tiny, family-friendly area for beginners). If you’re a beginner, splurge on a lesson; an experienced instructor can shorten the learning curve and reduce the fear factor. If you have the luxury of making your own schedule, ski on weekdays. You can ski multiple runs without crossing another skier’s tracks. 

If sliding downhill in constant negotiation with gravity doesn’t strike you as fun, try cross-country skiing. It’s slower, less frightening, and more vigorous exercise—with no lift lines and less expense. Golf courses are good places to learn the basics: the diagonal stride (for forward motion) and getting up from a fall (inevitable). Woodbury Ski Area has six kilometers of cross-country trails (and equipment rentals). For a little more challenge, head for the county’s favorite cross-country destination: White Memorial Foundation in Litchfield. The state’s largest natural sanctuary, with 4,000 acres of uplands and wetlands, has 35 miles of trails suitable for hiking, bird-watching, snow-shoeing, and cross-country skiing. 

If you’ve ever wondered what it might be like to fly across a snowy mountain, you can watch ski jumping up close and personal at Salisbury Winter Sports Association’s annual Jumpfest, February 12 to 14, in Salisbury. There’s also a Friday-night chili cook-off, human-dogsled races, ice carving, bonfires, and an annual “snowball” dance. SWSA also hosts the junior national ski-jumping competition February 23 to 27, 2016

Back on firm, if slippery, ground, ice skating is another classic winter sport. There’s something bracing about skating in the great outdoors. Bantam Lake, on the Bantam-Morris town line, is an “awesome skating lake,” says Cherosnick, the sports-store owner. “It’s the biggest natural lake in Connecticut, and you can skate the whole thing—although you’ll have to share it with ice fishermen, iceboats, and snow-shoers.” 

Looking for some wheeled thrills? Fat bikes are a new way to access the backcountry. Also known as wide-tire bikes, fat bikes have over-sized tires and wider forks that chew up unstable terrain. They’ve been used for winter trail riding and racing in sub-arctic Alaska on the Iditarod Trail, so a Connecticut winter should be a ride in the park. You can put a fat bike through its paces at White Memorial Foundation and Bantam Lake

If you’re happier with your feet solidly on the ground, winter hiking is possible, even with three or four inches of snow. You’ll need warm, ankle-high boots and gaiters to keep the snow out. In slick conditions, wear instep crampons or “creepers” (mini-spikes that strap onto the soles of your boots), and use ski poles for balance. The Appalachian Trail runs up the western edge of the northern two-thirds of the county, and the well-marked path is easy to follow, even in snow. 

When the snow gets too deep for walking, try snowshoeing. Lucinda Vermeulen, proprietor of Kenver, Ltd., an outfitter in South Egremont, Massachusetts, near the Appalachian Trail in Salisbury, explains: “Today’s snowshoes are lightweight and flexible for a close-to-just-plain-walking experience. The binding technology allows for easy adjusting and releasing in the cold. Add a pair of Nordic poles and your workout increases along with your stability and speed. Your everyday snow boots work just fine.”

Children’s snowshoes run about $40 to $70 a pair; adults’ range from $100 to $250. If you want to try before you buy, Sportsmen’s, in Bantam, offers guided winter snowshoeing (as well as hiking), and rents snowshoes for $20 a day. 

Don’t forget to reward yourself after your adventure. Have a pile of dry wood ready, light a fire, and warm up with some classic winter fare: grilled cheese, onion soup, a hearty winter stew, and hot chocolate—with marshmallows.


Warming trends

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.” It’s a saying I learned in Iceland, and it was well worth taking it home to the Berkshires. Jen Cherosnick, owner of Sportsmen’s, an outfitter in Bantam, adds some cogent advice: “Hats and socks. You can’t have fun if you’re cold.”  

Θ Wear layers so you can adjust your clothing if you get hot from exertion or cold from standing still. 

Θ Synthetics are your friends. So is wool. But avoid cotton. Search-and-rescue workers call it “dead man’s clothing” because it holds moisture close to your skin.  

Θ Wear a hat. Much of your body heat is lost through your head.

Θ Wear gloves and a neck gaiter (not a scarf, especially if you are doing anything fast and active like sledding, snow-mobiling, skiing, fat-biking, or tubing).  

Θ Take chemical toe and hand warmers just in case:  breaking open a packet provides emergency warmth for several hours. 

Θ Staying hydrated is one of the commandments of winter hiking. You might not be aware of thirst in cold weather, but start the day with a hot drink in an insulated water bottle.  And bring snacks.

Θ If you’ll be driving on side roads to get to a favorite hiking spot, be sure your car is snow-ready: Four wheel or all-wheel drive are the gold standard, but snow tires with studs will help a front-wheel drive. Keep a shovel, battery charge cables, a bucket of road salt or sand, and extra warm clothing in your car, and stay aware of where cell phone coverage is and isn’t available.

