Brookhaven State Park – Blue Trail

Two inches of fresh snow had fallen over President’s Day Weekend, so we decided to dust off our snowshoes and head over to Brookhaven State Park. Knowing that it would be more BrookhavenWinterShadowof an effort to traverse the trails in snowshoes, we opted to stay on the blue trail. The blue trail runs with the longer green trail most of the way but then cuts across the park to create a shorter ramble of 1.7 miles.

I have learned, in this year of sharpening my observation skills, that winter has its own unique character, waiting to be discovered. As we walked along the first portion of the trail, I noticed the patterns left in the fresh snow from the wintery debris that had fallen from the trees. BrookhavenWinterPineI admired the arrangement of shadows created by both the twigs of undergrowth dormant for the winter and the small pine twigs cast off from the parent, towering above.

Entering the park, we decided to walk the trail in the reverse of our normal direction, so upon entering through the gate we veered on to the green trail immediately to our right. Shortly into our ramble, my husband observed that I seemed to be struggling due to the depth I was BrookhavenWinterPatternsinking into the fresh snow. Alas, that middle aged weight gain that it so impossible to get off had caused me to reach the ideal limit for my current shoes. But as mentioned in a previous post, my partner believes in the proper equipment for any hobby. Needless to say,  I had a new pair of snowshoes before the week was out.

Despite the handicap of inappropriate snowshoes, we continued on. The trail soon turned left and to our dismay we found that the fresh snow had been destroyed by tire tracks. Whoever came through made it difficult for us and cross country skiers to maneuver through the rough terrain.BrookhavenWinterHunting

Despite the difficulties, we were still able to enjoy our time outdoors and seek out the artistry created by winter. Several times we came across circular patterns in the snow. We soon discovered that this design had been created when a leaf stuck in the snow was twirled around by the arctic wind.BrookhavenWinterSun

When we reached the cutoff that would take the blue trail back towards the main path, we left the snow disrupting vehicle tracks behind. It was with some amusement that we noticed the conflicting signs at this turnoff. I wasn’t sure if we should don our blaze orange vests or proceed with the confidence that we would not be mistaken for deer. Normally, this park is a non-hunting area so we went with the thought that we would be safe and proceeded on.

As we reached the woodland road leading back towards the entrance, we observed the long shadows cast by the late afternoon sun. Despite the difficult snow conditions it had been another rewarding walk.

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