Winter Hikes

Winter Hikes

I knew it was bound to happen.
I would like to claim it was writer’s block.

Traveling, hiking, celebrating!
I’ve been busy.
i had a hard time deciding when and what to write about.

so i wrote nothing at all.

Now I feel I need to write the last month’s hikes down.
Before it becomes so overwhelming that I stop writing all together.
Writing is like hiking for me.
It’s good for me to get outside of myself.

The weather has been cold and snowy.
Honestly at this point, I don’t know how many Winter Storms have dropped by.
and since the storms are named in alphabetical order… I know there were more.
The storms were so frequent after Juno, I seriously lost track.

Wind chill and snow accumulation has limited my explorations, but they haven’t prevented them!
Waiting for Wednesday…

I refer to my weekly hikes as Wednesday Hikes.
whether they land on a Wednesday or not.

Recently, I’ve revisited Hayes Nature Park.


… and Mohawk Landing.

… and of course Vischer Ferry Nature Preserve.

Beaver Lodges in the distance.

I tried to find a new place to explore.

I wanted to go to a place on the map called Lock 6 State Canal Park.
the trouble was…
I had never been there before.
I couldn’t follow the road all the way Boat Launch because it wasn’t plowed.
I couldn’t find a single place to park that didn’t have a sign posted reading “No Public Access”

It was still very interesting for me to drive along Flightlock Road.
The snow along the canal locks gave me the impression that I was looking at ancient aqueducts.
I wish I could have found a place to pull over to get pictures…
or that I felt comfortable enough with my surroundings to park and walk back up the road to get some pictures…
or that somebody was with me and able to take pictures while I drove…

I decided to drive around and see if there was a main entrance to a park…
That I may have missed.
certainly wouldn’t have been the first time
I ended up in Waterford, New York.

I stopped at a parking area that looked like it could have been for some park trails.
so much snow piled up.
I honestly didn’t know where I could walk.

Canal Barges

I will have to revisit this area in the Spring.
Perhaps I’ll get a closer view…
or maybe a tour…
of the canal barges.

I explored the Zim Smith Mid-County Trail with my Love

There is this path that you can see when traveling to Nathan’s work.
We, Nathan and I, have both wanted to investigate the trail farther.
On Valentine’s Day we had the perfect opportunity.
The Zim Smith Mid-County Trail is approximately 8.5 miles.
It is considered to be the backbone of the trail systems in Saratoga County.

We hiked a 3.4 mile loop.
It was a fairly easy hike for me.
I would say moderately difficult due to the snow.
There were plenty of snowmobiles around.
So many in fact, that I added snowmobiling to my list of things to do one day.
Snow fell the whole time we were out, but it wasn’t a deterrent.
It fell thoughtfully.

We started in Round Lake, New York.
We headed, what I imagined to be, North.
The truth is I don’t really know…
Especially because we turned right, off of the main trail when we got to I-87.
… after we crossed a bridge over Round Lake Bypass.
Meaning, we had to have been traveling west at some point in the beginning.
*refers to a map…*
mostly north.
i feel better.
not too directionally challenged on this hike!

For a short bit we walked on some roads.
It was necessary in order to complete a loop and not have to do much backtracking.
We turned right when we got to Route 9
Then we took another right onto Goldfoot Road.
Finally, we took a left to get back on the trail to a parking area by Leah’s Cakery.

It was a lovely snow day.
(Winter Storm Neptune)
We even did a little bird watching.
Which always makes for a happy Alicen.

I’m looking forward to hiking along the Zim Smith Mid-County Trail again.
Maybe even ride my bike on it this year.

Bridge over Round Lake Bypass.
Trail where we turned right by I-87.
Ballston Creek.
Trail heading South East. Ballston Creek is on the right.
Directly in front, off in the snowy distance, is the bridge we crossed over Round Lake Bypass.
Round Lake Bypass is on the right.
I like using Nathan as a point of measurement.
6′ 6″ and the snow is up to his knees.
All the holes in the tree got our attention. A sapsucker’s dream.
Where the trail meets up with Route 9.
Trekking along Route 9.
Cute sheep in the snow on Goldfoot Road.


More exploration.

I had read about this Kinns Road Park while researching the Dwaas Kill Nature Preserve.
I knew that Kinns Road Park was basically across the street from the Dwaas Kill Preserve.
And since I had been to the Preserve before, I knew I’d eventually find the parking lot.
Honestly, I had intended on hiking at Dwaas Kill.
But the snow levels made parking impossible for me that day.
So I ended up taking the long way by driving around the Preserve.
I got a little lost, but only because I wasn’t exactly sure where I was.
Directionally, I did alright.
Just keep turning left…

The sun was deceptive.
it seemed like it should have been warm out.
but the wind was fierce.
Once I got going though, neither the sun or wind seemed to matter much.

I started my hike near the sign posted with all the park trails and their mileage.
I glanced at it quickly and started down the path to my left, with the blue L.
Decided to just do the loop my first time there.
I took note of the lay of the land and how the different trails meet up with the main loop.
The beginning was fairly level
and then I got to a snow covered hill in front of me.
I decided to go straight up.
I put my feet in other hikers footsteps.
The marks left from crampons made little steps for me all the way up.

I have this idea that I’m going to somehow be fit enough to climb mountains this spring and summer!

Once I made it to the top of the hill the path intersected with the main loop.
So I got back on the blue L path…
Which turned into the green L.
The green L path was very easy to stroll down.
Even in the snow.
Level for the majority of it with a ravine of sorts on the left.
Continuing on, the nearer you get to the parking lot, the more houses popped up.

Even with the winter trees being naked of their leaves.
And the sun shining crisp and clear in the cold.
The forest woods when I looked into them, they seemed dark.
They had a foreboding call to them.
the trees
the trees in the wind
hammered and cracked
and creaked and clamored

it was how i imagined the woods would be in Hansel and Gretel.
Eerily empty yet notably noisy.
a little fear (anxiety) in the air.
and as if at any moment you might accidentally stumble upon a cottage made of gingerbread.

It was a good hike. I am sure I’ll be visiting it again.

*I don’t generally pay attention to dogs rules, but I have noticed that most of the parks in Saratoga County are dog friendly.
I noticed something different about Kinns Road Park.
They are off-leash dog friendly… with a permit.
And allow three dogs off-leash at a time.
I thought it was interesting.

A nice map of all the trails in the park.
I like being able to compare with a map of my actual hike.
Failing to capture the realness of this hill.
Proof that I went straight up the hill.
Looking back down the hill.
American Beech.
American Beech from a different perspective.
I love this photo.
A view from the trail.

All hikes in this post took place between January 21st & February 25th, 2015.
I also had a group hike at the end of January in Potter County, Pennsylvania.