Snow tube hill, snowshoe trail to open at Winter Park in Kewaunee; skating rink on hold
KEWAUNEE – One winter recreational attraction in Kewaunee County is ready to open while another, new one is waiting for a cold snap.
The snow tubing hill and snowshoe trail at Winter Park are slated to open Saturday, with the Kewaunee County Promotions & Recreation Department hoping to open the park's skiing and snowboarding hills soon after.
Meanwhile, the new, outdoor Dana Farm Ice Skating Rink, adjacent to Winter Park at N3787 Ransom Moore Lane, is freezing over and will open as soon as weather permits, the department said in a news release.
The Promotions & Recreation Department has been making snow to cover the Winter Park hills as a warm December with just a couple of moderate snowfalls late in the month delayed the usual start of the season, department director Dave Myers said.
“ … we are planning to open for snow tubing first, as it is our most popular attraction," Myers said in the news release. "We will also be able to allow snowshoeing at this time, but skiing and snowboarding will be dependent on whether or not temperatures allow us to make enough snow for those hills."
Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, protocols are in place to help protect visitors, staff members and volunteers from catching or spreading the virus. The hours the park is open are temporarily shorter than usual, the number of snow tubes in use will be limited, capacity inside the warming chalet will be reduced and those in the chalet are required to wear face masks until further notice.
“We checked with other skiing and snow tubing facilities across the state and COVID-19 safety plans are now standard,” Myers said.
The protections are especially important because Winter Park recorded its highest attendance figures ever in its past two seasons: 13,674 visitors in the winter of 2018-19 and 13,623 in 2019-20.
“We are growing as a winter destination by continuing to attract thousands of visitors to Winter Park each season, and with COVID-19 still lingering, people are eager to get out of their homes and have an adventure,” said Jennifer Gonzalez, Kewaunee County tourism coordinator. "With attendance anticipated to be high again this season, it’s best practice to have a plan in place to keep everyone safe and the park open."
Winter Park will be open to the public for snow tubing from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays for for skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing. The cost is $8 for two hours of snow tubing, $15 for all-day passes for skiing and snowboarding; free for snowshoeing.
The recent warmer spell also is holding up opening the Dana Farm skating rink until ice can form sufficiently. The new outdoor rink and its amenities were built at an estimated cost of $100,000, which includes restoration of the historic Ransom Asa Moore cabin on the property.
The project was funded primarily with a donation from Kewaunee County Wisconsin Farm Technology Days, the organization that hosted the statewide agricultural event in 2017. Moore is considered the father of the Wisconsin 4-H program and was a founder of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Agronomy, and restoring his cabin is the connection that led Farm Technology Days to help fund the construction and restoration.
When it opens, the lighted rink will be free to use, but skaters must bring their own skates. They will be able to use a newly constructed park shelter with public restrooms that can be used year-round, which includes those playing the 27-hole disc golf course that winds around Winter Park during the warmer months.
Skating hours at Dana Farm will be from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily while conditions permit. Skating will be unsupervised, so skaters will use the rink at their own risk, the Promotions & Recreation Department said.
To check on conditions at Winter Park or the skating rink, call the 24/7 Kewaunee County Promotions & Recreation Hotline at 920-388-7199.
Contact Christopher Clough at 920-741-7952, 920-562-8900 or [email protected].
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Snow tube hill, snowshoe trail to open at Winter Park in Kewaunee; skating rink on hold