A few posts previous I shared our August 2016 hike at the Parkville Nature Sanctuary. I mentioned that it would be great to see the same trail in the winter. Today we had planned initially to hike a four-mile trail at a state park about 1.5 hours from home. It was to be a new park for us and we thought a hike in the snow would be beautiful and four miles doable. Upon waking this morning we saw that the temperature was not to reach thirty degrees so instead of heading so far away, we stayed closer to home and hiked two trails that equaled a shorter distance.
We returned to the Parkville Nature Sanctuary and hiked the Old Kate Trail (OKT) again as well as the White Tail Trail. The total distance was 2.4 miles. Hiking in the winter gives such a different perspective because the leaves aren't obstructing the view, and the snow just adds a touch of glamour (I think) to the walk. Today's hike didn't disappoint, which was great since our initial plans were scrapped.
When we began the temperature was only 13 degrees! We've never hiked in weather that cold, but we were bundled up the most we've ever been and the kids didn't complain once. We asked them repeatedly about their hands and feet and they were always fine.
The OKT looked totally different than the previous summer. The waterfall was, of course, not roaring, but still flowing and ice sculptures could be found at many turns. Birds were abundant on the trail, but hikers were scarce - we saw only two others and they were at the falls for photos.
At the end of the OKT is the option to return to the trail head, or continue another trail loop called the White Tail Trail (WTT). Since the first trail was only .9 miles we had already planned on hiking the next 1.5 loop. The initial section took us up a steep incline for probably half a mile. Whereas the OKT trail was mostly level, I was surprised how high we were climbing and the trail was rocky besides. Once we reached the top we hiked another half mile, level with many switchbacks. The WTT earned its name today as we saw a group of approximately ten deer. We saw this group two different times and for the hunters in the family this was a special treat. The trail ended with a half mile descent and then we were back to the trail head.
I didn't take as many pictures of this trail I suppose because the scenery was more consistent than the varied OKT. However, I really enjoyed this trail: the ascent, switchbacks, descent, single-track trail, birds and deer to view. The snow did not impede our hiking, either. The only time it was slippery was when walking on wooden bridges.
The title of this post has "1 of 40" written before the names of the trails. This is because we have a goal to hike at least 40 times this year since it's the year I turn 40. Our hiking from October to December of last year gave us the idea since we hiked frequently. We think forty hikes is doable with our schedule and with planning long weekend getaways that are devoted to hiking. It's just something fun to track this year since I track our hiking on this blog already.