Friday, February 22, 2013

Outdoor entertainment in snow-covered Winona

By Clinton Nienhaus
Cardinal Staff

Winona has a plethora of outdoor entertainment options ranging from the bluff lands and goat prairies to the Mississippi River, hiking trails, biking trails and much more. 

There are a variety of entertainment opportunities just outside your door. Although the winter may not seem the best time of year to be out and about due to the snow and cold, take another look. The new renovations to the ski trails on campus open an opportunity for all to try cross-country skiing. Through Outdoor Leadership, ice fishing is available for those who may enjoy fishing or have never tried it before. 

An alternate option for entertainment might be bird watching, also known as birding. The majority of birding takes place during the spring and fall migrations of birds and the opportunities provided in the winter may be overlooked. Winter birding offers the opportunity to see birds that, especially in Minnesota, migrate south of the state to escape harsher winters. Northern Shrikes, Common Goldeneye, Rough-Legged Hawks, Golden Eagles and Common Redpolls are just some examples of Minnesota’s northern visitors. Currently, the open water pockets on the Mississippi River near Levee Park in Winona offer opportunities to see bald eagles in high concentrations. This is a good opportunity for all to get a good look at these majestic birds, especially without binoculars. 

Don’t overlook the outdoors as an entertainment option. Even if the winter is seemingly dead and devoid of animal activity, get out and take a hike, take a pause and look what you can see. 

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