Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Moonlight Snowshoeing - Ushers Road State Forest

This past week was my regularly scheduled moonlight snowshoeing outing for Schenectady ADK. There hasn't been a good opportunity since late last week, but tonight turned out to be perfect. The sky was crystal clear, and the moon was 92% full and very bright. After some short-notice cancellations because of other commitments, three of us set off for Ushers Road State Forest in nearby Clifton Park.

The trail was hard-packed and crunchy after yesterday's thaw and today's refreeze, so we left the snowshoes in the car and donned microspikes instead. The northern half of the forest is deep conifers, and the woods were fairly dark, despite the bright moon. But the southern half, returning to the car, was incredibly bright in more open woods. It took us about an hour to cover the loop on a brisk evening.

Although it was interesting to try this trip in a new location, we all decided that we like Featherstonhaugh State Forest, the usual location, better for this activity. It's farther from civilization, and definitely feels like it. Tonight we had residential lights, traffic noise, and even a nearby train passing by. Despite all that, it was a beautiful evening to be out.

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