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May 2017

On Saturday, May 6, the Washington Art Association & Gallery will present Objectivity, an exhibition of sculpture and photographs. This exhibition will explore how five artists working in...

Cost: free

Where:
Washington Art Association & Gallery
4 Bryan Memorial Plaza
P.O. Box 173
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Washington Art Association & Gallery
Telephone: 860-868-2878
Contact Name: Barbara von Schreiber
Website »

More information

Sports and recreation are universal experiences. Whether we make it to the big leagues or never leave our backyards, these activities play important roles in our lives. They help us form...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

The Litchfield Historical Society is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibit Thoughts, Words, and Deeds: Exploring the Litchfield Female Academy, on view April 22 through November 27, 2017...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

Sports and recreation are universal experiences. Whether we make it to the big leagues or never leave our backyards, these activities play important roles in our lives. They help us form...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06059
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

The Litchfield Historical Society is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibit Thoughts, Words, and Deeds: Exploring the Litchfield Female Academy, on view April 22 through November 27, 2017...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

Carol Moore is a lifelong resident of Litchfield, currently residing in Bantam. She is well-know in the area for her colorful, energy-charged paintings and pottery. Carol has always been drawn to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

On Saturday, May 6, the Washington Art Association & Gallery will present Objectivity, an exhibition of sculpture and photographs. This exhibition will explore how five artists working in...

Cost: free

Where:
Washington Art Association & Gallery
4 Bryan Memorial Plaza
P.O. Box 173
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Washington Art Association & Gallery
Telephone: 860-868-2878
Contact Name: Barbara von Schreiber
Website »

More information

The Gunn Historical Museum presents George Krimsky, Class of 1960: The Cold War at The Gunnery and Beyond. The Gunnery’s Gunn Scholar, Dana Ross, a student from Moscow, Russia will...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Gunn Historical Museum
Telephone: 860-868-7756
Contact Name: Lisa Breese
Website »

More information

Facilitated by Cameron Bove, Monday Scholars is a weekly series that meets in the library’s Jamie Gagarin Community Room. The series combines the best of online learning with the best of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St.
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

More information

Carol Moore is a lifelong resident of Litchfield, currently residing in Bantam. She is well-know in the area for her colorful, energy-charged paintings and pottery. Carol has always been drawn to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

American women artists, especially those working before 1945, had to navigate societal expectations of women’s domestic roles with their drive to be recognized as professionals. These artists...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

More information

On Saturday, May 6, the Washington Art Association & Gallery will present Objectivity, an exhibition of sculpture and photographs. This exhibition will explore how five artists working in...

Cost: free

Where:
Washington Art Association & Gallery
4 Bryan Memorial Plaza
P.O. Box 173
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Washington Art Association & Gallery
Telephone: 860-868-2878
Contact Name: Barbara von Schreiber
Website »

More information

Connecting with Balance is a 12 week program focusing on using movement and dance to maintain and improve dynamic balance. Participants will work with Pilobolus Teaching Artists on creating...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Litchfield Community Center
421 Bantam Road
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Telephone: 860-567-8302
Contact Name: Litchfield Community Center
Website »

More information

Sports and recreation are universal experiences. Whether we make it to the big leagues or never leave our backyards, these activities play important roles in our lives. They help us form...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

Carol Moore is a lifelong resident of Litchfield, currently residing in Bantam. She is well-know in the area for her colorful, energy-charged paintings and pottery. Carol has always been drawn to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

More information

The Litchfield Historical Society is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibit Thoughts, Words, and Deeds: Exploring the Litchfield Female Academy, on view April 22 through November 27, 2017...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

On Saturday, May 6, the Washington Art Association & Gallery will present Objectivity, an exhibition of sculpture and photographs. This exhibition will explore how five artists working in...

Cost: free

Where:
Washington Art Association & Gallery
4 Bryan Memorial Plaza
P.O. Box 173
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Washington Art Association & Gallery
Telephone: 860-868-2878
Contact Name: Barbara von Schreiber
Website »

More information

Sports and recreation are universal experiences. Whether we make it to the big leagues or never leave our backyards, these activities play important roles in our lives. They help us form...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

The Litchfield Historical Society is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibit Thoughts, Words, and Deeds: Exploring the Litchfield Female Academy, on view April 22 through November 27, 2017...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

Carol Moore is a lifelong resident of Litchfield, currently residing in Bantam. She is well-know in the area for her colorful, energy-charged paintings and pottery. Carol has always been drawn to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

On Saturday, May 6, the Washington Art Association & Gallery will present Objectivity, an exhibition of sculpture and photographs. This exhibition will explore how five artists working in...

