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Jan 16, 2009

If skiing and skating aren’t on the agenda, here are some cold weather alternatives.

By FLYP Staff

Not keen on skiing? FLYP Media gets you in on cold weather fun near you that doesn’t fall in the usual categories, like snow tubing, dog sledding and spas that will make your season.

Winter Walk
Where: Mount Rainier National Park
Low on danger and high on lung-busting climbs, snowshoeing is a great way to both enjoy some of the country’s best vistas and get a great workout.
Washington’s Mount Rainer National Park offers guided tours by trained rangers, departing from the Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor Center at Paradise. Come early to make sure you secure your spot on one of the first-come, first-serve tours.

Manchester, N.H.
Husky Love
Where: Bethel, Maine
Experience the excitement of dog sledding without a trip to the Arctic. New England Dog Sledding offers up manageable one- to three-hour trips that’ll give you a taste of the sport without its inherent hardships.
While touring natural forests, you’ll witness the amazing athleticism of a group of “very sweet, well-trained, highly socialized” Alaskan huskies. Then sleep well at the Telemark Inn Wilderness Lodge, which in addition to the dogs, plays home to horses, ponies, hummingbirds and llamas.

Sledding Grows Up
Where: Cleveland Metroparks
If you’ve ever entertained fantasies of speeding down an Olympic bobsled course or luge run but haven’t given it a go because of the inherent risk, we may have the perfect solution.
Head to The Chalet in Mill Stream Run Reservation for a chance to zip down one of two 1,000-foot-long refrigerated ice chutes. Once you’ve finished, reward your bravery with a trip to the snack bar, where you can relax in front of the fireplace while reminiscing about your adventure.

Take It Easy
Where: Buena Vista
For those who think a winter getaway ought to involve more pampering than physical exertion, check out The Cottonwood Hot Springs Inn & Health Spa in sleepy Buena Vista, Colo.
Constructed in 1878, this bastion of relaxation offers a chance to soak in geothermal mineral baths in the high mountains of the San Isabel National Forest. The inn, architecturally preserved in the style of the Old West, also offers a range of spa services including massage, hot rock therapy, salt glows and body wraps.

New York
Skill-Free Downhill
Where: The Poconos
If you’ve never found your ski legs, snow tubing offers a low-impact alternative for the balance-challenged. More than half a dozen resorts provide snow tubing facilities within the Pocono Mountains. You won’t need lessons or expensive equipment to join in the fun, and snow tubing ticket prices are quite a bit cheaper than skiing. At the Fernwood Winter Fun Center, for example, you can get your slide on for as little as $9.

Hartford, Conn.
Horse-Drawn Fun
Where: Interlaken Inn
Party like its 1909 at the Interlaken Inn in quaint Lakeview, Conn. Here, nestled in the Berkshire Mountains, you can combine a trip to the nearby Norman Rockwell Museum with a sleigh ride that takes you from the stable yard of Loon Meadow Farm through the woods and over rolling hills.
Back at the farmhouse, mulled cider and hot toddies served fireside await to warm you up after your day in the cold.

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