If you can walk, you can snowshoe. We recently had Gerry Jennings on as a dam expert for our podcast (you can listen to the episode here), and she shared with us all things Silver Crest Trails. The multi-million dollar parking lot opens up adventures to the trails, where you can cross country ski, snowshoe, skate ski, all while getting close to the views. Even though I snowshoed once as a kid, I hadn’t been snowshoeing in the Great Falls area yet. Gerry promised me that I wouldn’t die, and she had faith in my ability to walk, with snowshoes strapped to my feet. Minutes after Gerry left, I called Bighorn Outdoor Specialists, just like she recommended, and reserved snowshoes for my husband and myself to use that weekend.
The process really was quite easy. I reserved the snowshoes, my husband picked them up (hence the easy part), and we packed some snacks for our snowshoeing adventure. Our daughter, who is just over 2.5 years old, was excited about the adventure too. Although she didn’t have snowshoes, we brought a sled to pull her along the trails. However, once she saw the shoes and the poles used with them, she wanted nothing to do with her sled and was adamant about using the shoes and poles herself. Thankfully, she let me use my snowshoes and was fine just using my poles.
Like Gerry recommended, we dressed in layers, making sure the first layer wasn’t cotton, and the last layer was wind resistant. Putting gloves on kids is tough, especially when they are so young. I attempted to put two different types of gloves/mittens on her, but didn’t have any luck. Instead, I brought a couple pairs of socks and put those of her hands and changed them out when they got snow on them. This was the biggest hassle of the adventure, so not bad at all if you ask me. At times, she didn’t wear any at all, and we just monitored her hands to make sure she didn’t get too cold.
The trails were beautiful and so easy to navigate through, and walk on. I didn’t even need my walking sticks. We used the maps that were available at the trailhead to find our way to the overlook. There were two very large benches there when we arrived at the outlook, and since the trees weren’t there, it was a bit windy in the portion. However, throughout the rest of the trails, the wind was blocked.
Having a toddler with us didn’t slow us down since we came prepared and had a rucksack with us for when she was wiped out. Half-way through our loop, she wanted to be held, so I did that for a while, until we put her in the ruck with plenty of blankets to keep her warm. After being in the ruck for three minutes, she was fast asleep. Other parents had their large toddle carriers for the trails, and one family even had an enclosed sled for the kids to sit in and for the parents to push through the trails. It looked like a covered dog sled, the kind with handles, minus the dogs (especially since pups aren’t allowed the trails).
The next time my family visits, I am going to make sure we bring them to Silver Crest so they can have the same fun too. And yes, Gerry was right. If I could walk, I could snowshoe.
Do you have snowshoeing adventures of your own? Share them with us!