Nobody can say with certainty what lies ahead, although a safe guess at the start of an Ohio January would be frigid weather.

Some like it cold. Ice fishermen prefer an extended freeze. The arrival of ice and snow, nonetheless, signals the beginning of many outdoors endings. Some hunting seasons already are finished.

The deer season’s last rush concludes one-half hour after sunset Tuesday with the close of the four-day muzzleloader hunt. Bow hunters have until Feb. 5 to fill a tag.

Hikers enjoy a different, snowy side of a park during this winter hike.

Hikers enjoy a different, snowy side of a park during this winter hike.

The pheasant season ends today. Duck, coot and merganser hunters have a go through Jan. 29. Squirrels, foxes, raccoons, opossum and weasels may be hunted through Jan. 31.

Trappers as well as hunters of geese and rabbit have a bit longer.

Hunting and fishing aren’t the only paths to the outdoors. Backpackers, hikers, trail bikers, wildlife watchers and photographers willing to adjust for the elements can find appealingly empty landscapes to roam during winter months.

Some people prefer walking solo or only in closest company. Others are fine with joining a like-minded crowd as they pick up lore and morsels of information from knowledgeable chaperons.

Those who like their winter encounters with the outdoors to be organized and educational might choose among nearby opportunities to be offered in coming weeks:

• Five-mile hikes along the Rocks to Roots Trail are scheduled Tuesday, 1-3:30 p.m., Jan. 21, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., and Feb. 14, 1-3:30 p.m., at Alum Creek State Park. The walk, described as moderately difficult, covers some hills and stream crossings starting at the Park Office, 3615 S. Old State Rd, Delaware.

• A Winter Night Walk focusing on Alum Creek’s animal life is scheduled Jan. 20, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Meet at the Nature Center, 2911

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