Fawnskin, CA, January 6, 2014 – For the third year, the Southern California Mountains Foundation will team up with REI, Rancho Cucamonga to host Winter Trails Day at the Big Bear Discovery Center. Winter Trails Day is a national event that offers those new to snow sports an opportunity to try snowshoeing and other winter activities for free.

On Saturday, January 11 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 2 p.m., a variety of nature activities will be offered.

Between 8 and 8:30 a.m., volunteers with binoculars are welcome to show up to help count the bald eagles wintering on the San Bernardino National Forest. The actual count takes place from 9-10am after a brief orientation. This will be the second of four censuses the U.S. Forest Service will conduct this winter.

Starting at 10:30, a 30-minute introduction to snowshoeing–one of the fastest-growing winter sports–will be hosted every hour. Once participants register and get their maps at the Discovery Center, they’ll need to get themselves to the demonstration location; snowshoes will be provided. Stacy Gorin, Mountains Foundation Director of Operations, points out the sport is “an excellent form of low-risk, low impact aerobic exercise.”

Every 30 minutes between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., you can learn how to track animals and make your very own track. This workshop has a fee of $3.

At 11:00, you and the family can join a U.S. Forest Service Biologist for a one-hour presentation on the biology of eagles and why they winter in the Big Bear Valley.

And there will be two opportunities for 30-minute nature walks led by a naturalist around the Discovery Center’s forested grounds; jump in at 1 or 2 p.m.

Throughout the day, demonstration booths will offer winter sports information, and hot chocolate and s’mores will be available for purchase.