Oh, those timid souls who fear the outdoors in winter.

What fun they’re missing.

Yes, it will be cold, but you can always dress for the weather. And there’s just so much to do out there.

Look at all the options.

Snowmobiling. You like your winter fun to come at high speed? Well, here you go. Many state and national forests maintain trails specifically for riders.

Cross country skiing. Want to go a little slower, and use your own energy to get through the woods? Cross country skiing is not only great exercise, but it’s a way to glide quietly through the forest, something that often allows for incredible wildlife viewing opportunities.

Snowshoeing. Perhaps you want to go a little slower still, and travel the winter woods in a way mankind has for centuries? Strap on snowshoes. These come in sizes specific for men, women and children, and various shapes based on the terrain you’ll be covering. But they’re great fun all the time.

Ice fishing. If you like to feel a tug on your line, winter is no reason to go into a shell. The equipment needed for ice fishing is different from that of summer, but the excitement of catching fish remains the same.

Sled riding. Who says this is just for kids? Sled riding is a great way to experience the outdoors in winter, especially for families, without having to invest a lot of money. Be sure to take along some snacks and warm drinks for everyone when they need a break and you’ve got yourself a winter picnic.

Hiking. Winter doesn’t always mean lots of snow. If the ground is bare enough that snowshoes or skis aren’t an option, let your hiking boots carry you through the countryside. Overlooks where the view is shrouded by leaves in summer can offer stunning vistas at this time of year.

You can do all of these activities on your own if you invest in the equipment. Of course, in snow country, you’ll find all manner of places that rent skis, snowshoes, and more, too.

Don’t overlook chances to experience winter fun for free, though. All across the country, state and local parks, for example, hold winter “fun days” where you can try to catch a fish through the ice, get fitted for skis or sled down a hill using borrowed equipment.

Snowmobiling clubs and other organizations often have organized days for potential new members, too. At the very least, a phone call to one of those groups can hook you up with a mentor willing to spend a day -- or sometimes much more -- showing you the ropes.

So really, it’s not whether to go outside in winter. It’s where to go and what to do.

Thankfully, there are plenty of options, all of them fun.

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See also: Cross country skiing essentials start with the feet.