Thursday, January 20, 2011

Snowshoeing - Moccasin Kill Sanctuary

The Moccasin Kill Sanctuary is yet another of the many natural areas that we're lucky to have so close to home. It's not a place I'd ever dream of skiing, because of the steep-sided ravines and the trails that traverse them. But it's a beautiful and scenic place for snowshoeing, and today there was no shortage of snow, crunchy though it was.

There was about 8-10" of snow underneath an icy crust from this week's freezing rain, with another inch or two of new snow on top. I started out following a trail that had been broken before the ice storm, and then headed off on the blue trail, which hadn't been broken in quite some time. It was also all uphill at the start, so it was a pretty good workout. Coming down, it was common to have the snowshoe break through the icy crust and slide forward, catching the toe underneath. No face plants, but I was close.

Then I picked up the orange loop, and followed it to a spur trail down a ridge with old acorn markers. These soon petered out and I gave up following it, though at one point in the past, I think there may have been an open view across the Mohawk River down there farther.

Following a narrow ridge top, I was back to the car in about an hour or so after an invigorating walk on a very pretty day.

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