Category Archives: Fitness

Celebrate Earth Day! Free Snowshoeing During National Park Week, April 15-23, 2017

National parks all over the United States offer some of the best snowshoeing and hiking opportunities in the country.  Celebrate with a snowshoe hike at one of these 10 U.S. National Parks during the free National Park Week, April 15-23, 2017.


Yosemite National Park is famous for more than just its spectacular scenery — it’s also home to the oldest downhill ski resort in the state of California, Badger Pass. The park includes miles of cross-country skiing and snowshoe hiking trails that are usually open from December to March.


Mount Rainier National Park in Washington is one of the most popular destinations for outdoor family fun in the northwest.  Snowshoe hikes bring fresh insight into how plants and animals cope with the park’s frigid winters and warming springs.


California’s Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks offer great opportunities, and snowshoes are conveniently available for visitors to rent daily in both the Grand Grove and Wolverton areas of the parks.


Lots of roads and trails in Yellowstone National Park are open, but be sure to check the regulations before you go.


The spectacular winter landscape of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming makes the park a picture-perfect destination for sightseeing, wildlife-viewing, and photography. The park’s main roadways are plowed and maintained year-round while many back roads are reserved for snowshoe hiking and cross-country skiing.


The backcountry of Lassen Volcanic National Park in California provides an ideal place to experience the solitude of the outdoors. Camping has become increasingly popular at this park, since regulations here only require each visitor to obtain a free backcountry wilderness permit. With the record snowfall this season, make sure to check the park’s website for road and trail access.


Minnesota’s Voyageurs National Park have miles and miles of lake trails to explore, so pack your snowshoes and your hiking gear for a weekend tour.


Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado is home to some of the best snow activities and free ranger-led programs in the country. Many park roads are open, providing easy access to scenic mountain views and great wildlife-watching opportunities.


Cross-country skiing and Snowshoe hiking brings thousands of visitors to this Montana park during the winter and spring, but use caution: Glacier National Park’s terrain can be unforgiving, and the difficult conditions mean even experienced backcountry hikers can run into trouble if unprepared.


Camping is available in Maine’s Acadia National Park for any daring souls ready to brave the park’s wild temperatures.  NOTE: The park’s carriage road system is currently closed for ‘drying out’.  If you are headed camping this weekend to Acadia, wear hiking boots and carry snowshoes on your pack.


Ramakko’s & Atlas Donate Kid’s Snowshoes to Kivi Park Outdoor Classroom

On top of being a recreational getaway and haven for wildlife, Kivi Park can now call itself an outdoor classroom.

Ramakko’s Source for Adventure and Atlas Snowshoes donated 40 brand new pairs of #snowshoes to Kivi Park this winter so local kids could experience their fabulous #snowshoeing trails. The park started a snowshoe-lending program for schools, to get kids outdoors and into the fresh air.

James Moody of the Sudbury Star reported in February 2016 that the new park near Long Lake is inviting Sudbury schools to sign up for its Get Healthy, Get Active program, which covers transportation costs and outfits kids with snowshoes for a day of fresh air and exercise in the woods.


“It’s to get the schools back out, to get the kids active and encourage healthy living,” said Melissa Sheridan, a member of the Kivi Park development team. “Nowadays the majority of schools don’t have snowshoes because of budget cuts, so the kids don’t partake in that because of the lack of equipment.”

Sheridan said any school board wishing to participate is welcome to register for a snowshoe day at the park.

Staff from the park greet the school groups when they arrive, she said, and ensure each kid gets a pair of suitable snowshoes. The park also boasts outdoor rinks, and larger groups may wish to break the day into a half-day of skating and half-day of snowshoeing, she noted.

Ramakko’s provided 40 pairs of premium Atlas snowshoes, in a couple of different lengths suitable for youth. “They’re lightweight and easy to use,” said Juliana Weaver, a manager at Ramakko’s.

A parent herself, with kids in Grades 5 and 7, Weaver said she appreciates how important outdoor experiences are for kids, as well as how tricky they can be to finance through the school system.

“I know there’s only so much money that can be spread out for field trips, even if parents are pitching in for whatever the amount is,” she said. “So it’s great when something is as easy as this.”

She said a snowshoeing program at her children’s school was cancelled a couple of years ago and it’s a loss a number of families have felt.

“It does make me excited that kids in our geographical area will be able to get out snowshoeing again,” she said.

