A few days before the walk I’d done a scouting trip and reported to all 15 who had signed up that: “Last year at this time the snow had melted and trails were reasonably dry. Not so this year. The upper trails were mostly ice and hardpacked (but getting slushy) snow, with stretches of mud in between.” I told them know that traction would be needed, and to be prepared for ice and mud. As a result, eight cancelled before Sunday morning.
So five of us met at the Mills Riverside parking area on Rt 15 at 9 AM, and after a brief wait for one no-show and one last minute meetup cancellation, we crossed the footbridge into the park. It was cold out sunny as we started out. The cold was fortunate, as many (but not all) of the muddy spots had frozen. Our route took us counter-clockwise around all the park trails, starting with the playing fields, then going up past the pavilion, gazebo, and barn to the Field Stone Loop west, the South Hill Loop west and east, the Field Stone loop east, and the Meadow loop east past the off leash area. There was a lot more ice than I would have liked for something I billed as an easy hike, but with poles and traction and by walking on patches of crusty snow and rocks, everyone managed just fine. We finished up around noon. A nice walk, despite all the ice.
Participants: Kristen, Rhonda Bennett, Gretchen Dunn, Alisa Rosenhaus, David Hathaway (leader)