Polar Bear Plunge at Lake Wenatchee cancelled New Year’s Day, but guided snowshoe hike is on

Featured image: Swimmers jump in the frigid water at Lake Wenatchee during the 2017 Polar Bear Plunge. (photo credit: Don Seabrook, The Wenatchee World)

The 25th Annual Jim Sofie Memorial Polar Bear Plunge at Lake Wenatchee State Park in Leavenworth, Washington, was cancelled on New Year’s Day after organizers learned they need to provide liability insurance. They’re hoping to resume in 2019 if they can find a sponsor.

The Wenatchee World and Columbian broke the news this week.

Jim Sofie started the new year’s dip in 1993 to promote the health benefits of cold-water swimming. He died in 2015.

For those who want to enjoy a new year’s day event at the lake, it’s still possible. Lake Wenatchee State Park is hosting a free 2.5-mile First Day Guided Snowshoe Hike at 11 a.m. Reservations are not required. Simply show up at the park’s North Reservation Booth.

Dogs are allowed on leashes, and children must be accompanied by an adult.

Volunteers will guide snowshoers from the North Reservation Booth along the Wenatchee River to North Beach, where there’s a beautiful view of Lake Wenatchee. From there, the tour crosses a pine and Douglas fir forest. It ends at the North Reservation Booth, where hot chocolate light snacks will be served.

Lake Wenatchee State Park is located at 21588 State Route 207 in Leavenworth.

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