HORICON, Wis. – Where is the big snow? Some of it is in Dodge County, Wis., and has settled down at Horicon Marsh. But that's a good thing.
Saturday is the annual Candlelight Snowhoe and Hike, which begins at the Satterlee Clark Historical Museum School House, 322 Winter St. From 1 to 3 p.m., visitors can take advantage of a chili cook-off, and join in a snowman-building contest.
When that's done, move along to Discher Park, 100-449 N. Palmatory St., for ice skating at 3 p.m. Chili for $1 and free hot chocolate will help keep the chill out.
After supper at a local restaurant, get ready to snowshoe or hike by candlelight from 6 to 9 p.m. The trails will be marked with candle-powered luminaries, so no one needs to worry about getting lost. Two trails will be open, one 1.5 miles long and the other a loop of .36 miles.
Those who don't have their own equipment can get free snowshoes for the hike on a first-come, first-served basis. There must be at least 6 to 8 inches of snow to use the snowshoes, so keep hiking open as an option.
Horicon Marsh Bird Club members will give owl talks on the trail. Pets are welcome if on a leash, but they will not be allowed in the buildings. After a hike, be sure to head for the refreshments and a bonfire.
The Horicon Marsh International Education Center will be open for visitors to warm up. It features a 20-minute showing of "Horicon Marsh Story" and a gift shop.
The hike is not the only thing planned in the area this winter. Cabin Fever Fest from 1 to 4 p.m. Jan. 27 will be at Crystal Lake Park in Beaver Dam, Wis.
Visitors who like winter sports will have many from which to choose, such as ice skating, a snowball drop contest, and sledding. Check out the tractor-pulled wagon rides, snow painting, Dutch oven cooking demonstration, chili contest, and poetry contest.
The 10th annual WinterFest at Harnischfeger County Park along the Rock River in Ixonia, Wis., is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 9.
Here, too, are a wide range of activities. Among them are horse-drawn sleigh rides, snowshoeing, ice skating, a scavenger hunt, cross-country skiing, a dog-sled-pulling demonstration, tipi tours, and stories. Guests must bring their own outdoor equipment.
If the cold starts to settle in, visitors are welcome to go indoors for a silent auction, and to eat soup and chili to chase away the chill.