I’ll be honest, when I first took up hiking (all of a week ago), I didn’t think my first experience hiking in snow would be my commute to work. But in case you hadn’t heard, the Northeast region of the United States got absolutely smashed by the blizzard, Juno. I live in the area right around Stonington, Groton, and New London, Connecticut. Most major news stations listed our area as one of the hardest hit, with a total of 27 inches of snow in places.
My house was definitely one of those places.
Now, I’m familiar with blizzards, but I hadn’t quite recognized how much a blizzard with 27 inches of snow in places would completely annihilate my ability to go out hiking. I don’t own snowshoes or skis or crampons or anything of the sort. My lovely Moore Woodlands and Beebe Pond Park are covered in snow.
So yesterday, as I was grumbling about the lack of possible hiking trails, I remembered that Mystic Seaport is only about two miles from my house. It was also a perfectly sunny day. The only snow was on the ground, not falling from the sky. So I got my hiking gear on, packed normal clothes and all my work supplies in my day pack, and set out.
The first major downside was the lack of plowed sidewalks, making the hike a little more dangerous than I would have liked. The cleared sidewalks still had about three inches of snow on them, giving what I felt was a fairly authentic winter hiking experience!
But that were really the only drawbacks. The scenery was incredibly pretty, particularly once I reached downtown. I’ve been trying to take pictures from my car each time I drive through (while at an unpopulated stop sign, not while driving), but the angle is always not quite what I want.
When you’re walking through, though, you can get pretty much any angle you want. And that led to some really cool photos both on my way into work and on my way home. The river has been freezing most days, but yesterday it started having this crackled pattern that gave it a really cool texture. As I walked home, the clouds gave the sunlight this very cold, yellow light and the views along the river were stunning. And the Roann is such a photogenic boat and Mystic such a photogenic town that you really can’t go wrong!
All in all, it’s a very nice hike both ways.
Have you had interesting experiences with winter hiking? Let me know in the comments!