Snowshoeing used to be a survival skill, a way for Native Americans to hunt, gather and travel. Today, "it's a way to enjoy the winter even when there's deep snow," says Brian Fowler, chief of recreation services at Lake Metroparks. "Anybody who can walk can snowshoe."
PENITENTIARY GLEN RESERVATION
Giant red and white peppermint sticks mark the gentle, rolling quarter-mile Peppermint Trail. "It gives folks a sense of accomplishment," says Nature Center manager Dan Burnett. 8668 Kirtland-Chardon Road, Kirtland, 440-256-1404, lakemetroparks.com
Try snowshoeing at night for a glimpse of nature's flip side. "You never know what you're going to see," says Dana Smith, manager for the Institute of the Great Outdoors. clemetparks.com
CUYAHOGA VALLEY NATIONAL PARK
Large conifer trees line the almost 3-mile Tree Farm Trail, which takes snowshoers through an abandoned tree farm."It's a very scenic hike," says park ranger Paul Motts. 1548 Boston Mills Road, Peninsula, 800-257-9477