Spring recreation survey

A brief scouting report on activities available around the city of Eau Claire

CHUCKING+PLASTIC%3A+Conditions+for+disc+golf+are+not+ideal+currently%2C+but+with+spring+weather+around+the+corner%2C+Eau+Claire+has+some+options+if+they+want+to+get+crafty+in+the+meantime.+%C2%A9+2014+Austin+Mai
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Spring recreation survey

CHUCKING PLASTIC: Conditions for disc golf are not ideal currently, but with spring weather around the corner, Eau Claire has some options if they want to get crafty in the meantime. © 2014 Austin Mai

CHUCKING PLASTIC: Conditions for disc golf are not ideal currently, but with spring weather around the corner, Eau Claire has some options if they want to get crafty in the meantime. © 2014 Austin Mai

CHUCKING PLASTIC: Conditions for disc golf are not ideal currently, but with spring weather around the corner, Eau Claire has some options if they want to get crafty in the meantime. © 2014 Austin Mai

CHUCKING PLASTIC: Conditions for disc golf are not ideal currently, but with spring weather around the corner, Eau Claire has some options if they want to get crafty in the meantime. © 2014 Austin Mai

Story by Austin Mai, Staff Writer

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Spring break came, went and left Eau Claire with cold weather. Students in Wisconsin are used to this; most spring breaks rarely end on a warm note.

Chunks of darkened ice remain on boulevards, and the streets are covered in cocktails of salt, sand and dirt. There’s a price to pay to live in a snowy state, and Mother Nature will do her thing to clean the city up as the temperatures rise. But in the meantime, what’s someone to do when cabin fever has hit an all-time high?

I looked into three facets of summertime fun to get an idea of how long the wait will be until activities can be enjoyed again.

Longboarding

Since the first flurries last fall, students that used longboards or skateboards as their primary means of transportation adapted and found other ways of getting where they needed to go.

Pending random snowfalls, the time has come for riders to get back on their boards and roll their way around town.

The unavoidable reality is the cleanest streets to ride on are also the most heavily trafficked in the city. The quiet, safe streets are layered with sand and dirt and are unsuitable for inexperienced riders.

For the experienced riders, including those who carve and may have sliding gear, there are some hills that are ready for action.

In downtown, up on the hills near the Leader Telegram office; the Peace Lutheran Cemetery area provides excellent hills to bomb while the rest of the city melts away. These hills along Doty Street do have sand and dirt on the road, but are still manageable.

Western Eau Claire has Mesa Ridge, a condominium development built on curving and winding hills that make for a nice longboarding trip.

This area has some sand and dirt, but is rideable now.

Bicycling

Experienced riders should have no problems using bike trails along downtown Eau Claire now. Some portions of the trails may have some snow or ice, but nothing most bikes can’t handle.

But as the weather continues to shift into spring patterns, the bike trails will become wet and mucky as snow melts.

Those interested in using the paths near Owen Park, be aware that once the warm weather comes and snow melts rapidly, there is a risk of minor flooding on those trails.

Through the winter, bicyclists were using the roads to get around, and the option is now more serviceable than before. As mentioned in the longboarding section, the trafficked streets are cleaner than others, which makes riding a bike in the street simple.

But before hitting the streets, it’s important to know proper hand signals to let the surrounding drivers know what the rider is doing.

Disc Golf

Mt. Simon’s course, just outside the downtown area, is a hot spot for recreational disc golfers in the summer.

It’s located in the lower portion of Mt. Simon, which is also home to two sand volleyball courts, two pavilions, which can be reserved through the city, and a boat landing connected to Dell’s pond.

The course has nine baskets and normally takes between 25 to 60 minutes to complete, depending on course occupancy.

Mt. Simon’s course is regarded by dgcoursereview.com as excellent for beginners and a slight challenge for average players. Three of the holes are wooded with the other six including slight elevation changes through sparsely wooded areas.

The course is covered in frozen snow but the tees are not, which ultimately makes this course playable. Until summer it may be best to skip holes four and five.

However, once the weather warms up, the snow will melt and make the entire course muddy and unsuitable for casual play.

Northstar Middle School has a course, but it’s also covered with snow and has wooded holes which are recommended to skip until the summer.

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