January proved a bit erratic in the weather department; dropping several inches of snow one day followed by rising temperatures and an inch of rain another day. But one day towards the middle of the month, the temperatures were seasonable and with the ground covered with snow we decided to explore Ash Point Preserve in Owls Head.
Not knowing what to expect, we threw both the spikes and the snowshoes in the car and headed towards this new trail near the Owls Head Lighthouse. The trail at Ash Point was new, having only been opened sometime last summer. I was pleased to see that the preserve was clearly marked and the parking area had been cleared, saving us from parking along the road. Seeing that the trail was really packed down, we donned the spikes and headed on our way.
The first part of the trail ran along the property line of a private residence. Once we walked beyond the back of the house and through a gap in a stone wall we found ourselves in a winter wonderland. While admiring the snow covered woods, I discovered a tree bearing the biggest burl I have ever seen. We joked a bit about the line in the movie Kindergarten Cop about “it’s not a tumor” but then we followed it with “well, yeah it is” before continuing on towards the shore.
The trail curved and we meandered some distance along the coast. One of the problems with hiking through snowy terrain is that the white stuff on the ground tends to hide the obstacles underneath. Sure enough, I caught an almost ground level stump and found myself sprawled face down in the snow. (The beauty of snow is that when one falls, the landing is pretty soft). Once I righted myself I found that there were many opportunities to stop and really take in the icy views. On one side of the trail, I found icicles hanging from a nearby pine tree. Turning towards the water I had to study a white blanketed island in the distance.
Most of the coast line was below us but there were a few places where we could have headed towards the rocks for better views. Given the potential of ice underneath the white carpet, we decided to satisfy ourselves with glimpses of the water from the safe distance within the woods.
Eventually, the trail curved back away from the water. At one point, my husband grabbed the camera to try to get a picture of the snow-covered trees lining the path but once he was done with that he turned the camera towards me. Now, I hate having my pictures taken but he just kept shutting away, even catching me sticking my tongue out at him. It wasn’t until I picked up some snow and aimed it at him (he also captured that on camera) that he stopped. Once we continued on our way, it wasn’t long before we were back in the car heading towards another new trail a few miles up the road.