Winter Walks in the St. Croix Valley

Try snowshoeing for a full winter workout.
Darren Dobier and his wife, Oie, lead outdoor excursions year round.

Last year, Darren and Oie Dobier decided to take the leap and start their own outdoor adventure company. They’ve always loved the outdoors and enjoy kayaking, canoeing, hiking, rock climbing and snowshoeing. They’ve long had the urge to do something that would let them get more people interested in activities like these, and as Darren Dobier says, they “wanted to do something to encourage kids to get outside and play.” Thus, Diro Outdoors was born, the name a combination of the names of its founders.

The company offers outdoor adventures in a variety of categories. The Dobiers travel around the Valley, provide gear and instruction to people and let them explore on their own. They also do tours, which allow for a more social and structured experience. Many times church groups, businesses or families will employ Diro—team-building and customer appreciation events are especially popular.

This winter, they recommend everyone give snowshoeing a try. “Anyone that can walk confidently can snowshoe,” Dobier says. “There’s something magical about being the first person to make tracks in new snow,” he says, adding you can see different animals and sights on the same trail when you snowshoe in the winter than when you hike in the summer. Above all, it’s great calorie-burning cardio, and doing strenuous activity like snowshoeing provides countless benefits like reduced anxiety and stress.