Snowshoe Stompers

A local fitness trainer is running a new snowshoeing group in Limerick Forest this winter. Stacey Dickson sits on the municipality’s Health, Wellness & Fitness Advisory Committee, and came up with the idea while the group was talking about what they could offer to help keep the community active over the winter. Stacey has experience organizing both a running and biking program in the warmer months, so she thought this would be the perfect opportunity to add a winter activity into the mix.

The snowshoeing group is free for people of all ages and fitness levels in North Grenville. Stacey says the trails in Limerick Forest are well groomed and flat, and that participants can tailor the hour-long “stomp” to their own abilities. Participants are required to bring their own snowshoes, but, if this is a barrier, Stacey encourages people to reach out on the Snowshoe Stompers Facebook group, to see if anyone might have a spare pair. “There are people who have multiple pairs,” she says.

The guided snowshoe “stomps” will be held every Tuesday at 10am, and Sunday at 2pm, from December 8 to February 28, 2021. Hikes will begin at the Limerick Forest Interpretive Centre at 1175 Limerick Road. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only 25 people are allowed per hike, and sign-up is required through Facebook for contact tracing. The Public Health Unit Self Assessment Tool must also be completed before participation. If there is no snow, the group will still meet for a snowshoe-less hike, and Stacey will be posting all updates on the Facebook page. Dates and times are also listed in the events calendar on the municipality’s website.

It is hoped that this group will encourage North Grenville residents to get moving this winter, while enjoying the beautiful Limerick Forest trails and making connections with other people in a safe way. “There are so many health benefits,” Stacey says. “Not just physically, but mentally as well.”

Once the group gets going, Stacey wants to recruit other people to lead the “stomp”, to make it a true community-led activity. As a coach, Stacey thrives on motivating people to get active, and she hopes that this group will inspire people to take a chance and try something new. “Just getting there is the first step. Everything will fall into place after that.”

Stacey will be encouraging all participants to take pictures throughout the “stomp” and post them to social media using #TrailTipTuesday. This is part of an effort to showcase how many beautiful trails there are in North Grenville. “Hopefully, we can get out there and show our beauty to the world,” she says.

For more information, check out the Facebook group, or email Stacey at kemptvillelearntorun@gmail.com.

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