January 17, 2015.
On an unseasonably warm day, we decided to go check out the Allegheny Trail from Highway 33. There’s a parking area along the road; park here and walk across the bridge on the pedestrian side. We chose to head left- on the same side of the road as the parking lot. The trail starts out fairly flat, but heads steeply uphill before coming up to…..a road. We definitely could have skipped the steep part by parking along the road, but we didn’t know that it passed through the road. At any rate, we continued up the hillside through a spruce-heavy forest.
Though most of the rest of the snow had melted, the trail was still pretty snowy and slick. Pretty soon, we went around the ridge and found ourselves in a very secluded feeling forest. We made our way through a rhododendron surrounded trail and out into the open next to the river- and immediately found a freshly dismembered deer with coyote tracks all around. Not the most comforting thing to find immediately as you find yourself immersed in the secluded forest, right? We followed the trail for a while, which follows the river. It was much of the same: a hardwood forest over an icy river. The trail remained flat from here out and had a few pond-like areas that we picked our way over.After a quick lunch on a riverside flood plain, we went a little further along the trail. Most of this section was still more of the same: tree-lined, riverside flat trail. We did find a frozen waterfall along the way, where we stopped to take some photos. The entire time, I was hoping to see an ice jam or a large section of ice break off, but no such luck…until the section where we were too far from the river to actually see it, but we did hear it happening. The rest of the return was relatively uneventful, aside from some fresh coyote tracks in the snow.