Doing the snowshoe shuffle

The snow pack at Briggs Woods Park was just perfect for a little hiking?Thursday afternoon, especially if the hikers were lucky enough to be wearing snowshoes.

A group of Webster City Middle Schoolers had that opportunity Thursday as part of the Choices and Challenges after school program. About 20 students rode the bus to the park with sponsors and chaperones to try out the snowshoes.

According to one of the program coordinators, Jodi Clabaugh, Choices and Challenges students visit the Conservation office about once a month for programs. This time, the group was supposed to look for shed antlers from deer, but the heavy snow cover didn’t provide optimum conditions for that activity. So a snowshoe trek became the alternate activity.

“We haven’t been able to snow shoe for a couple years due to the lack of snow,” Clabaugh said. “So this should be fun.”

The group of students, all fifth graders this time, gathered in the conservation office meeting room for instructions from naturalist John Laird on how to put on the snowshoes. With some help from the adults, the students were able to get the shoes strapped on over their boots. Then it was off to hit the trails.

The students spent about 45 minutes walking around the park, learning the all the finer points of maneuvering through the snow.