Second Sunday Snowshoe: A Chance to Explore and Learn

By Morgan McClary

Lan­dis vol­un­teer Susan Stran­gia, right, pro­vides par­tic­i­pants a brief his­to­ry and safe­ty tips regard­ing snow­shoe­ing pri­or to tak­ing them onto the trails. 

Court­ney Little’s goal was to learn how to snow­shoe this win­ter. The Alaba­ma native moved to New York State in August and is cur­rent­ly expe­ri­enc­ing her first actu­al” win­ter. She was inter­est­ed in find­ing an out­door activ­i­ty to enjoy dur­ing the cold­er months. Court­ney and David Samp­son, who also moved from Alaba­ma, saw road signs for the Arbore­tum and decid­ed to vis­it dur­ing the Sec­ond Sun­day Snow­shoe on Feb­ru­ary 13.

Lan­dis vol­un­teer Susan Stran­gia led the event — which had a dozen par­tic­i­pants. She has been inter­est­ed in the out­doors since youth and began vol­un­teer­ing at the Arbore­tum in May 2021. This was fol­low­ing her retire­ment from the New York State Office of Men­tal Health. She began snow­shoe­ing about 15 years ago.

Lan­dis’ vol­un­teer coor­di­na­tor Anne Don­nel­ly dis­plays a pair of antique wood­en snowshoes.

Snow­shoe­ing is so much like hik­ing, but allows access to trails with deep snow,” Susan said. Snow­shoe­ing pre­serves trails for cross-coun­try skiers as well, since win­ter hik­ing in boots can result in holes where you sink in.”

Lan­dis’ vol­un­teer coor­di­na­tor Anne Don­nel­ly, who has guid­ed the Sec­ond Sun­day Snow­shoe pre­vi­ous­ly, also attend­ed. She was avail­able to answer ques­tions while prepar­ing for the walk and through­out the event. Anne smiled while hold­ing up a pair of old wood­en framed snow­shoes with rawhide (babiche) web­bing. She want­ed to show the group an exam­ple of what snow­shoes used to look like com­pared to the alu­minum ones typ­i­cal­ly used today.

I’m from the North Coun­try and hunt­ing on snow­shoes was part of my child­hood,” she said.

Lan­dis’ vol­un­teer coor­di­na­tor Anne Don­nel­ly speaks to David Samp­son and Court­ney Lit­tle dur­ing the Sec­ond Sun­day Snow­shoe event on Feb. 13

Susan helped out­fit the atten­dees with snow­shoes near the red barn. She pro­vid­ed a brief his­to­ry of the win­ter sport, as well as some safe­ty tips pri­or to guid­ing the trek through the glis­ten­ing snow.

A major­i­ty of the group had tried out the win­ter activ­i­ty at least once pre­vi­ous­ly. How­ev­er, Susan said Lan­dis is a great place to try out snow­shoe­ing because there are a vari­ety of trails for dif­fer­ent inter­ests, skill lev­els and terrain.

​Fol­low­ing the event, Susan said, I hope folks will have a basic under­stand­ing of how snow­shoes work, how to put them on and take them off, walk com­fort­ably as well as how to ascend and descend,” she said. 

While on the Fred Lape Trail, Anne point­ed to the Crab Apple and Lilac col­lec­tions, entic­ing the par­tic­i­pants to vis­it dur­ing the spring months while the trees are in bloom.

Par­tic­i­pants lined up near the red barn fol­low­ing the Sec­ond Sun­day Snow­shoe event on Feb. 13

Jen­ny Har­ris, from Voorheesville, had nev­er vis­it­ed the Arbore­tum. I real­ly enjoyed the hike and the views,” she said. I’m def­i­nite­ly going to vis­it dur­ing each sea­son to expe­ri­ence it in dif­fer­ent ways,” she con­tin­ued. I nev­er real­ized how much his­to­ry the Arbore­tum holds and how active they are glob­al­ly.”

Not only did Court­ney and David enjoy their first vis­it, Court­ney was con­fi­dent she would accom­plish her goal of learn­ing to snow­shoe by winter’s end. 

Spring 2022

Volume 40 , Number 1

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