Happy New Year everyone,
Old man winter has certainly made his presence known here in Ohio — a little behind schedule. After an unseasonably warm Christmas with temps in the sixties, we’ve had a few light snowfalls and thermometers hovering in the single digits.
Now that the decorating, shopping, traveling, wrapping, overeating, Christmas programs and parties are through, kids are back at college, and the decorations are packed away, it’s time to take a breath and get back in the swing of things.
A busy schedule and arctic temps tend to keep away thoughts of getting out in the woods, and even though I’ve never been one to camp in the snowy season, I do love good winter hikes.
Every season has its merits when it comes to the great outdoors. Spring’s promise of new life and warmer days ahead with the greening of the landscape is invigorating. I always contract a near terminal case of Spring Fever when the forsythia bloom and the mercury climbs out of the 40’s.
Long sunny days and warm nights of summer demand that you get outside. Plenty of time to get your work done and still have some daylight to wander on a trail.
The stunning displays of color in the Fall warn of colder, shorter days to come. It’s almost certain that I’ll get a couple more camps in before the last leaf falls.
The first good snow fall is a thing of beauty, but I must admit, winter comes in fourth place in the seasonal rankings for me. It has Christmas which is great. Crackling fires in the fireplace and an extra quilt on the bed is cozy, too. But it tends to take more settling in until I get the urge to bundle up and hit the trail.
When I finally do get out in a snowy forest, I remember that this quietest of seasons in the woods is the most peaceful. The bare trees give way to clearer views, and their noisy creaking as they sway in the wind sounds like it’s turned up to eleven. Between that and the crunch of snow under your boots and the crisp air on your face, it’s easy to be in that moment and far from the day to day things that weigh on your mind.
This latest series pays homage to the hikes that you begrudgingly bundle up for, then catch yourself asking, “Why don’t I do this more often?” It includes five favorites from snowy hikes over the years. There a few more I’d like to share that aren’t in this bunch, so I’ll probably have more to add to the series before the spring thaw.
Hope you see one you like, and that you are inspired to layer up and hit the trail!