By Karl Weisel (Wiesbaden Family and MWR)September 18, 2018
WIESBADEN, Germany - Where would you like to go first?
How about browsing through a traditional German Christmas Market? Or would you rather spend the Veterans Day Weekend exploring World War I history in Verdun, France? Maybe skiing or snowboarding in one of Europe's favorite winter resorts is more your cup of tea?
Wiesbaden Outdoor Recreation has you covered for these and a host of other fall and winter adventures. Besides their usual array of hunting, fishing, sport shooting and paintball opportunities, Outdoor Recreation also focuses on holiday markets this time of year.
"It's a traditional thing in Germany to visit the Christmas markets and to mingle with our German counterparts," said Wiesbaden Outdoor Recreation Programmer Al Klaver, Hunting, Fishing and Sport Shooting Program manager.
Upcoming trips include the Heidelberg Christmas Market on Dec. 1, the Cologne Christmas Market on Dec. 8 and the Rothenburg Christmas Market on Dec. 15.
"You get to try some different foods while being in the festive spirit," said Klaver, adding that having a chance to explore some of the history of Christmas Market towns is also possible. "Plus, when you come with us, you don't have to worry about parking or parking tolls.
Outdoor Rec is teaming up with the Wiesbaden Library to offer an interactive trip to commemorate the Centennial of World War I on Nov. 10. Tour-goers will visit the site of longest lasting WWI battle.
Wiesbaden Outdoor Recreation invites you to celebrate Thanksgiving by skiing the slopes in Stubaital-Flupmes, Austria, Nov. 22-25. The trip includes three overnights in a three-star hotel with breakfast, dinner and the opportunity for three full days of skiing or snowboarding. Free ski/snowboard equipment rental is also included in the price.
Other upcoming ski/snowboard trips include Neuss Express Oct. 27; Engelberg, Switzerland, Express trips on Nov. 24 and Dec. 29; Kaprun, Austria, Jan. 19-21 and Stubaital, Austria, on Feb. 16-18. As always, Outdoor Recreation will also feature day ski and snowboard trips to the Black Forest on Jan. 12 and Feb. 9.
"We also have seasonal rentals on skis and snowboards," said Klaver, adding that ski maintenance classes will be held "to assist community members in the proper care and maintenance of their equipment.
"People can rent ski and snowboard equipment from us as a seasonal rental, weekend or daily rental," he said. "A good time to come by is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday."
Outdoor Recreation also features a host of hunting, fishing and sport shooting opportunities, Klaver said. "The shooting competitions are varied each month to keep interest in the program. On Oct. 13 it'll be an Ehrenscheiben (Honor Shooting Event). You shoot five shots at a target at 100 meters and we score you," followed by the qualifiers moving on to shoot at a wooden plate. The winner takes home the trophy.
Recreational shooting is also featured on Oct. 13 and Nov. 17.
After the start of the new year, community members can choose from a host of hunting and fishing classes. A U.S. Forces German Fishing Class will be held Jan 10-13, 2019.
"You can expect to learn about the proper documents needed for fishing in Germany," Klaver said. Also, "the proper handling of fish, the different zones they live in, fish commonly found in Germany, about the German Animal Protection Act, fishing laws and how to get your license and permit for fishing."
A U.S. Forces German Hunting Course will be offered from Feb. 5 to April 27, 2019. Outdoor Rec is also headed to the Dortmund Hunting and Fishing Exhibition -- the largest of its kind in Germany -- on Jan. 31, 2019.
Units can also take advantage of Outdoor Recreation's Warrior Adventure Quest program offering various opportunities for adventure, comradery and recreation.
The staff is also looking forward to the opening of their new consolidated Outdoor Recreation Center. Officials said construction and handover of the new center, located on Clay North, should be completed by fall of 2019.
"This will be one of the nicest and most modern facilities in the Army," said Ron Locklar, Wiesbaden Family and MWR Community Recreation Division chief, about the $10 million facility.
So start planning your fall and winter outdoor adventures today. Visit Outdoor Recreation in the Wiesbaden Sports, Fitness and Outdoor Recreation Center in Building 1631 on Clay Kaserne or call civ (0611) 143-548-9830 or -9801.