A few years ago, park managers on Long Island rarely saw a snow shoer. “In our minds, that was an upstate sport,” says George Gorman, deputy regional director of New York State parks on Long Island.

Today, that’s no longer the case — at least, in the wake of a good storm. “Snow shoeing has increased dramatically on Long Island from a few years ago, when we virtually didn’t see anybody. Today, we see snow shoers regularly,” Gorman says.

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And, as more people snowshoe, the number of people taking up the sport — excuse the pun — may snowball. “As they see other people doing it, they may decide to try it,” says Edward Moran, president of the Long Island chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club, which is devoted to outdoor recreation and conservation of New York State’s resources.

Snow shoeing is the poor man’s skiing — a pair of snowshoes and poles start at about $100. And snow shoeing is free to do at Long Island’s state parks, which don’t charge a parking fee this time of year, Gorman says.

People who want to try it out before buying can rent snowshoes at Eastern Mountain Sports, 204 Glen Cove Rd., in Carle Place for $15 a day; poles are $5 more, says EMS supervisor Kim Lasek.