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Cheshire Cat Grin

Circumzenithal Arc

Winter provides a unique opportunity to change perspective and experience the land anew. The cold sharpens the senses and the uncluttered woods give glimpses of landscape not seen when the forest is in full leaf.  Cross country skiing, snowshoeing, or walking with micro-spikes on familiar trails should be on your winter bucket list.

It’s important to be prepared before you head out for your winter adventure. Layer up, and bring water. Even when you aren’t sweating you should stay hydrated! The ice and snow along the trails make for a beautiful trek, but also a potentially dangerous one. Microspikes or hiking poles are always a good idea for steeper, rockier trails in winter.

Recently, a local volunteer trail manager, Doug Clark, captured a photo of a circumzenithal arc while hiking on the Mattabesset section of the New England Trail.  The arc was formed by the reflection of sunlight on ice crystals in the clouds. If you’re out on the trails in winter, keep your phone close to your body. This will limit the draining of your battery, and allow you to capture shots like this one. Thanks, Doug!

To stay warm, check the weather forecast before you head out, and bring fatty snacks like chocolate, nuts, and cheese to provide energy for your body.

Enjoy your winter hikes and take in the stunning silence that so often accompanies freshly fallen snow. Have you had a winter hike experience you want to share? Or a photo of something you saw on your hike, like Doug’s? Send it to us and help motivate others to get outside and enjoy this chilly season.