Posted By auntie on February 22, 2015
3.5 miles; westerly, ri
so i dragged myself out today…
yeah, it’s just like that. i can’t say i enjoyed this hike. it rained last night, and the snow cover was wet and heavy and not particularly stable, so snowshoeing was a LOT of work. and i got blisters on both heels today, too, not sure why. i might try putting “superfeet” insoles in my boots next time so my heels don’t move up and down so much. then again, if it were up to me, i wouldn’t go back out in snowshoes and boots again EVER.
unbroken blue trail
long sections of the blue trail were unbroken and pristine. which made it even harder work. i know, and yes, i would like some cheese with my whine.
kedinker island in the snow
you can find the grills in the hikefinder. trailhead, trail map
Posted By auntie on February 13, 2015
2.2 miles; hopkinton, ri
if you had told january 2012 me that february 2015 me would be strapping on snowshoes in single-digit temperatures and traipsing through the woods, jan 2012 me would have laughed myself sick. herself sick. pronouns are kind of tricky in this situation.
and i didn’t have to break trail today, either. someone else strapped on snowshoes and headed out before me. thanks, unknown snowshoer!
self-portrait with snow
the ruins that make this hopkinton land trust preserve one of my favorite properties are pretty much snow-covered but no less impressive for it.
beech leaf shadows
and while winter is still my fourth favorite season in the woods, i can at least say i found something beautiful to admire.
unwary mourning dove
i also came across the remains of a meal. of course, depending on your perspective, this was either a terrible end or a lovely dinner.
you can find the canonchet preserve in the hikefinder. trailhead, trail map
Posted By auntie on February 12, 2015
1.6 miles; westerly, ri
i had some errands in westerly today, so i thought i’d check out wilcox park. after one circuit it was obvious i should have used my yak trax. it was an adventure, in that there were quite a few icy patches where snow melted and refroze. also there was an entire section that the city never cleared, so it was hard-packed snow. really, westerly???
wilcox park in the snow
you can find out more about wilcox park at the westerly library’s website.
Posted By auntie on February 11, 2015
2.3 miles; charlestown, ri
this was an abbreviated “usual suspects” hike, and we were blessedly able to hike without snowshoes! the yellow and blue trails in this popular nature conservancy preserve are pretty well packed down, although there was perhaps a bit of post-holing—not much, just maybe every 100 steps or so. oh, and the parking lots at both trailheads are nicely plowed. bonus: there’s a brand new bathroom at the old mill road trail head!
snowy francis carter rock wall
you can find francis carter in the hikefinder. old mill road trailhead, trail map (courtesy of the nature conservancy)
Posted By auntie on February 10, 2015
2.62 miles; charlestown, ri
i wanted to try canonchet preserves, but the parking area looked a little iffy to me, so i drove down to charlestown figuring the feds would have it nicely plowed out, and i was right. as usual, it was harder to get myself motivated to go out there than actually doing it. although this time out i inexplicably got a nasty blister on my left heel. no idea how that happened, or why.
it isn’t until you get out on these preserves in the snow that you see just how busy they really are. the cross-refuge trail was a maze of tracks. i recognized bunnies and deer, and there were canid tracks of some kind, and even some that i suspect were bobcat.
the littlest snow person
and there were even some human tracks, and someone made this teeny little snow person. so cute. the snow today wasn’t too deep out here, and this person who i was reverse-following (he went counterclockwise, i went clockwise) didn’t appear to have on either snowshoes or any sort of traction devices. there was a scant inch of powdery snow over a packed-down crust, and i probably could have gotten by without the snowshoes myself, as this person didn’t seem to do much “post-holeing,” or breaking through.
foster cove loop trail
the 1-mile loop trail was even more packed down than the cross-refuge trail.
you can find ninigret in the hikefinder. trailhead, trail map (courtesy of the national wildlife service).
Posted By auntie on January 31, 2015
3.32 miles; south kingstown, ri
3 miles of snowshoeing is a lot harder than 3 miles of hiking. i now know this from actual experience, especially since i broke trail on at least half of that distance. can’t say i enjoyed it, exactly, but i am now excited to go on shorter trails that i wouldn’t be interested in hiking. so there’s that.
it was a glorious day in the woods, if you could somehow overlook the foot or so of snow. once i got past the point where other people gave up and turned around (not sure what that says about me), the unbroken trail was criss-crossed with animal tracks. those tracks you see in the photo above are not human, they’re some sort of canid—dog, fox, coyote, wolf—something like that. okay, prolly not wolf. prolly.
as an aside, i apologize for the lack of photos, but when it’s 19-degrees out, i find myself strangely reluctant to pull my gloves off for anything, much less for picture-taking. in fact, for the first mile or so of this slog, i had my mittens on, with hand-warmers fired up inside, and my hands were still cold. it took a mile’s worth of snowshoeing to get them warm enough for gloves.
you can find browning woods in the hikefinder. trailhead, trail map—courtesy the south kingstown land trust.