Kivi Park reported that the program was completely oversubscribed within 48 hours.  “Amazing program for an incredible cause! Our children, our students, our teachers and our schools need and want this type of outdoor active program. Thank you Atlas Snow-Shoe Company and Ramakko’s Source for Adventure for making it possible Kivi Park!

Atlas Snowshoes offers a variety of models and sizes, including men’s snowshoes, women’s snowshoes and kids snowshoes.  SHOP ATLAS SNOWSHOES.


Gear Review: All-around Recreation with Atlas Elektra Women’s Snowshoes

By Briana Valoros, Outdoor Gear Lab

The Atlas Elektra line of women’s snowshoes has a femininely designed decking paired with anatomical frame shapes that join to create an excellent all-around pair of women’s snowshoes.

The Atlas Elektras brings some backcountry technicalities to an all-around recreation snowshoe. The crampons fall between semi-aggressive and aggressive traction. Zodiac toe crampons are on a fixed rotation traction system while the Stabilock bindings grip beneath the heel. The frames are constructed of 7075 aluminum, which is the lightest framing material of any of the other pairs in our review. Technically advanced features from the reputable brand, Atlas, paired with a stylish feminine design make the Elektras an excellent selection for on and off trail snowshoe hiking for someone with a narrow gait.

Performance Comparison
The Atlas Elektra Snowshoe line has a feminine design combined with technical features such as a semi-aggressive traction system and the lightest frame weight.

The size-to-weight ratio of the Atlas Elektra snowshoes equate to excellent flotation. The Elektras have a narrow frame shape designed for the narrow gait of a woman’s stride and therefore have less surface area. More surface area directly relates to better flotation, and if they had a slightly wider frame, they may achieve better flotation. The Duratek nylon decking and aluminum frames maintain the best flotation in recreational terrain. The narrow gait of the women’s specific Elektra snowshoes is ideal for striding forward.

These snowshoes have fixed rotation bindings with Zodiac crampons beneath the toes and Stabilock crampons beneath the heels. The crampon orientation and design is semi-aggressive. They have the best traction on packed snow that is flat to moderately steep.


No Hands, No Poles
Atlas Elektra Snowshoes have semi-aggressive traction that straddle the line between an ideal recreation specific model and an ideal backcountry snowshoe.

Ease of Use
The Wrapp Pro bindings on the Elektra snowshoes are unique in design and function. Silicone straps that look similar to rubber bands cross over the top of the feet and through a low friction buckle system that secures closed with a flip of the handle. Silicone bands secure the bindings of the Atlas Elektras. They look like rubber bands but offer the security and flexibility of durable rubber straps.

Security on Foot
The easy-to-use Boa® Closure system bindings secure the boots onto the snowshoes and remain fastened while active. The length of the tails add security and stability, but we found the most comfort with poles. Security on foot is excellent on packed snow as well as fresh snow. We didn’t experience any issues concerning the bindings or traction systems loosening.

Best Applications
Atlas Elektra snowshoes are ideal on intermediate trails and in moderate backcountry conditions including some mountainous, non-technical terrain. They are suitable for novices and experts, but excel in the middle space between the two extremes. They have semi-aggressive traction systems that are appropriate in some backcountry applications such as moderately steep terrain and snow. They are ideal for petite women hiking on intermediate terrain.

Atlas Elektra women’s specific snowshoes ideal in the moderate range of terrain conditions, offering a balance between on-trail and off-trail snowshoeing.


Atlas and SnowSchool team-up to get kids outside!

Guest writer Kerry McClay

Do you remember the first time you ventured out into the forest to explore the quiet wilds of winter? For some, such memories conjure up a sense of wonder at the fascinating mysteries locked in snow and ice. For others this experience is forever linked with a sense of freedom and the inherent joy in a snow-cushioned romp with friends. Snow connects kids to nature like few things can, and for thousands of students across the country the SnowSchool program is their first introduction to winter wildlands. Providing students and educators with the necessary snowshoes, science curricula, equipment, training and wild winter places to explore is the purpose of Winter Wildlands Alliance’s innovative program. Having added a stream of new sites every winter since 2001, SnowSchool is now 55 sites strong and engaged 29,500 students last winter!

