Take a snowshoe walk through nature
Snowshoeing is a great way to get some exercise and fresh air during the long cold western New York winter. Snowshoeing doesn’t require any specialty ability or equipment; if you walk, you can snowshoe!
One of the area’s best places to snowshoe is Beaver Meadow Nature Center in North Java, located in rural Wyoming County, about 40 miles south of Buffalo. This 324 acre nature center has been operated by the Buffalo Audubon Society for over 50 years.
One could easily spend an entire day exploring the eight miles of trails at Beaver Meadow. The trails are fairly flat, making them perfect for beginners. For a nominal fee you can rent a pair of snowshoes and walking poles. In addition to snowshoeing, cross-country skiing is a popular winter past time; cross-country skis are also available for rental.
Come inside to warm up after a day on the trails; the visitor’s center building houses a variety of hands-on exhibits for kids, as well as exhibits about the flora and fauna found in the nature center.
Beaver Meadow also has an observatory with a 20 inch diameter astronomical telescope, which is open to the public the first and third Saturdays of the month from April to December.
During the winter Beaver Meadow offers naturalist-led interpretive snowshoe hikes through the woods. Throughout the year a variety of environmental education program for both children and adults are featured, including hikes, programs for Scouts, birding programs, and even a program about maple sugaring in February and March.
BeaverMeadowNatureCenter, 1510 Welch Road, NorthJava, NY 585-457-3228, 800-377-1520, www.buffaloaudubon.org Open year round Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 1-5pm; trails are open daily dusk to dawn.