Winter solstice is Dec. 21
This week’s snowfall certainly makes Wisconsin look ready for winter, as the season officially begins next Wednesday, Dec. 21.
On this day, the winter solstice, the Earth reaches its maximum tilt away from the sun, resulting in the shortest day and the longest night in the Northern Hemisphere.
The significance of the solstice varies from culture to culture. This day has been called the “rebirth of the sun.” For many cultures, it is a time to honor the cycle of death and rebirth and revive the Earth’s aura.
Despite the short day, there is still time to get out and play. Some park properties are holding solstice events. Consider exploring trails or viewpoints during the early morning or put on a headlamp to do some evening exploration. Head out at sunset for the best lighting.
If you’re unaccustomed to hiking when it’s darker, stick to easier trails, trails you know or paved surfaces. It will be cooler at night, so wear more layers and be sure to let someone know where you’re going.
When hiking at night, you can see stars and night critters. Enjoy the views of your favorite parks through leafless trees, snowcapped peaks and freezing waters. Take note of the sounds you hear at night or in stillness. If you’re seeking daytime indoor activities, you can also enjoy our state parks by heading inside to take in the many nature centers across the state.
We welcome winter and the time it gives us to slow down, reflect, bundle up and take in the world around us. We hope you find outdoor enjoyment this winter season.