Winter Trails Days, Jan. 13, 2018

Snow or no snow, the seventh annual Southern California Winter Trails Day is Saturday, Jan. 13, at the Big Bear Discovery Center.

Winter Trails Day is a national event that offers those new to snow sports an opportunity to try winter activities such as snowshoeing for free. The event at the Discovery Center is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

A 30-minute introduction to snowshoeing is hosted every hour beginning at 10:30 a.m. Registration begins at 10 a.m. and is limited to 20 people per demo. Snowshoes are provided.

“Strap on a pair of snowshoes and you’ll quickly see why snowshoeing has become one of the fastest-growing winter sports,” said Wendy Craig, Discovery Center manager. “If you can walk, you can snowshoe. People are using snowshoes for a variety of activities — everything from hiking into pristine wilderness and aerobic conditioning to pure recreation with family and friends. We’re using snowshoes for discovery and adventure at the Discovery Center for this free event, and weekend paid tours through March.” This activity is dependent on snow, so think snow, Craig said.

In addition to snowshoe demos, activities at the Discovery Center during

Winter Trails Day include:

• Bald eagle count, 8 to 10 a.m. Volunteers help the U.S. Forest Service count bald eagles wintering on the San Bernardino National Forest. Meet at the Discovery Center between 8 and 8:30 a.m. Dress warmly and bring binoculars. The count takes place from 9 to 10 a.m.

• Bald eagle celebration, 11 a.m. Join a Forest Service biologist for a 1-hour presentation on the biology of eagles and learn why they winter in Big Bear Valley.

• Nature walks, 1 and 2 p.m. Take a 45-minute naturalist-led walk around the Discovery Center’s forested grounds. Meet at the bronze Grizzly Bear.

• Nature crafts, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Get inspired by nature to make fun crafts out of recyclable materials.

• Animal tracking, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Learn how to track animals found in the forest. Learn how tracks are cast and make your own. After creating an animal track, a naturalist guides the group on a 20-minute walk around the grounds searching for signs of animals. The program runs continuously every 30 minutes. Fee: $5.

The Big Bear Discovery Center is at 40971 North Shore Drive, Fawnskin. For more information, call 909-382-2790 or visit www.mountainsfoundation.org.

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