Snowshoeing has come a long way since the old wicker tennis racket-looking days.
At the Hitchcock Nature Center in Honey Creek, Iowa, the staff trains you before you head out on a hike.
"You want to make sure you are secure in your bindings. Because otherwise your feet can get wiggling and get loose and that's not comfortable and you could potentially fall, that sort of thing," said Rene Stroud.
Stroud leads hikes at Hitchcock, including a Feb. 5 owl hike and Feb. 6 snowshoe hike. She strapped us in for a walk on Thursday.
The trek traveled up a path and down some hills, with a couple of lessons along the way – like how to turn in your snowshoes.
You put your foot to the side and angle like a clock.
Its good cardio that will get your heart pumping. Snowshoeing can burn 350 calories, even more if you’re cutting a new trail. Along the way at Hitchcock, you’ll also get a nature lesson in while taking in the sights of birds and critters. It's one of the reasons why folks like Westy Nelson keep coming back.
"You can see through the trees. You can see all of the animal tracks with the sun glistening off the snow. It's spectacularly beautiful," Nelson said.
Hitchcock rents snowshoes for $6 per day, $10 per weekend. The next guided snowshoe winter hike is Feb. 6 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m
“They tend to fill up," Stroud said. You can preregister here.