Distinct Seasons Provide Outdoors Enthusiasts With Year-Round Recreation

By Valerie Pascoe on April 28, 2011 at 11:20 am EST

PHOTO CREDIT: J. Kyle Keener

As Marty Hannemann bikes remote highways around Wausau on a brisk autumn afternoon, he tries hard to keep his eyes on the road and off the colorful fall foliage.

“Fall is a wonderful time to be outdoors here, as is every other part of the year,” says Hannemann, a part-time parks department employee who also enjoys speed skating and downhill skiing during the winter months.

For outdoor enthusiasts like Hannemann, the Wausau region’s four distinct seasons provide year-round entertainment and adventure.

Nine Mile Park has more than 30 miles of marked trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding during the spring, summer and fall.

Once the snow comes down, the Wausau region becomes a wonderland for fans of winter sports. Granite Peak Ski Area, located in Rib Mountain State Park in Wausau, has 72 runs on a 700-foot mountain and draws skiers and snowboarders from around the country. Those who prefer snow tubing head over to the Sylvan Hill Winter Recreation Area for 1‚800-foot high thrill rides on inner tubes.

When spring rolls around, kayaking action begins to pick up at the city’s whitewater park with major competitions. Kayaking and fishing continue on the river well into the summer while attractions such as the Weston Aquatic Center, the Rothschild-Schofield Aquatic Center and the Lodge at Cedar Creek provide manmade splashing fun.

According to Karyn Powers, recreation superintendent with the Wausau and Marathon County Parks‚ Recreation and Forestry Department, the area’s abundance of outdoor activities and programs help encourage people of all ages to get moving and enjoy nature.

“There are a number of clubs and organizations where newcomers to the area can join and quickly become part of the community,” says Powers. “This is such a friendly community that takes full advantage of our natural resources and encourages a healthy lifestyle.”

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