Cost: free

Where:
Washington Art Association & Gallery
4 Bryan Memorial Plaza
P.O. Box 173
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Washington Art Association & Gallery
Telephone: 860-868-2878
Contact Name: Barbara von Schreiber
Website »

More information

Japanese school children visit Nagasaki and Hiroshima’s peace parks and museums in order to fully understand the complexities of war and the damaging effects of nuclear weapons. Japanese...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

More information

The Litchfield Historical Society is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibit Thoughts, Words, and Deeds: Exploring the Litchfield Female Academy, on view April 22 through November 27, 2017...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

The popular History Bites Lecture Series is back! The Litchfield Historical Society invites you for their installment of the series on Thursday, May 25, 2017 at noon. Portrait miniatures thrived...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

  Actress Sheryl Faye brings Eleanor Roosevelt to life!  She grew up and became an American politician, the longest-serving First Lady of the United States. She was the first presidential spouse...

Cost: $5.00 donation at door

Where:
Litchfield Community Center
421 Bantam Road
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Telephone: 860-567-8302
Contact Name: Litchfield Community Center
Website »

More information

Put your detective hats on for more American Girl mysteries! Join the Litchfield Historical Society’s American Girl Book Club on Thursday, May 25 from 3:30-5 p.m. Who stole the Jazzman’s...

Cost: $7 members; $10 non-members

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06059
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

Sports and recreation are universal experiences. Whether we make it to the big leagues or never leave our backyards, these activities play important roles in our lives. They help us form...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

Carol Moore is a lifelong resident of Litchfield, currently residing in Bantam. She is well-know in the area for her colorful, energy-charged paintings and pottery. Carol has always been drawn to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

More information

The Bridge Healing Arts Center Hosts an open house for practitioners of the healing arts to explore Connecticut’s first synergistic wellness community. Providers will now be able to refer...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bridge Healing Arts Center
304 Main Street
Farmington, CT  06032
View map »


Sponsor: Bridge Healing Arts Center
Telephone: 860-710-5504
Contact Name: Vera Halina
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

On Saturday, May 6, the Washington Art Association & Gallery will present Objectivity, an exhibition of sculpture and photographs. This exhibition will explore how five artists working in...

Cost: free

Where:
Washington Art Association & Gallery
4 Bryan Memorial Plaza
P.O. Box 173
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Washington Art Association & Gallery
Telephone: 860-868-2878
Contact Name: Barbara von Schreiber
Website »

More information

Our outdoor annual book sale carries a wide range of books, including many current best sellers, mysteries, biographies, art history, to name a few; the book sale caters to all interests. (these...

Cost: Free admission

Where:
Kent Memorial Library
32 North Main St
Kent, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Sports and recreation are universal experiences. Whether we make it to the big leagues or never leave our backyards, these activities play important roles in our lives. They help us form...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

Carol Moore is a lifelong resident of Litchfield, currently residing in Bantam. She is well-know in the area for her colorful, energy-charged paintings and pottery. Carol has always been drawn to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

More information

The Litchfield Historical Society is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibit Thoughts, Words, and Deeds: Exploring the Litchfield Female Academy, on view April 22 through November 27, 2017...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

On Saturday, May 6, the Washington Art Association & Gallery will present Objectivity, an exhibition of sculpture and photographs. This exhibition will explore how five artists working in...

Cost: free

Where:
Washington Art Association & Gallery
4 Bryan Memorial Plaza
P.O. Box 173
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Washington Art Association & Gallery
Telephone: 860-868-2878
Contact Name: Barbara von Schreiber
Website »

More information

Stop by the studio of Robotics And Beyond at 30 Bridge Street (Suite 204) in New Milford, Connecticut for a free open house to learn about the exciting STEM and STEAM Summer Camps offered to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Robotics And Beyond
30 Bridge Street
Suite 204
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Robotics And Beyon
Contact Name: Paul Chayka
Website »

More information

The Smithy Store’s Loft Gallery will host a collection of original works by Frank Frederico of Goshen. In addition to Mr. Frederico’s work, the gallery will feature stunning photography...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Loft Gallery @ The Smithy Store
10 Main Street
New Preston, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Loft Gallery @ The Smithy Store
Telephone: 860-868-9003
Contact Name: Susan Newbury
Website »

More information

Sports and recreation are universal experiences. Whether we make it to the big leagues or never leave our backyards, these activities play important roles in our lives. They help us form...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

The Litchfield Historical Society is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibit Thoughts, Words, and Deeds: Exploring the Litchfield Female Academy, on view April 22 through November 27, 2017...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

Carol Moore is a lifelong resident of Litchfield, currently residing in Bantam. She is well-know in the area for her colorful, energy-charged paintings and pottery. Carol has always been drawn to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

More information

Our outdoor annual book sale carries a wide range of books, including many current best sellers, mysteries, biographies, art history, to name a few; the book sale caters to all interests. (these...

Cost: Free admission

Where:
Kent Memorial Library
32 North Main St
Kent, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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