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To Get Moving Antigo, Try Donning a Pair of Snowshoes and Taking Nighttime Jaunt

February 10, 2020

Let’s get moving Antigo, and snowshoes may be the perfect way to do it!

Long a bastion of folks with names like Grizzly Adams, and Jeremiah Johnson, snowshoes have been transformed into tidy little bundles of webbing and aluminum, perfect for skittering across trails and busting through any winter blues that may be lingering.

“I think we have as many—or more—people using our snowshoe trail than the ski trail,” Dr. Chuck Wetzel, the head trail wrangler at the Moccasin Trails operated by the Elcho CrossCountry Ski Club, said.

Moccasin’s trails are groomed and packed, and wide enough to allow for a camaraderie walk in the woods side-by-side, preferably with a dog romping ahead

Closer to Antigo, the Jack Lake Silent Sports Association invites anybody and everybody to enjoy the summertime fat tire mountain bike trails via snowshoes, with guided walks every Wednesday night at 5:30 p.m.

The Jack Lake snowshoe crew on a Wednesday night outing.  Everyone is invited to join them and "get moving Antigo."

The group leaves from the trailhead located inside and to the right of the main gate at Veterans Memorial Park and they usually trek for about an hour. It can be arduous, if everyone is feeling a bit jaunty, or contemplative on a moonlit or especially starry night.

“We can all go as fast as the slowest snowshoer,” Beth Wagner, who shepherds the snowshoers with help from her buddies Cash and Chase, blue heelers extraordinaire, said.

The group picked the midweek, after work time to allow more participation. Weekends, Wagner said, get busy, as do the daylight hours.

“This just seems to work perfect to allow people to get home, catch their breath after work, grab their hat, mittens and boots, and get outside,” Wagner said.

Afterwards, the great little Spychalla Lodge is nearby, warmed by the gas fireplace, and ideal for a social gathering. Bring a few extra snacks or beverages to ensure an invite back.

Snowshoe opportunities just seem to keep growing. Nick Salm, who is involved in the summer “geezers” (his word, not ours) bike riding group has now started up a similar winter snowshoe group tailored toward retirees—those lucky souls who can get out on a sunny, mid-afternoon workday

And the Antigo Bike and Ski Club maintains snowshoe trails at Gartzke Flowage. They are hosting a moonlight hike on Saturday at 7 p.m., followed by a campfire, beverages and snacks at the shelter.

The city of Antigo also allows snowshoeing on the trails north of Second Avenue, although cross-country skiers ask that you stay off the tracks, and at the fat tire bike trail south of town next to the old city landfill.

Park and Recreation Director Sarah Repp, Antigo’s “get moving” guru, said she checked out the trails a weekend or two ago.

“They were in really good condition, with lots of beautiful scenery and varied terrain,” she said.

And that doesn’t even touch the possibilities along logging roads, ice-covered lakes or even just a supersized backyards.

So grab some gear and Get Moving Antigo. There’s simply no excuse.

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