Extreme Winter Last Updated 11/16

There’s a whole school of thought that says, “Don’t hide from winter, embrace it.” If that’s your mantra at this time of year, Connecticut is ready for you with all sorts of ice and snow activities, many that will test your stamina and willpower.

Winter Camping

Connecticut’s portion of the Appalachian Trail runs some 52 miles across the northwestern part of the state, with some serious ups and downs along the way – and also lean-tos for camping. There aren’t many sensations that top waking up in the woods on a snowy morning.

Old School Skiing

Anyone can go up the ski mountain via a lift, but how about going back to the way the real early skiers did it? Go to Mohawk Mountain in Cornwall with your snowshoes and skis, strap your skis to your back and climb the slope in your snowshoes, then strap the shoes to your back and ski down. It could be that once will be enough.

Ice Climbing

Connecticut has any number of traprock formations and granite cliffs that invite the hardy, daring climber come winter. Of course, ice climbing is not something you should try all by yourself. Better to turn to an outfit like Ascent Climbing, which is ready to assist with lessons, first ascents and guided climbs.

Ice Fishing

Once winter sets in and the pond ice hardens, ice fishing becomes a good way to enjoy the cold. Good spots abound, from Beach Pond in Voluntown to Tyler Pond in Goshen. You might find anything from a trout to a perch to a salmon on your line. And a place like Cabela’s in East Hartford or Bass Pro Shops in Bridgeport will be happy to outfit you properly.

Cross-Country Skiing

Once it snows, Connecticut becomes a platform for cross-country skiers, with every pasture and field, golf course and trail a possible place to play. Those wishing to test their endurance might look into the trails at various state parks such as Macedonia Brook State Park in Kent, where the elevation changes and long views can be very rewarding. In any case, there’s no better way to keep yourself warm on a cold winter day (assuming you want to stay outdoors).