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Posted by Lysa Miller, guest blogger of Ladybugz Interactive Agency

Cold and looking for something new? One doesn’t have to travel far away from Boston this winter to take in cold weather adventures and action-packed winter fun.  Stay local by visiting attractions right here in Central Massachusetts.  Find out what the region has to offer to local day-trippers and weekenders alike.

Central Massachusetts is filled with unique opportunities for outdoor activities. Why travel all the way to Western Mass, Northern New Hampshire, Maine or Vermont when access to mountains, woodlands, farms and more is right out the front door.

Central Mass offers everything from extreme winter activities, to relaxing family days embracing the open air, scenery and snowflakes.

Ice Climbing 
With no need for any prior climbing experience, why not take in an ice-climbing expedition. The team at Vertical World Adventures offers local area ice climbing and instruction adventures for all levels. The full-day ice-climbing package includes a guided ice-climb packed with adventure, learning and fresh outdoor air fun.

There are several exciting local ice climbing destinations and depending upon the ice conditions trips will take place to one of these fantastic places perfect for learning to climb vertical ice.  Each of these locations offers ice climbs that range between 20 feet to 80 feet tall with routes for beginners and advanced climbers alike.

This vertical ice climbing experience is ideal for beginners but yet challenging enough for those with previous experience…not to mention a great way to learn some new skills.

Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing
For those with a love for gliding and trenching along trails of groomed packed snow, Central Mass boasts a cross-country ski and snowshoe park called Saima Park in Fitchburg. Take a day or evening ski or snowshoe trip and enjoy well-maintained tracks that are approximately 5 km long and stretch over varied terrain. The cross-country track is a perfect fit most skiers, regardless if you are a “pro” or a beginner. Cross-country skiing is great exercise for the entire family, a group of friends or even an evening romantic ski.

As soon as there is any fresh snow, the Finnish “track team” is out, grooming the trails with skidoos™, using weighted sleds, track groomers and rollers – all in order to offer the best cross country skiing in Massachusetts. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the cross-country track is lit from sunset until 09:00 p.m. (track closes at 08:45 p.m.)

Saima Park also offers an event facility and hosts several events over the winter including s open houses for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing and weekend winter fun events for families.

Horse and Sleigh/Wagon Rides
Take a short ride out to Princeton, the home of Wachusett State Park for some traditional family fun. Enjoy Cornerstone Ranch for afternoon of fresh country air. Here visitors can take in the beauty of serenity and nature at the farm along with the beautiful horses that will take passengers on their journey.
Step back in time and experience what was once common a ride behind a team of Black Beauties in a wagon or sleigh, complete with sleigh bells. At Cornerstone Ranch guests marvel at the strength and size of these magnificent horses and embrace their teamwork skills as they trot along on the journey across country roads and meadows.

After riding in the cold guests can warm up at the campfire along with enjoy sipping on hot chocolate and munching on S’mores.

Cornerstone Ranch is family friendly and children 4 & under may ride on parent’s laps at no extra charge. Winter horse and sleigh rides run during the winter months and are weather dependent. Also the weather and ground will determine if the rides will be wagon rides or sleigh rides.

Ice Fishing 
Enjoy the best ice fishing North Central Massachusetts has to offer with guided ice fishing tours from the Greene Outdoors.

Armed with an extensive knowledge of the lakes and ponds in the region the Greene Outdoors guarantees an action packed guided fishing tour that is safe and fun for all skill levels.

The Greene Outdoors helps it’s clients choose the perfect location and experience to match their ice fishing expectations. What determines the pond location for the tour is the type of fish the client wants to catch, the experience they want to have while fishing and how far they are willing to travel.
Ice fishing excursions include a full day of safe ice fishing in a serene and scenic Central Mass fishing pond location. The day will start by meeting the guide at the pond and includes ice fishing instruction, a full breakfast on the pond, ice fishing for salmon, trout or bass and access to an insulated Eskimo shanty.
Ice fishing tours are weather permitting and require advance reservations and a pre-trip consultation.

Ice fishing-GreeneOutdoors
Plan a trip with family, friends or colleagues for a great full day of bonding adventure on some of the most beautiful ponds in Central Massachusetts. Then arrive home with a trophy catch to enjoy with some mashed potatoes.

Lysa Miller is a Massachusetts-based writer whose work covers notable local businesses around the state. Follow her on Twitter @ladybugzinc.