Jessica Alba Wednesday, 29 January 2020
Sometimes it feels like winter hiking is underrated. Where I live in New York, people are much more likely to complain about the snow as opposed to doing anything else with it. It’s wet, cold, and in the way of daily life. At best, it’s annoying and at worst, it’s dangerous. But living in a climate like this means that snow is a reality for almost half the year, and there’s no point in spending all winter unhappy over something that could enjoyed instead. Inspired by reading Snow Stories, I put on my boots and went for a hike at Hilltop Hanover Farm.
The best time for a winter hike is, in my opinion, right after it snows. There’s simply no denying how beautiful the forest looks with the trees dusted in white. Unfortunately, snow cover like this doesn’t last long before it’s melted away by the sun or blown down by the wind, which is why I love getting on the trails as soon as I can after a snow storm. It makes winter hiking a real treat and gives me something to look forward to, because you can only find snow-covered forests like this for a couple of days each year.
Just think of all the Instagram posts you could get out of a single snowy hike (speaking of which, have you checked out our Instagram page? Find more pictures like the ones below at @mywoodlot19).
Don’t forget to look up when on the trails! Here, the snow is sitting on the tops of trees, creating a stark contrast with the dark trunks and branches.
It’s amazing the amount of snow a branch can hold because of how snow sticks to itself. I can confirm this was very good snowball making snow.
The green of summer has been replaced with the blue and white of winter around this icy pond.
Fresh snowfalls also make it easier to identify animal tracks, which is helpful when getting to know what lives in and around your woodlot. Here’s a track that I suspect belonged to a coyote because of its size and the slight indentation of claw marks at the top of the print:
Here’s evidence of a squirrel digging up a buried acorn.
And if you still need convincing that winter hiking is worth braving the cold I’ll leave you with this final consideration: in winter the poison ivy leaves die back, the mosquitos and black flies are all gone, and if it’s at or below freezing, ticks essentially become a non-issue. Take that, summer.