Some decent snowfall overnight brought levels up for some decent snowshoeing in and around the city. We took a drive out to Nopporo Forest Park, near Ebetsu, to explore its trails. Although most of the trails are groomed, there are a lot of open spaces for some great snowshoeing.
We started at the visitor/nature center and after a quick onigiri, hit the trail. The park has a lot of trails, you can get lost for hours if you choose, but we decided to do a simple loop to the Centennial Memorial Tower, a monolithic art installation slated to be demolished later this year. Its eerie presence will be missed.
The snow was fresh and it was a great day. Nopporo’s trail network, although extensive, is relatively flat, so it’s the perfect place for low intensity snowshoeing. Most trails are well groomed in winter, so even without snowshoes you can still have a decent hike (some simple crampons might help).
We saw a flock of Great and/or Lesser spotted woodpeckers, encountered quite a few cross-country skiers, and got a decent workout in.
But don’t just take my word for it, go to Hokkaido Wilds’ guide to Nopporo Forest Park for a great deep dive (in English) on this under utilized trail network and snowshoeing location.