Snow in Science, Culture, and Climate

Snow Travel and Recreation

Snow is beautiful, interesting, and important for life on Earth, but for many people, the best thing about snow is that it is fun to play in! If you enjoy the exhilaration of downhill skiing, the tranquility of a snowshoe hike in the woods, the adventure of a long snowmobile outing, or the excitement of watching the winter Olympics, you can appreciate the diverse recreational opportunities that only snow can provide.

Many of the snow-based recreational activities people enjoy today came about out of necessity and were once solely practical ways of getting from place to place. In some areas of the North, snow and ice can make traveling from place to place easier than it is in summer, because the bogs and rivers freeze solid, and a snow-carpeted landscape removes the obstacles of uneven terrain due to tussock grasses and dense shrubs, making travel faster and more pleasant. Some residents of the North welcome winter and the snow that it brings with it for the same reasons today.

Whether your relationship with snow involves making long snowmobile or sled traverses, participating in competitive snow sports, or building snow forts and snowmen in the backyard, you probably have at least one special memory of traveling or playing in the snow.

Explore snow travel and recreation by selecting the topics below.

History of Snow Travel

Man skiing downhill with single pole, circa 1905

Photo courtesy of Zdarsky Ski Museum (CC0)

Snow Safety

Avalanche on snowy slope with mountains in the background

Photo by dahu1, (CC BY-SA 3.0)