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Your Winter Adventure Starts Here

Sprague-Brook-sledding

By Alicia Dziak

If it’s wintertime adventure you’re after this January, look no further than practically in your own backyard. With almost unlimited opportunities to explore the great outdoors in and around Springville, it’s time to bundle up, get out there and have some fun!

Sprague Brook Park, located at 9674 Foote Road in Glenwood, is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. Sprague Brook Park was acquired by using state and federal aid programs to assume title to more than 2,200 acres of parkland (including Eighteen Mile Creek, Beeman’s Creek and Larkin Woods) in May 1963. In Feb 1964, Erie County bought 86 acres of land for expansion in the Towns of Sardinia and Concord for $1,500.

While hundreds of people flock to this Erie County Park in the warmer months, there’s plenty to do there this time of year. Miles of groomed trails await for everything from cross country skiing (open 7 a.m. to dusk) to snowshoe trekking (open 7 a.m. to dusk) to snowmobiling.

And who can forget about that famous sledding hill? Located behind the casino building, the sledding hill offers hours of non-stop fun, open daily (weather-permitting) 10 a.m. to dusk. For winter sports/ activities updates, call 858-8513.

Need to satisfy your competitive side? Sprague Brook Park will host the Boys and Girls Club of Springville’s annual Snowshoe Softball Tournament on Saturday, Jan. 27. Check out the article on page 2 for more info.

Snowshoers can take part in several snowshoe races at Kissing Bridge’s North area this season during the Jackrabbit Race Series, under the lights around the base of Kissing Bridge’s North area (the North area is closed to skiing on Mondays). Participants can run it, walk it or mix it up as long as you’re on snowshoes. Races begin at 6:30 p.m. Registration opens at 5:30 p.m., with snowshoe rentals provided by Gear for Adventure of Hamburg on-site at each event for $10. Pre-register at www.heartrateup.com for the series or come down each night to sign-up at the North Lodge. Cost is $15 per event; these events help support HEART Animal Shelters of WNY. Upcoming races are scheduled, weather permitting, on Jan. 8, 15, 22, 29 and Feb. 5. For more info, visit www.heartrateup.com.

Fans of Kissing Bridge can also take advantage of all the downhill fun to be had there over the next few months. The lifts are spinning and the slopes are calling!

This weekend, Jan. 5-7, is Everything Buffalo Weekend, just in time for the Bills-Jaguars wildcard game on Sunday. Celebrate all things that make Buffalo and WNY so great! Visit kbski.com and Kissing Bridge’s Facebook page for all the details.

January also happens to be National Learn a Snowsport Month. If you feel like you’ve been missing out on winter fun because you never got around to learning how to ski or snowboard, this is your chance to get out there with other like-minded individuals and embrace the snow.

Holiday Valley offers a variety of group or private lessons for all abilities whenever the resort is open.

As in years past, Holiday Valley will be offering some great deals for adults (those ages 12 and up) in January. All month long, Learn to Ski or Ride packages (which include a rental, beginner lift ticket and lesson) are half off. The Bring a Friend deal will give your friend half off the Learn to Ski or Ride package and you get a voucher for half off your lift ticket on your next visit. Or, if you stay at the Inn at Holiday Valley Sunday-Thursday, you can get a free Learn to Ski or Ride package.

At HoliMont, in January only, they are offering their Learn to Ski, Snowboard or Telemark special during the week for $85, which includes an hour and a half beginner lesson with lift ticket, lesson and basic equipment rental. (Bring a friend for same lesson for free.) Weekend (must be signed in as a guest at HoliMont) Learn to Ski, Snowboard or Telemark Private Lesson for $135. Includes hour and a half lesson with basic rental. (Bring a friend for same lesson for free.)

How about some ice skating? East Aurora’s Healthy Zone Rink offers public skating Fridays   7-8:45 p.m., Saturday 1-2:20 p.m. and 7-8:45 p.m., and Sundays 1-2:20 p.m. Or you can head north and skate at Canalside (as well as try curling or ice bike riding!)

This January, get outside and embrace the cold—your winter adventure awaits!

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