While some may close up tents and winterize recreational vehicles this this time of year, there are others who look forward to a winter filled with adventures on U.S. Forest Service forests and grasslands. The draw is yurts and historic cabins available to rent that offer a bit of solitude for camping, a dose of adventure on skis, snowshoes or snowmobiles, and a lifetime of memories.
The Thanksgiving holiday weekend tradition has long included the unofficial kick-off to ski season and a time when families head out to find their Christmas tree, and many times those events involve a trip to U.S. Forest Service lands. Recreationists find some of the best downhill, cross-country and snowshoeing opportunities with 122 ski areas in 13 states using a total of 182,095 acres of Forest Service-managed land.
Betsy Howell works full-time as a wildlife biologist for the Forest Service. But in her spare time she also juggles a full-time passion as a Civil War reenactor and author. Howell has worked for the agency for 19 years and currently works on the Olympic National Forest in Washington State.