MCLEAN, Va. (Feb 23, 2010) – Winter Trails, held on January 9, 2010, attracted approximately 10,700 participants, according to program organizers. Some of the largest events took place at the Weston Ski Track near Boston, Ft. Snelling in Minneapolis and Estes Park, CO. Organizers at the three locations all reported topping 1,000 participants. Ninety venues hosted Winter Trails events in 2010, ten more than the previous year. Winter Trials, the free learn to snowshoe and cross country ski program, was positioned as the Nordic component of Learn a Snow Sport Month.
“This was an incredible year for Winter Trails,” said Mary Jo Tarallo who served as program director on behalf of SnowSports Industries America (SIA). “The snow was good in most parts of the country. Media exposure for snowshoeing and cross country skiing associated with Winter Trails included a major article in USA Today, stories on numerous Web sites, and radio and television coverage in markets throughout the U.S.”
Winter Trails generated nearly 40 million media impressions. Twenty-two states hosted events and information about each event was posted at WinterTrails.org.
Vermont led the pack with 13 locations. The state also launched a free learn to ski and snowboard program the first week in January to celebrate Learn a Snow Sport Month.
“Snowshoeing is a terrific gateway activity for a lot of people who may not yet be ready for alpine skiing or snowboarding”, said Kathy Murphy, marketing director for the Vermont Ski Areas Association. “Once people discover that they can be comfortable outdoors and have fun on snow, we’re confident that a certain percentage of Winter Trails participants will eventually try other snow sports at our resorts.”
One event at Snoqualmie, near Seattle, had to be cancelled due to logistic issues or else Winter Trails would have exceeded 11,000 participants. Snoqualmie historically has attracted between 600 – 700 people.
Winter Trails is organized by SnowSports Industries America (SIA) in partnership with the Cross Country Ski Areas Association (CCSAA) and the American Hiking Society (AHS). Sponsors and media partners included: Atlas, Kahtoola, MSR, and Tubbs snowshoe companies, Columbia Sportswear, Grabber, Leki poles Rossignol and Whitewoods, Cross Country Skier, SkiTrax, Snowshoe magazine, XCSkiresorts.com and Backpacker.