Organizers of the annual Winter Trails program have announced that January
10, 2009, is the date set for the 14th annual event nationwide. Winter
Trails is an opportunity for those new to snow sports to try snowshoeing
and cross country skiing free at participating locations.
Nearly 90 percent of Winter Trails participants, who responded to a survey
conducted by SnowSports Industries America (SIA ) after the 2008 event,
indicated that they would or might purchase product after attending a
Winter Trails event. The survey indicated that for the majority of
respondents Winter Trails was their first experience trying snowshoeing
and/or cross country skiing. More than 60 percent of respondents tried
snowshoeing again, after Winter Trails day, and about 20 percent said they
tried cross country skiing again.
The survey further indicated that Winter Trails is capable of attracting
baby boomers as well as a younger demographic. Fifty-five per cent of
those who responded to the survey were over 41 years old and 38 percent of
the persons who accompanied them were over 38 years old. About 40 percent
of participants were under 26 years of age.
“Besides the collaborative nature of Winter Trails, the beauty part of
this program is the fact that it works for host venues and product
suppliers as a program that can bring new participants into snow sports
and sell product,” said Mary Jo Tarallo, director of Education for SIA.
“This program has broad appeal for Nordic Centers, public lands and even
alpine resorts who want to offer something else to guests aside from
alpine skiing, snowboarding and even tubing.”
Winter Trails is organized by SIA and member companies through a
partnership with the Cross Country Ski Areas Association (CCSAA) and the
American Hiking Society (AHS). Last year more than 80 venues hosted more
than 11,000 children and adults at a Winter Trails event including
locations at Nordic Centers and on U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Park