Sunday, March 20, 2011
Winter on the Secret-Lamoille Trail
I wasn't into the big time commitment necessary for a ski tour today, and so decided to go for a quick winter hike on the under-construction Secret-Lamoille Trail. What a nice change of pace!
I was gratified to see a lot of tracks on the trail - it's clearly getting steady winter use, which just goes to validate the years of work I and others put into getting this project off the ground. It makes sense, though - not everybody wants to use a motor for winter fun, and not everybody is a backcountry skier. An accessible lower-elevation trail like this is going to see use by folks who want to get out and enjoy the winter mountains in a low-commitment kind of way.
Right now, the trail surface varies between mud, frozen mud and snow. It's quite walkable, but if you have the option go early in the morning to enhance the chance that you'll be walking on a frozen trail surface. It'll be easier walking and better for the trail. Snowshoes are no longer necessary.
The trail is very easy to find for about the first 1.5 miles, where the GBI crews left off working last summer. After that, the line is still very much there but it's a little harder to locate in spots. If you're up there and can't see where the trail goes, look behind you. The difficult-to-find places were, by and large, undefined switchbacks.
The views up there in the winter are astounding, even with a little spindrift thrown in for fun.