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'Big Tree Country' preparing for big weekend in the outdoors

Next weekend's second annual Trout Lake "Cabin Fever Festival" will again feature the 8-kilometer "Big Tree Ski" cross-country race.

The free event takes place on Saturday, Jan. 25, and is open to both competitive racers and those wishing to ski at a more relaxed pace. According to spokesman Camden McMahon, the 5-mile-long course is a loop trail for classic diagonal skiing.

Registration begins at 9 a.m., at the Pineside SnoPark, six miles north of Trout Lake (follow signs to the Mount Adams Recreation Area). Racing is scheduled to start at 9:30.

Also worth noting: all vehicles parking in the area must have a 2003 SnoPark permit on display.

A free, guided snowshoe walk through the Trout Lake Preserve is also on the morning's schedule.

Wildlife biologists David Anderson and Harold Cole will lead the one-and-a-half hour walk through the natural resource area in search of signs of wildlife activity.

To join the hike, participants are asked to meet in the Mount Adams Ranger District parking lot at 10:30 a.m.

Organizers of the walk note a limited number of snowshoes will be available to borrow on a first-come basis for those who don't own a pair.

Funding for the Cabin Fever Festival comes from the 21st Century Rural Opportunities Grant program. For more information about these events and others scheduled for the day, call (509) 395-2617.


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