Winter means getting geared up for snow sports. We spent endless hours researching snowshoes, learning about float and traction and finally purchase a Tubbs brand for Ann and a Fimbulvetr (Norwegian) for Billy. Then we pick up some Kahtoolla brand microspikes (crampons) and we're ready to go!
7 Dec - Woodford State Park. We try out our snowshoes on different kinds of trails in Woodford State Park. It's fun to walk on top of the snow along the wide park roads and then we are more confident to take them onto the narrow trails along the reservoir. We're both pleased with our purchases and the ability to be out and enjoy the snow.
8 Dec - Mount Anthony. The snowhoes worked so now it was time to try the microspikes (crampons). These are amazing! For light snow and slippery conditions they are perfect - we walked all over nearby Mount Anthony bushwacking through the forest with no thought of slipping or sliding.
10 Dec - Hoosac Trail to Spruce Hill. This was a 5 hour adventure in the snow. Off of Route 2 near Florida, Mass we took the Hoosac trail up to an incredible view at the top of Spruce Hill. Billy figured out how to attach the snowshoes to our backpacks so we carried both spikes and snowshoes. We started with microspikes and the trail was easy to follow until we got nearer to the top. Here there were no footprints and the blazes were harder to find. We wandered a bit here and there, but always eventually found the trail. The going was harder here - going up to snow to the knees but we were rewarded with a view at the top of the surrounding hills and valleys. We wore the snowshoes going down and it was a big help near the top - and the blazes were much easier to see coming down than going up. We got down a bit after 4:00 right as it was starting to get dark. It was an exhausting, wonderful day and boy were we tired at the end! (The burgers and French fries at Burger King were delicious!)
16 Dec - Foothills of Mt Anthony. We are out with the Green Mountain Club again this time for a short walk around the foothills of Mt Anthony, up into Southern Vermont College and then back for Harda's tea and cookies at the end. It was a drizzly day, but always fun to visit with friends. The college has a gorgeous location up on a hill overlooking the valley.
20-21 Dec - Little Pond and Pine Valley. The first day we go out in snowshoes expecting a wooded trail only to find a wide snow covered snowmobile trail for which no snowshoes were needed. It wasn't our best day so we hiked for a bit and then returned. The next day was a bright, blue day and now, knowing what to expect we return to the same spot - this time with crampons and have a beautiful walk. Little Pond was gorgeous in the snow and bright light, and the road around to Pine Valley was great as well. It's a nice loop walk with a short distance on the road to get back to the car.
29 Dec - Bushwacking Woodford State Park to Heron Pond. Our last hike of 2018 is with the Green Mountain Club on a blustery day. Today we learn how you can really bushwhack through the woods on snowshoes. We start at Woodford State Park and meander through the woods (see lots of moose droppings), along the edge of a pond, next to a creek, and loop around back to the park.