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Snowshoe, snowboard or ski with a ranger and learn about the area's ecology, geology and wildlife.

SCOTT STAATS SPECIAL TO THE CENTRAL OREGONIAN - A lone cross-country skier glides atop Vista Butte with Mount Bachelor in background. Discover Your Forest is offering free snowhoe, ski and snowboard interpretive programs with rangers through March.Discover Your Forest, in collaboration with the Deschutes National Forest and Mount Bachelor Ski Area, is beginning its annual winter interpretive programs. The programs allow visitors to the ski area to snowshoe, ski or snowboard with a ranger. All interpretive programs focus on the ecology, geology and wildlife of the Cascades.

Snowshoe programs run through March 29. Those interested can meet at the Forest Service showshoeing hut in the parking lot of Mount Bachelor's West Village. Start times are at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Tours are available on weekends and school break weekdays except New Year's Day. They last 90 minutes, and snowshoes are provided for the tour. No experience is needed, but participants must be at least 8 years old and dressed for cold weather.

On weekends from Jan. 2 to March 29, an interpretive ski and snowboard tour will be offered on Mount Bachelor's groomed runs. The tour, which lasts an hour, begins at noon. Participants must provide their own lift tickets and equipment and should have basic riding skills. They must be 18 and wearing a helmet. Meet the ranger at the top of Pine Marten.

Both programs are free, and donations are suggested to help the nonprofit Discover Your Forest continue to provide educational programming and volunteer support to the Deschutes and Ochoco national forests and the Crooked River National Grassland.

Individuals not need to register ahead. Group tours may be scheduled for weekdays. The tour size is limited and will be filled on a first come, first served basis. Pets are not allowed. For questions or group reservations, contact Karen Gentry, Discover Your Forest's director of education, at 541-385-4771 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Snowshoe Programs

WHEN: 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. weekends and school break days except New Year's Day, through March 29

WHERE: U.S. Forest Service snowshoeing hut at Mount Bachelor's West Village

AGES: 8 and older

Interpretive Ski and Snowboard Tour

WHEN: Noon, weekends Jan. 2 through March 29

WHERE: Meet the ranger at the top of Pine Marten.

AGES: 18 and older

COST: Free; donations suggested

INFORMATION: Karen Gentry, 541-385-4771, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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