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STATELINE NEWS -- Chuck Lewis has owned the same pair of wood skis for 40 years and wouldn’t dream of giving them, or his favorite pastime, up.

Not to mention, Lewis lives on Turtle Creek and enjoys easy access to cross-country skiing trails that snake through the flood plain in Beloit.

“All I have to do is walk out my backdoor and I’m there,” said Lewis, who also has gone downhill skiing in such places as Utah and Colorado with his wife, Julie, and/or their three children. “I also seek out trails at Rockport Park in Janesville, the ones in the Kettle Moraine or Rock Cut State Park (Loves Park). We have great groomed trails within 30 miles of home.”

WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- Missing summer fun like camping, hiking and zip-lining?

Don’t let winter stop you.

Yes, there are plenty of outdoor activities for the season, like skiing, sledding and skating. But what if you want to do something that feels a little more like July when it’s January? You’d be surprised at what’s available:

Friday, 07 October 2016 10:32

Nurturing the native landscape

WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- Mariette Nowak believes making a positive impact on the environment is as close as your backyard.

The former director of the Wehr Nature Center in Milwaukee County, and recently retired planning commission member in the town of Troy -- where she now lives -- says by planting native trees, shrubs and plants, people cultivate a biodiversity that affects not just a neighborhood, but the world.

Native plants create a healthy ecosystem for birds and bees, which, in turn, create a healthy ecosystem for humans, says Nowak, a naturalist with degrees in botany and zoology. She’s also the president of the Kettle Moraine Chapter of Wild Ones, a national native gardening organization.

People wanting to know more about native gardening that attracts birds and butterflies can turn to her book, “Birdscaping,” where they might be surprised by the variety of flora in the state, including the blooming prickly pear, a cactus that is native to Wisconsin.

WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- On most days, “the Kettle” rewards hikers with scenic views, wildflowers, wildlife and the enjoyment of being outdoors in the glacial landscape.

But those who venture along the Kettle Moraine State Forest’s interpretive trails garner even more -- historical insights, cultural information and maybe even a glimpse of what the land might have looked like long ago.

Friday, 26 February 2016 10:08

Tackling the winter trails on fat tire bikes

WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY --  If you’ve been looking past the couch lately for your lost New Year's resolution about getting in shape, you’re not alone. According a study from the University of Scranton Journal of Clinical Psychology, only one in 10 resolution-making souls achieve their goals by Feb. 1, if at all. Equally adding to the misery for those in the Midwest is the bone-chilling, snow-laden landscape we face each winter.

One of your best bets for braving the outdoors while getting some exercise may be a bicycle.

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