The weather outside is frightful… but hiking outdoors can be quite delightful. While there are many perks of staying in door during the frigid months, hiking in the winter comes with its own rewards, for instance the beautifully scenic trails. Although hot chocolate and snuggle buddies may keep you from baring the cold, according to NPR Punxsutawney Phil predicts spring will be sprung soon enough. With that, why wait to embrace the groundhog’s expectations and burry your inner snow bunny and unbury the hiking gear! It’s time to check out of the cozy cabins you’ve been lodged in all winter and check into spring early.
Now that I’ve convinced you to emerge from hibernation, don’t be ashamed that you may have eaten one too many cookies this holiday season, we all have. No need to be intimidated by all the working out you didn’t do over these months, and begin simply with these trails we like to consider an easy start.
1. Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, CO
This National Natural Landmark in Colorado Springs, with its amazing views of Pikes Peak and other natural formations like “Kissing Camels” and “Three Graces” makes for a visually compelling trail. For 15 miles Garden of the Gods “reveals 300 million years of geological history and is one of the most extensive pictures of earths history” according to the Colorado Springs resort website.
Photo courtesy | MarLeah Cole
2. Robert Frost Trail, Mount Holyoke Range S.P., MA
The enchanting Robert Frost Trail is 47 miles long of history. Where Robert Frost himself once lived the trail is among the five longest trails in MA. The Robert Frost trail is lovely in its scenery and its history. Along the trail Robert Frost poems can be found posted along the way, establishing a strong sense of imagery that Frost uses in his writing.
Photo courtesy | Nicholas Veltri
3. Delaware Water Gap, NJ and PA
With more than 100 miles of hiking trails surrounded by beautiful landscapes and historical structures, and landscapes, hiking in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is abundant in scenery and activity. The National Parks Service site notes that every season “offers a special reward” and during the winter “the absence of deciduous leaves opens new vistas along trails and reveals stone walls, foundations, and other reminders of past residents,” making it enjoyable at any time.
Photo courtesy | Peter Miller
4. Franklin Falls, Mt, Baker-Snoqualmie N.F., WA
At any time the Franklin Falls is a great view, but during the winter the falls are known for having “incredible icicle formations” that are a real neat sight according to Washington Trails Association. The trail to the falls is between 2-4 miles and is a great combination of ease and wintery fun as the area receives a lot of snow and the hike is known for needing traction and poles at some points.
Photo courtesy | James Marvin Phelps
5. Brockway Summit, North Lake Tahoe, CA and NV
For the adventurous and active, Lake Tahoe offers an array of winter activities for all. Among those is the Brockway Summit a smaller section of the Tahoe Rim Trail. As reported by USA Today, Andy Chapman, The North Lake Tahoe Marketing Cooperative Spokesman says about the trail, “it’s gorgeous, easy to access, and a relatively quick trip.” From the top “you can see all of Lake Tahoe from Squaw Valley to Heavenly in South Shore, Mount Tallac, Crystal Bay and Beyond” says the spokesman.
Photo courtesy | Christian Arballo
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