By Jessica Mathews/

With a New Year and winter here, some Livingston County residents might be looking for new ways to enjoy the outdoors and practice safe social distancing.

Officials say the Huron-Clinton Metroparks are open year-round and offer fun ways to stay active and outdoors - even in the winter.

Cross Country Skiing is said to be one option for individuals or families explore the parks in a new way this season – with some offering ski rentals. Huron Meadows Metropark makes its own snow when the conditions are right. In mid-December, the Bucks Run 1.5 mile loop opened for use for the first time this season. The trail is groomed and lit at night to provide a unique skiing experience. It is $5 for a daily trail pass or $125 for the season. Officials caution though that the ski center, rentals, and restrooms are currently closed so visitors should bring their own equipment and check online for updates about when the rental center will open later this season.

Officials say paved Hike-Bike Trails are maintained all winter long at different Metroparks – meaning they’re cleared and salted every day for safe enjoyment by visitors by foot, bike, handcycle, wheelchair or stroller.

Additionally, the Metroparks offer sledding hills, ice-fishing, fat-tire biking, hiking, sunrise and sunset viewing, as well as wildlife viewing – which is said to busy all season long. Interpretive staff offer educational adventures in winter from evening owl prowls to tracking hikes to bonfire chats with facial coverings and social distancing required.

Officials also say that just because the cold weather and snow have hit, doesn’t mean that the Farm Centers close. In the Brighton area, the farm at Kensington Metropark is open and visitors are invited to check out what the resident animals are doing this season.

Information and updates about winter activities can be found through the provided web link.