Sunday, December 20, 2020

Snowy hike on Nells Loop Trail

 It was a good day to hike Nell's Loop Trail.  Sunday, peaceful, snow falling.  The temperature was near freezing so the snow had a little give to it.  I parked at John Dominick Drive, which had been plowed, and walked in toward the powerlines.

The view looking north along the powerlines was very stark, yet striking, at the same time.  What stuck me what how very quiet and muffled it was with the snow.  Not much traffic noise.  You could've been up in the Northeast Kingdom, as well as Fairfield County, for all the noise that you didn't hear in the falling snow.  This is one of the easiest hikes to get away from all the racket at the right time of the year.

After crossing the powerlines you can see where Eversource and Iroquois were out cutting brush along the powerlines earlier in the year.  The new snow covered up a lot of the recent cutting.

There were some nice trail junction signs to let you know where you were in the snowy afternoon.  There are a lot of nice neighborhood hikes that link up with Nell's Loop, and it was obvious that a number of folks had been out snowshoeing along the trails.  Even if you know the trails pretty well it's a comfortable sight to have some of the signs in the snow saying "Yup, this is where I am".

Even though the parking lots were not yet plowed out there was a lot of footprints along the Paugussett Trail and Nell's Loop at 4 Corners.  A number of snowshoe'rs were going up and down the Paugussett Trail.

There were also a lot of wildlife tracks - in this case coyote tracks along Nell's Loop.  A little further on the deer tracks were bounding ahead about 10 feet apart for some reason.  Could the coyotes have motivated a deer to move along up the trail?  There were also lots of deer tracks, squirrel tracks, some possibly fox tracks, and other animals.  It's a great time of the year to work on your animal tracking skills.

There were some friendly, little trail signs guiding you back to the parking spot and the end of John Dominick Drive.  It makes for a very peaceful hike in the falling snow.  

Helpful Trail Tip:  Just remember to allow some extra time when hiking in the snow.  "You'll take twice as long to go half the distance" as regular hiking, or so I've heard tell.  But it can be well worth it.



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