Winter Wildlands Alliance’s SnowSchool program is built on a partnership with Atlas Snow-Shoe Company and collaborations with dozens of non-profits organizations across the US “snow-belt”. For example, one of WWA’s newest SnowSchool sites is in Nederland CO at Wild Bear Mountain Ecology Center.  With Atlas’ generous SnowSchool program discount, Wild Bear’s Executive Director Jill Dreves was able to purchase youth snowshoes and worked with WWA to launch a new SnowSchool site in late 2014. The new sites’ momentum has continued to “snowball”, and this winter Wild Bear got the entire Nederland Elementary school outside on snowshoes near Mud Lake to explore their local mountain snowpack! During their adventure the kids learned about winter adaptations, followed animal tracks and studied snow science.  And because SnowSchool explorations are hands-on, fun and connect back to further learning in the classroom, participants are transformed into passionate student scientists and snowshoe explorers!

To find out more information about SnowSchool, how to establish a new site or get involved visit

Trail Runs in Your Region

trail running northwest

OREGON — McKenzie River Trail, Sisters
Old growth forest, crystal clear river pools, and waterfalls make this 26-mile trail a beautiful example of the Pacific Northwest.

WASHINGTON — Moran State Park, Orcas Island
Take in the sweeping views of the surrounding San Juan Islands on this 6.7-mile run, with an elevation gain of 1500 ft.

MONTANA — River Trail, Missoula
While this trail begins Downtown along the popular Missoula waterfront, the trail quickly leaves town as it tracks along the river. Wide and flat, this trail is great for a mellow run.

WYOMING — Goodwin Lake Trail, Jackson
Spectacular views of the Tetons is one of the reasons why this is a must-run trail. Pine forest, sagebrush hillsides, and meadows full of wildflowers, this trail is a perfect example of Wyoming’s landscape.

trail run NE

MAINE — Carriage Roads, Acadia National Park
Woodland roads and stone bridges run for 57 car-free miles in Acadia National Park. Take a run in the fall to experience the Northeast’s changing colors.

VERMONT — The Long Trail, Winhall
While some hikers choose to through-hike the nearly 300-mile trail, runners can enjoy sections of the century-old trail. The stretch near Winhall routes near winter ski resorts.

MICHIGAN — Potawatomi Trail, Ann Arbor
Open only March through November, this 17.5-mile loop has a maintained trail with a few great climbs. Enjoy the views of the lake, but watch out for roots!

WISCONSIN — Ice Age National Scenic Trail, La Grange
Home of the 50-mile ultra, Ice Age Trail 50, this trail takes you through Wisconsin’s glacial formed landscapes. 50 miles too much? Enjoy a shorter section of the 1,000-mile trail.

trail running southwest

COLORADO — Mesa Trail, Boulder
For a long run with a good amount of elevation gain, head to the Mesa Trail. 13.4 miles roundtrip, with 3,200+ ft. elevation covered, this trail will get your lungs going.

UTAH — Dinosaur Stomping Ground Tracks, Moab
Dinosaur tracks? Yes! Run this quick 3-mile out-and-back trail for quintessential Moab views and real dinosaur footprint trace fossils.

ARIZONA — Arizona Trail, Walnut Canyon
The entirety of the Arizona National Scenic Trail stretches 817 miles, but if you run Section #31, including Walnut Canyon, you’ll have the chance to take in the remnants of ancient Anasazi cliff dwellings.

NEVADA — Tahoe Rim Trail, Incline Village
This 165-mile loop trail travels along the ridges surrounding the Lake Tahoe area. Whatever section you choose to run, you’re guaranteed amazing views.

south east trail runs

TEXAS — Barton Creek Greenbelt, Austin
This nearly 8-mile trail runs along Barton Creek Southwest of the city. In the summer, be sure to wear your quick-dry shorts and enjoy a plunge in the water!

TENNESSEE — Warner Park Trail Systems, Nashville
A short distance outside the city—this trail system offers 12 miles of dirt trails, and even two designated cross country courses. Suggested running tunes—be sure to add a few local Nashville musical artists to your playlist!

ALABAMA — Double Oak Trail, Pelham
Located in Oak Mountain State Park, the Double Oak Trail is a 17-mile loop through a pine tree forest. Roots and rocks stud the dirt to keep you on your toes.

NORTH CAROLINA — Shut-in Trail, Asheville
Songs declare their love for the Blue Ridge Mountains, and you might too, if you run all or part of this 16.3-mile trail. Enjoy the hardwood forests and views of rolling hills with 3,000 ft. of vertical gain.