Hot Winter Spot: Winona Forest

Winona Forest Tourathon draws Nordic skiers who enjoy lake effect snow augmented by snow machine flakes. Photo: Brad Smith, courtesy of Oswego County Tourism Department.
Winona Forest Tourathon draws Nordic skiers who enjoy lake effect snow augmented by snow machine flakes. Photo: Brad Smith, courtesy of Oswego County Tourism Department.

From the Tughill Tourathon to snowshoe races to IditaFAT, one of the Northeast’s top fat bike races — Winona Forest has something for everyone who loves winter

By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

The IditaFAT at Winona Forest is one of the Northeast’s top fat bike races for its length and participation levels.  Photo: Brad Smith, courtesy Oswego County Tourism Department.
The IditaFAT at Winona Forest is one of the Northeast’s top fat bike races for its length and participation levels.
Photo: Brad Smith, courtesy Oswego County Tourism Department.

The Winona Forest Recreation Association in Mannsville plans to once again host a bevy of winter events and activities for snow enthusiasts of all sorts, whether it’s snowmobiling, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, fat biking, or mushing.

The Winona Forest Try-It 12.5K Classical (9 a.m., Jan. 12, www.skireg.com/winonaforesttryit) has not been offered since 2013. All ages and abilities can join in the family-oriented forest adventure on cross-country skis. Many consider it a warm-up for the Winona Forest Tourathon later in the winter.

The Stone Wall 5K Walk/Run and Empire State Snowshoe Championship Race (10 a.m., Jan. 20, www.winonaforest.com/stone-wall.html) represents one of the largest snowshoe events nationwide. With lots of snow, awards and giveaways, it’s easy to see why. Racers can select from a 5K or a 10K course. Participants can also rent snowshoes if they don’t have them. The terrain includes groomed trail portions, single track packed parts and virgin snow single track.

The Winona Forest Tourathon (8 a.m., Feb. 8, www.skireg.com/winona-forest-tourathon). draws Nordic skiers who enjoy lake effect snow augmented by snow machine flakes, both groomed professionally. The courses range from 12.5 to 50K in length, so skiers of varying endurance and ability can enjoy the Tourathon.

Just because winter wanes doesn’t mean Winona’s events wrap up.

The IditaFAT (8 a.m., March 7, www.winonaforest.com/iditafat.html) is part of the forest’s Festival of Flakes Weekend. IditaFAT is one of the Northeast’s top fat bike races for its length and participation levels. Capable of managing in snow or mud, fat bikes don’t let weather stop the fun with their 3.7-inch wide or wider tires. Cyclists can choose from 12K, 25K or 50K courses. The Festival of Flakes Weekend includes raffles, door prizes, a free meal, and prizes for the winners.

Winona Forest Recreation Association, Inc. groomer barn is at 37 Center Road, Boylston. Contact the association at info@winonaforest.com.

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