Last week, the weather turned warm for a few days and all of the snow melted. It was the perfect little bit of relief from the long winter. The warm weather and sunny, blue skies were the perfect ingredients in my recipe for a little springtime hiking. Accessing some of the trails on the island can be tricky in the winter because we have many seasonal-only roads. Now that the snow is melted the island is our oyster for exploring.
Little Sand Bay Nature Preserve is one of my favorite hikes on the island. It walks through three very distinct ecosystems. You start off walking through grassy fields with small brush and berry bushes, then the ground slopes downward and you hit a giant wall of trees. The forested section of the trail is also extremely swampy and the trees are so thick that it is significantly darker, and a bit fairy tale-ish. Finally, you hit another slight hill and the woods open up to a bright, sandy beach.
The huge changes in the ecosystems are one of my favorite things about the trail because, at least when I'm hiking alone, I feel like I can kind of let my imagination run wild. Each change can add a new twist to whatever story I'm imagining in my head. The open fields might be the happy beginning, the dark forest is the tumultuous middle, and the beach (whether bright and sunny or dark and stormy) is the conclusion to the story. It's kind of awesome if you have an active imagination.
The dogs always love this hike too because it's a decent length and there is plenty of wildlife to chase. It's a great opportunity to catch a glimpse of a beaver, our islands namesake. There are some dams on the swampy part of the trail and it's not unusual to stumble on one in the water. Eagles and other beautiful birds also frequent the trail.
Spring hiking is one of my favorites. It's a great way to get a glimpse of the nice weather to come and shake off a bit of the winter dust. We always do hiking year-round in our house, but the winter outings tend to be colder, shorter, and involve much less vitamin D. Spring and summer are the best time for long, meandering hikes and camping trips. Hopefully, camping will be next on the springtime adventure list.
Your turn...Have you been enjoying a little early spring weather?
Currently listening to...This Feeling - Alabama Shakes