Monday, January 18, 2016

The Snowless Snowshoe Hike

We tried to plan ahead for a change and scheduled a series of winter hikes in advance.  The first hike of the new year was to be our snowshoe hike on January 17, 2016.  Unfortunately, Mother Nature was a bit fickle in the snow department this year (careful, don't curse us), and the woods were pretty dry.  But 17 intrepid adventurers (+ Teddy) came out to enjoy the nice winter weather.

We met at the Shelton Dog Park on Rt. 108 & headed out along the trails at Shelton Lakes.  Here's the before picture so we knew how many hikers we should finish up with.

Rich lead us off on the Dog Paw Path to a section of the Paugussett Trail and then west along Oak Valley Trail.

We crossed the powerlines and followed Oak Valley Trail between Rt. 108 & the red maple swamp.

Bill Dyer and Bob Wood circulating up and down the line as everyone followed the trail. 

Luis and I were sweepers for much of the hike.  And we didn't lose anybody this time.

We worked our way up to the old Cam homestead and discussed the history of the property and the people who lived there in the 1800's.  Much of the wooded area that we see today was cleared for farms and pastures at that time.  Next time you're driving by on Rt 108 just try to picture what the houses and woods of today looked like in the 1790's with freed black slaves farming their fields with herds of cattle along "Popple Hollow".

We continued down historic Oak Valley Road.  Bill showed the hikers how to hop over some of the wet spots near the gas pipeline, as we moved onto the RecPath, then over to the Flower Trail, and entered into Eklund Garden.

We assured the younger hikers that there were no alligators in the pond below; just wood frogs and spring peepers come Springtime.

Now here's some future gardeners and trail volunteers.  Maybe they can come back when the garden is in bloom later this year and take a similar picture.

We had a great time going over to the Paugussett Trail along Hope Lake, and back to the Dog Park.  Rich did a great job leading and we didn't lose anybody.  It was fun to go exploring with old friends, familiar faces, and some new hikers.  Our next hike is scheduled for February 14th.  Maybe we'll have some snow by then.

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