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January 7, 2010

Visitors Invited to Explore Winona Forest by Ski and Dog Sled on Jan. 16

Skiiers compete at Winona Forest

The Winona Forest Recreation Area contains more than 70 miles of multi-use trails in Oswego and Jefferson counties. The third annual Winona Forest Winterfest, featuring activities for all ages, takes place Saturday, Jan. 16. Pictured are skiers competing in the 2008 Winona Forest Tourathon. (Photo courtesy Oswego County Tourism Office.)

Boylston and Lorraine, NY - Mushers, skiers, and outdoor lovers of all ages are invited to explore the Winona Forest Recreation Area on Saturday, Jan. 16, at the third annual Winona Forest Recreation Association (WFRA) Winterfest. The event starts at 9 a.m. at the CCC Camp on Co. Rt. 90 in Lorraine. The recreation area features more than 70 miles of groomed trails in northern Oswego and southern Jefferson counties.

The Winterfest is free and open to the public. There will be a snow sculpturing exhibit and children's workshop from 10 a.m. to noon. Members of the Pennsylvania Sled Dog Club will give a "musher" demonstration, with sled dog rides and lessons, from 1 to 3 p.m. Ski lessons, skijor lessons and a snowshoe walk also take place from 1 to 3 p.m. Refreshments will be available.

Those who wish to try the competitive cross-country ski course are invited to participate in the 12.5K Try-It Freestyle Cross-Country Ski Race at 10:30 a.m. Skiers can register online at www.skireg.com. The race entry fee is $40. Visitors are also invited to explore the non-race trails on skis, snowmobiles, dog sleds and snowshoes throughout the day.

Volunteers promote year-round activities in Winona Forest and maintain and groom the multi-use trails in partnership with the state Department of Environmental Conservation. In addition to Winterfest, WFRA sponsors the Winona Forest Tourathon. Now in its 30th year, this major cross-country ski race will be held March 6, 2010. Dog sled races are scheduled on February 13 and 14 and Feb. 20 and 21. Spectators are encouraged to attend all events.

For Oswego County visitor information and accommodations, go to visitoswegocounty.com. For more information on the Winterfest, visit www.winonaforest.com.

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