Recreation Outdoors Events

Back On Track: Gear Up For CORBA’s Powder Keg Race

after weather-driven delays, annual snowshoe, fat tire bike, and ski race will be held virtually

Rebecca Mennecke, photos by Andrea Paulseth |

KEEP YOUR POWDER COLD. A competitor in the 2020 Powder Keg snowshoe race at Lowes Creek County Park.
KEEP YOUR POWDER COLD. A competitor in the 2020 Powder Keg snowshoe race at Lowes Creek County Park.

Gear up for this year’s Powder Keg snowshoe, fat bike, and ski race, which will be held virtually from Feb. 17 through Feb. 24 on the stunning trails at Lowes Creek County Park.

After a few delays due to inclement, freezing weather, organizers are hoping the delayed dates will provide sunny skies and warmer temperatures to encourage folks to get outside and get active. “It’s one thing to go out and ski, snowshoe, or bike for an hour, but something different to spend four to five hours out there marking a course,” organizers said on the Powder Keg website, “and we’re guessing most participants would sit out the weekend anyway and wait for warmer temps.”

Those interested in the races need to register only once, and can participate virtually in any or all of the events through Feb. 24. Fees are by donation, though CORBA uses this event as a primary fundraiser to support 10 trail systems. As an added incentive, for a $20 donation, participants receive either a Powder Keg beanie or a Powder Keg neck gaiter, and for a $35 donation, participants receive both.

“We are asking our trails community to be as generous as they can be for the trails that we all love to use,” their website reads. “But we also understand that this virus, and the resulting disruptions have hit some of us harder than others, so if things are tight, we still want to provide you with the opportunity to participate in the fun!”

The snowshoe race will have 5K and 10K courses, similar to the 2022 U.S. Snowshoe National course.
Fat bike races will be along a groomed trail at Lowes Creek County Park, and participants can opt to enter in categories of one or two laps. The only requirement is that tires must be 3.5” or larger. Cross country skiers will have find courses available for both skate and classic-style skiing, and participants can opt to complete one or two laps.

The Triple Snowball challenge is for those adventurous enough to try all three races. It includes one lap of each, though results are tallied separately for the 5K and 10K snowshoe portion. The goal is to complete all three in one effort.

If you live outside of Eau Claire – or nowhere near Lowes Creek – don’t fear! As long as you can find some snow somewhere, you can participate. There’s a non-competitive option, but you can also log your results. However, since it’s virtual, be sure to watch out for your friendly neighbors, as the trails are not closed to the public.

CORBA is also looking for volunteers to help with course setup, takedown, and to check the courses daily to ensure markings are good to go. For more information, or to register for the race, visit