Dec 22, 2017 01:00PM
By Liz Stevens
Got cabin fever? Make plans to venture into the blistering cold for some fun this winter, but don’t forget to bundle up. Whether you’re an experienced athlete or looking to burn a few of those lingering holiday calories—your winter adventure awaits!
Mt. Crescent 17026 Snowhill Lane Honey Creek, Iowa 713-545-3850 skicrescent.comThere’s a mountain in the Omaha area? Well, kind of. If your heart yearns for rolling hills covered in a thick blanket of immaculate snow, there is no need to venture more than 15 miles outside of Omaha. Mt. Crescent Ski Area is the perfect place to hone your skiing abilities or learn how to ski and snowboard for the first time.
UNO Outdoor Venture Center Trips 6001 Dodge St. 402-554-2258 unomaha.edu/student-life/wellness/campus-recreation/ovcLocated in the campus wellness center (aka the HPER Building), Outdoor Venture Center hosts an epic Minnesota winter excursion with dogsledding, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing (Jan. 2-6); a Wyoming snow skiing and snowboarding trip (Jan. 12-15); and wilderness first aid program (Feb. 17-19). The trips are open to UNO students and the general public. Register on the OVC page of the UNO website. The center also rents snowshoes and skis to the public.
Ice Fishing Visit Nebraska Game and Parks’ website for seasonal ice fishing updates.outdoornebraska.gov/fishing Grab an ice auger, poles, bait, and a bucket to sit on. If you or a friend have a heated ice hut, then you’re in luck. Ice fishing is fun for the whole family. Just make sure there are 4 inches or more of ice. Ice fishing is the perfect way to spend a cold winter day. The variety and quantity of fish in Standing Bear Lake makes it one of Omaha’s best locations for ice fishing. Other local ice fishing destinations include Lake Manawa, Cunningham Lake, Lake Zorinsky, and any other popular fishing waters.
Top Sledding Hills Omaha is home to some of the state’s best sledding hills. Take the kids or unleash your own inner child. Memorial Park (go to the north entrance off 56th Street and Underwood Avenue) is one of Omaha’s go-to sledding hills. Alternatively, visit Spring Lake Park in South Omaha and see which of your friends can make it to the bottom of the hill first. If there isn’t enough snow outside for sledding, race down hills of man-made snow at Clemmons Park in Fremont.
Loess Hills Snowshoeing 27792 Ski Hill Loop Honey Creek, Iowa 712-545-3283 pottcoconservation.comStop by Hitchcock Nature Center with your snowshoes and engage in one of winter’s more tranquil outdoor activities. Hitchcock Nature Center consists of 1,268 acres with a trail running through the Loess Hills. Walk through freshly fallen snow and take in the winter wonderland scenery. Register online for winter snowshoe hikes led by Pottawattamie Conservation staff (snowshoe rental included with $5 admission).
Cross-Country Skiing Did someone say cross-country skiing in Omaha? You don’t have to travel outside of the city to hone your skiing skills. Test your endurance at Elmwood Park’s golf course (situated nearby the UNO Outdoor Venture Center, if you need rental gear). Try cross-country skiing on the 770 acres of Zorinsky Lake Park, or venture out to Eugene T. Mahoney State Park for some of the best snow-covered trails in Omaha area.This article was printed in the January/February 2018 edition of Omaha Magazine.