winter hike

8 Tips for a Safe Winter Hike

Go on a fun and safe winter hike at a Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District park with these helpful tips.

Enjoying the Outdoors is brought to you in partnership with Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District

Avid hikers aren’t bothered by a bit of cold, but you might be itching to get out of the house and enjoy the beauty of winter up close, too. You can hit the trails for a holiday hike this season and stay safe with these eight tips.

Winter Hiking Tips

1 | Stay Hydrated.
It’s easy to remember to drink water on a hot summer hike, but staying hydrated on a winter walk is equally important.

2 | Never hike alone and always let someone know where you are.

3 | Be on the lookout for unexpected hurdles.
Even a familiar trail can be treacherous if there’s unexpected ice, snow-covered holes or cliffs, and weather-damaged trees or walkways.

4 | Take into account reduced visibility.
Nightfall comes earlier and winter whiteouts are always a possibility on the trails.

5 | Have proper footwear and winter layers.

6 | Know the signs of hypothermia.

7 | Start small and early.
If you’re new to the winter hiking scene, get a head start early in the morning to avoid unexpected nightfall. You should also pick a short trail; 12 miles in summer is vastly different than 12 miles in winter.

8 | Be sure to carry the 10 essential tools for hiking:

  • Food
  • Water
  • A map or compass/GPS
  • proper footwear
  • rain gear
  • safety items (i.e. light, fire signal, whistle)
  • shelter
  • knife/multi-tool
  • sun protection
  • first aid kit


Take advantage of the local beauty offered at a MWCD Lake Park!


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Responsible stewards dedicated to providing the benefits of flood reduction, conservation and recreation in the Muskingum River Watershed. The MWCD is the largest conservancy district in the state and led the effort to construct 14 dams and reservoirs. The MWCD has jurisdiction for its operations in all or portions of an 18-county area. The 18 counties wholly or partially contained in the MWCD jurisdiction are Ashland, Belmont, Carroll, Coshocton, Guernsey, Holmes, Harrison, Knox, Licking, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Richland, Stark, Summit, Tuscarawas, Wayne, and Washington.

Audrey Mattevi, Reporting

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