Snow-much fun: shredding trails at Snowfest today Winter semester kickoff celebrates NMU partnership with Noquemanon Trail Network 

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Noah Hausmann

This afternoon students will get to explore snowy trails on campus as part of the inaugural Snowfest, a kickoff of the winter semester and a celebration of NMU’s new partnership with the Noquemanon Trail Network (NTN).

Snowfest will feature free fat- tire bike, snowshoe and cross country ski demos for NMU students on groomed trails throughout the academic mall, as well as outdoor games, live entertainment from Double Trouble DJs, free cookies and hot cocoa from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Meanwhile, inside Jamrich Hall will be a student organization fair. This event is hosted by NMU Marketing and Communications, sponsored by a number of local businesses, and will be assisted by the Public Relations Student Society of America group on campus.

Under this new partnership NMU students will receive free access to all the numerous miles of bike, snowshoe and ski trails that comprise the NTN. They can also check out fat tire bikes, cross country skis and snowshoes for use on the NTN for free, just by showing their student IDs.

“Snowfest is a celebration of the pairing between Noque Trail Network and NMU,” said NMU Marketing and Communications Student Assistant Alexandria Watson, a senior public relations major, who organized Snowfest. “The NTN is normally pretty darn expensive. This is making it free to all students.”

Normally a NTN day pass for adults costs $10, and year- round membership to the Nordic trails can cost $80 or more for a student.

Now, students will be able to check out equipment, such as fat-tire bikes, snowshoes and cross country skis from NMU Rec Sports and from the NTN lodge at the Forestville Trailhead simply by showing their student IDs. Lakeshore Bike and Down Wind Sports each donated six bikes to the partnership program.

“It’s part of a broader idea of embracing our winters and not staying inside,” Watson said.

“We want to show students that itiscoldandwedogetalotof snow but let’s go out and play in the snow. It’s the first step toward getting students outside and enjoying our area because we are so lucky in that respect that we have so much amazing wilderness to play in, and we need to take advantage of it.”

The student organization fair in Jamrich will offer Wildcats the opportunity to meet and get involved in all sorts of clubs, which can be especially helpful for new students just starting at Northern this semester, she said.

“Having those groups available to people to get more involved I think is really good, and this is our first step into a winter version of Fall Fest,” she added, expressing her hope for an even bigger Snowfest event next year.

At 7:30 p.m. tonight, there will also be a screening of Warren Miller’s film “Line of Descent” in the Jamrich auditorium, room 1100.

“[Miller is] one of the biggest names in ski cinema,” she said. “He’s been doing ski movies for over 62 years. We have a bunch of local businesses giving us a bunch of free swag, so we’re making it free to everyone, but normally [Miller] charges about $15 a ticket.

Admission to the film is free, but attendees who purchase raffle tickets will also have the chance to win trips to six different locales, such as to Chile, Switzerland or Montana, she said.