OSCEOLA Five-year-old Teagan Montague and her mom, Tera Montague, came whooshing down the huge sledding hill.
Its very, very fast! Teagan said of her ride atop a black inner tube.
The mother and daughter from Elkhart were among a group of female friends three mothers and their six daughters who were enjoying the winter weather Sunday during an outing at the snow tubing hill at Ferrettie/Baugo Creek County Park.
By late afternoon, more than 300 people had arrived for tubing at the park. Another 10 or so visitors rented snowshoes for winter strolls through the wooded areas of the park.
Some people find snow and cold temperatures the perfect ingredients for outdoor family fun.
We like to do things with them outdoors and not just stay inside, Tera Montague said. On a previous outing, the group of mothers and daughters donned ice skates for a visit to NIBCO Ice & Water Park in Elkhart.
Bristol residents Linda Clark and her daughter, Natalia Blakesley, 16, introduced a young friend Libby Meyer, 7, of Middlebury to the sport of tubing.
The little girl took to it with relish. Ive been down (the hill) at least 12 times, she said. Libby said she also enjoys sledding, snowball fights and recently went ice fishing with her father.
A lot of my friends dont like the snow and the cold, said Natalia, who enjoys getting outdoors in the winter.
With record-breaking amounts of snow lately, area parks are popular spots.
Were getting lots of calls, lots of people checking our hours. Much more than in terms of years past, said Brooke Artley, leisure services manager for the St. Joseph County Parks.
It seems like everyone is excited about getting snow, said Derek Tyler, assistant park manager at Madeline Bertrand County Park near Niles. So far this winter, the park is attracting its usual share of cross-county ski enthusiasts, he said.
Elkhart resident Brooke Quirk celebrated her 12th birthday Sunday on the Ferrettie/Baugo tubing hill, accompanied by seven friends and family members. Brooke had been climbing the hill and sliding down for at least four hours, and was looking forward to a birthday dinner at a restaurant to finish the day.
Mike and Nancy OBrien of Elkhart rented snowshoes and tried that sport for the first time Sunday at the park.
It really uses a lot of different muscles than cross-country skiing, which Im used to, Mike OBrien said after an hourlong walk in the woods. Its a good cardio workout.
Snowshoes require a wider stance than skiing or ordinary walking, so the hip muscles get a good workout, he said.