Fun awaits when snow, freeze arrive
The Erie County Department of Parks, Recreation & Forestry is prepared to offer a full slate of family-friendly winter activities at county parks once measurable snow arrives and dipping temperatures provide the consistent cold and freezing conditions necessary to support winter fun. Activities including sledding, ice skating, cross-country and downhill skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and tobogganing can be enjoyed in various Erie County parks.
"Our Erie County parks system has a lot to offer year-round, and winter is a great season to be outside enjoying time with family and friends in our beautiful natural settings," said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. "Whether it's tobogganing at Chestnut Ridge, downhill skiing at Emery, cross-country skiing at the Elma Meadows and Grover Cleveland golf courses, or sledding at one of our other great parks, there is a lot of free fun waiting to be had as soon as we get some snow."
Winter sports offerings are updated daily at http://www2.erie.gov/parks/. It is recommended individuals and families check the website and weather conditions before heading to the park.
Groomed cross-country skiing at Grover Cleveland golf course is a new offering this year, with snowmobiles standing by to groom the course. When the weather permits, sledding will be available at six parks (Akron Falls, Chestnut Ridge, Como Lake, Ellicott Creek, Elma Meadows and Sprague Brook); ice skating at two (Akron Falls and Como Lake); ungroomed cross-country skiing at eight parks (Akron Falls, Chestnut Ridge, Como Lake, Ellicott Creek, Elma Meadows, Emery, Forestry and Sprague Brook); groomed cross-country skiing at three parks (Elma Meadows, Grover Cleveland, Sprague Brook); downhill skiing at Emery; snowboarding at six parks (Akron Falls, Chestnut Ridge, Ellicott Creek, Elma Meadows, Emery and Sprague Brook); snowshoeing at all Erie County parks; and tobogganing at Chestnut Ridge.
"We encourage residents to check the website before coming out to enjoy winter activities at our parks. Because we don't control the weather, we can't be certain that all activities will be happening on any given day in the winter," said Commissioner of Parks, Recreation & Forestry Troy P. Schinzel. "Once the snow is here and we get a good freeze, there will be plenty of winter fun to go around."
When the ground is frozen and there is at least six inches of snow, snowmobile trails will open in select Erie County parks. More information can be found at http://www.wnysnowtrails.com.