January 1, 2016: My own #firstdayhike

Today, several New Hampshire State Parks are having First Day Hikes. What a wonderful idea! However, there were none being held anywhere close to me – I’d either have to drive way south to Jaffrey or Hollis, way north to Lancaster, or way out to Portsmouth along the seacoast. The two NH State Parks closest to me are Ahern in Laconia and Ellacoya in Gilford – neither of which have a hill or mountain to climb. So I decided to make my own #firstdayhike – at one of my favorite spots, Lockes Hill.

Yes, I did just hike here four days ago. But now it has a fresh(ish) coating of snow! Not enough snow yet for snowshoeing, though.

Click on any photo below to enter the gallery and read captions.

Details:
Though we got several inches of snow and sleet on Tuesday, I didn’t feel it was enough for snowshoeing. There were still a lot of rocks and roots sticking out of the snow, or hiding just below the surface. I’ll wait till we have a good foot of snow for that. So I made it a snow hike instead, and wore my microspikes for the first time (I bought them nearly a year ago and hadn’t used them yet). The microspikes worked great – I definitely would have been slipping all over the place without them.

There had definitely been people and dogs out on the trail since the snow fell on Tuesday. I even noticed some snowshoe tracks, probably at least a day old, headed up the Quarry trail when I was on my way down. However, not one other person (or dog) was out on the trail while I was there today – I doubt most people go hiking at 9 AM on New Year’s Day.

The snow and sleet/rain earlier this week made a difference in the water level at The Nursery (the old quarry site). Along the edge where the water flows out into a little stream, there were some submerged rocks that on Monday had been poking up above the surface.

Now that winter has finally arrived here in New Hampshire, I’m looking forward to many more snow hikes and snowshoeing over the next few months!

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