Sunday, March 16, 2008

The 2008 Season has begun

I had a pleasant surprise today. I went up to the Pilot Knob Ridge Preserve to check on the kiosk and to see how much snow was left on the parking lot, and to my surprise the snow banks had melted away from the road enough for me to park off the road on the shoulder. So I took the opportunity and went on my first patrol of the 2008 season. With all of the storms that we had I really wanted to at least cruise the orange trail to make sure that it was reasonably clear for the Owl Prowl next Saturday, March 22, 2008 (To sign up please contact theLGLC’s Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator Sarah Hoffman, at 518-644-9673 or email Pre-registration is required for this event). Well, not only was I able to walk the orange trail, but I hiked the blue trail also!

With the exception of one tree down across the trail on the blue trail near the waterfall, the trails are all clear!!! You can hike all the trails without snow shoes or creepers, but there are some icy spots and you are going to want to make sure your boots are waterproof. I also would recommend hiking to the Gazebo on the orange trail that goes up to the left at the first trail intersection and come down the old drive from the Gazebo.

The waterfall is beautiful, with some nice ice flows; it really is worth the hike in. Be careful where the trail crosses the stream as the rocks are icy and the water is 3’ deep in spots. There are plenty of stepping stones to get across, just use care.

Next time up I will bring my camera and post some images.

While I didn’t see any wildlife, I did see plenty of sign. There are plenty of deer on the PKR, as well as red fox as evidenced by the fresh trail I cut across on the blue trail. I also spotted an antler rub from this past fall that I had missed on my excursions during this past fall. It just further illustrates that even if you hike the same area time and time again that you will always see something different when you go for a nice hike.

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