Hike description: We generally define a hike as a wilderness experience - that is, being away from urban civilization.
What: If you haven't registered yet for the Legendary Banked Slalom snowboard race, you are too late. However, this event is about more than the race. It's a celebration of snowboarding history and is considered one of the most important on the road snowboarding traveled to become a mainstream sport. In addition to watching some of the best boarders in the Northwest race down a natural half-pipe, you can check out the rest of Baker's killer terrain.
Hike description: When state Route 410 is closed and the snow level cooperates, a lovely, easy snowshoe trip through a winter wonderland awaits you. The path is a narrow, two-lane road bordered on both sides by thick forest - a narrow band through the trees. To the south, the White River wanders beyond the forest. With an ample covering of snow, the road becomes a forest path for the exercise and delight of snowshoers and cross-country skiers.
What: You can do more than ski at Crystal Mountain. Why not try a two-hour Saturday evening snowshoe trip? The guided tour in the South Country includes a fondue dinner in the lodge.
What: Even if the weather is miserable Saturday, runners can have fun pounding the pavement along the Nathan Chapman Trail on South Hill. The event organized by Pierce County Parks and Recreation has routes of one mile and five kilometers (3.1 miles) along the wooded trail. Both routes are flat and do not use roads. The department said the event is noncompetitive and recreationally timed.
Hike description: This short section of the Wonderland Trail, the 93-mile trail that circumnavigates Mount Rainier, offers both a great hike and a great snowshoe, depending on conditions. It is a good alternative when the road to Paradise opens late because of snow removal, or not at all because of avalanche concerns. Better to be on the trail than moping around Longmire.
What: If you spend your days on the slopes ripping up double-diamond runs, this is not the place for you. But if you are looking for an inexpensive day on the hill for a family of beginners, you won't find a better deal in Western Washington. If you want steeps and glades, they're within hiking distance. You also can find terrain for Nordic skiing and snowshoeing.
Hike description: Federation Forest State Park is a long skinny park bordered on the south by the White River and bisected east to west by state Route 410.
What: The Mary E. Theler Wetlands is the perfect place for a sea-level stroll during the winter. While hikers never get farther than a mile from downtown Belfair, they'll feel like they are far away from the two highways that border much of the wetland. A series of short nature walks with interpretive signs cut along the marshes where Hood Canal meets the Union River. The area is popular for bird watchers.
Hike description: Finding the Hobbit Village at Federation Forest State Park is a great way to entertain and exercise the family in the fall and winter. The park is at about 1,650 feet of elevation, so the light snow that sometimes graces the area rarely stays around for long.