Monday, January 20th, 2020

Below zero temperatures and just enough new snowfall have improved ski conditions in all areas of the Park and Stephen has been out grooming – just for you! As long as the colder temperatures hold, the skiing will be GOOD with just a few thin patches in some of the track set areas to watch out for.

Remain vigilant in the camping loops, especially around the spots flagged for construction. You ski at your own risk and our volunteers want everyone to ENJOY their ski experience. Be safe and have FUN out there!

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Sunday, January 19th, 2020

The skiing conditions at the Park are not good today. The thin layer of skiable snow that we enjoyed yesterday thinned out even more with use. The new layer of snow that fell overnight is very wet – and today’s light rain is expected to persist until suppertime, which will make it very sloppy and ruin whatever old snow base was left. Sorry folks, but the ski cabin will be closed today. If the conditions improve and grooming is possible in a day or two, we’ll be sure to let you know!

Everybody smile and say, “SKIS!”
Are you having a good time? These folks sure are!

Here’s one for the family photo album…

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Saturday, January 18th, 2020

Friends of Ellenwood volunteers will be at the ski cabin today from noon until 4:00 lending x-country ski equipment and snowshoes on a first come, first served basis. The conditions are good all around the Park, but caution is advised due to areas that have been affected by construction work in the camping loops and icy areas elsewhere. **Please refer to yesterday’s post. Equipment loans are FREE, but your goodwill donations help us continue to do what we do and are always, always appreciated!

Baby, it’s cold outside!

We have a pulk. “…Ummmm …What’s a pulk?” you ask. Well, it’s a short, enclosed sled that, when harnessed to an adult x-country skier, makes it possible (and FUN) for the whole family to enjoy the experience of swooshing over fresh snow – even toddlers! Ours is kind of like this…

Get the idea?

That being said… everyone needs to wear proper clothing or no one has fun. Remember this simple fact: DRY IS GOOD. WET IS BAD! Layers are great – as opposed to bulky snow suits which can’t be removed once you’re all warmed up (and possibly sweaty). They’re OK for babies though;-) DO NOT wear cotton! It’s the worst fabric for the snow. It’s made to be absorbent and hold moisture, which is BAD. Pay attention to your feet! Wool socks are great. Wool helps to repel wetness and dry is GOOD, right? Otherwise, aim for quick-dry synthetics. Read all about it on line. Learn how to dress properly when you play in the snow and you’ll have more fun and be able to stay outdoors longer:-) Enjoy the snow while it lasts!

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Friday, January 17th, 2020

Stephen has been out grooming the trails at Ellenwood and has done the best he can. Despite all of the snow that’s fallen, much of it is sitting on ice-covered asphalt and it’s hard for the groomer to get traction and track setting has been challenging. That being said, the conditions are fair to good (not great) with some rough patches to look out for – especially where the DNR has been constructing in the camping loops. Two ditches have been flagged at sites 47 – 51 in loop A and there is hard-to-see exposed gravel at site 66, which can be dangerous if approaching from uphill.

We have marked some of the rough spots with reflectors and/or tape, but exercise extra care wherever you ski and expect the unexpected. The Park is technically under construction and, as always, you ski at your own risk.

We’ll be at the ski cabin tomorrow from noon until 4:00 for equipment loans. Check back here or on our Facebook page for an update on Park conditions before heading out! Reminder: walk left, ski right, and skate ski in between;-) See ya!
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Moonlight hike update…

We’re going to go ahead with tonight’s full moon hike as planned. Technically – the moon is full although we may not get much of a chance to see it. Check in with our FOEP volunteers at the Mood Road gate for a 7:00 pm start. Bring a flashlight (just in case) and dress for the weather, which is mild, but damp. **Please sign in at the gate when you arrive!

After your walk please stop by the ski cabin for a warming drink before heading back to your cars. We’ll have the wood stove lit and hot chocolate, tea or coffee for everyone.

This is a free event, but the Friends of Ellenwood appreciate the donations we receive from our supporters. We can’t promise the moon, unfortunately.

YAY! We’re going on a night hike!
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Thursday, January 9th

Stephen has reported that 2 inches of fresh snow fell at Ellenwood overnight and conditions for skiing throughout the park are good!

Yesterdays’ reminders still apply… the park is (technically) still under construction, leaving a few uneven surfaces in the two camping loops so take extra care. As you enter the park PLEASE SIGN IN at the Mood Road gate, walk left keeping well clear of the ski tracks (dogs too!), ski right, skate ski in between and be respectful of others sharing the trails. Above all… HAVE FUN!

A beautiful ski through Ellenwood today! You should have been there.
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Wednesday, January 8th

Stephen has just finished grooming at Ellenwood and the entire park is groomed and track set for skiing! Use extra caution in the two camping loops due to a few bare patches and some uneven ground, but otherwise… GET OUT THERE AND ENJOY THE SNOW WHILE IT LASTS:-) **Here are a few reminders… 

#1 Please sign in at the gate when you arrive. 

#2 WALK to the LEFT, SKI to the RIGHT and SKATE SKI in the middle. 

#3 DOGS and WALKERS PLEASE KEEP OFF THE SKI TRACKS! Chopped up tracks can be dangerous for skiers and lead to unnecessary injuries.

#4 SKIERS SKI AT THEIR OWN RISK… so be safe. You’ll find Tips & Etiquette by clicking on our ‘Skiing At The Park’ tab on our Home Page. Night skiing is magic… but use extra caution and common sense.

If the conditions hold, our volunteers will be out at the ski cabin this Saturday ready to loan equipment from noon-4:00 pm. Check back here for updates before heading out. Have fun out there!

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Happy New Year!

“Teaching children about the natural world should be treated as one of the most important events in their lives.”
– Thomas Berry

The Friends of Ellenwood Park wish each and every one of you a very happy, peaceful and healthful New Year. Take time to engage with Nature and enjoy all that she has to offer. You won’t be disappointed!

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Ever hiked by the light of a full moon?

The Friends of Ellenwood Park invite you to join us for a leisurely stroll by moonlight on Friday, January 10th.  It’s a great opportunity for photographers or for those who just appreciate our beautiful, starry night skies.  We will meet everyone at the Mood Road parking lot at 7:00 pm and walk around the lakefront loop before warming up with a hot drink at the ski cabin and heading home by 9:00 pm.  Dress for the weather and bring a flashlight (just in case).  The next two full moon hikes are planned for Sunday, February 9th and Monday, March 9th.  **All our events are weather dependent and will be cancelled if it’s too icy or conditions are unfavourable.  Always check our website for updates before heading out.  Please take the time to sign in at the gate when you arrive!

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Join the fun, the weather’s perfect!

It’s great weather for our last Bonfire and Marshmallow Roast of the season. This afternoon, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 7th at Ellenwood! Join the Friends of Ellenwood Park from 2:00-4:00 at the fire pit down by the children’s playscape. The whole family will enjoy the beauty of the trees all dressed in white as you walk in… a leisurely and lovely 1.5 km down to the lake. We’ll have the coals glowing and the toasting sticks and marshmallows all ready for you. See you there!

It’s ALL about technique, patience, and FUN!
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