February 20, 2016.
On a particularly warm (and by warm, I mean 60 degree) day in February, we set off to explore the Allegheny Trail on the other side of where it crosses US Highway 33. The trail follows the stream for the first little stretch and is quite narrow in places. It’s also a bit crumbly in spots- choose your footing carefully. The trail will slope downhill in 2 very short, steep switchbacks. Here, you’ll have to cross the stream. It was fairly low at this time of the year and easy to cross.20160220_135014You’ll wind your way along a field and beside the stream before the trail takes an uphill curve. It’s not too steep of an uphill grade. 20160220_133958
This photo is looking back downhill of where we came up. Not too steep at all. After you round the ridge, you’ll see the river again and the trail will level out. This side also has more of a dense, cool red spruce forest than the other side of the ridge. We came upon an area where an ice dam had just broken loose…12716061_10209270635067589_1058492172089441619_oSo that’s something to keep in mind during the early spring warm-up. The pieces were huge and strewn way above the banks of the river.12748138_10209276110644475_10028644183093320_o
I’m 5’8″ for a size comparison. And no worries, I chose a spot far away from the water and one that I definitely couldn’t fall through for the photo. We found a few small fish among the ice, but other than that it seemed relatively non-destructive. We chose this as our turn-around point since winter daylight hours are so short-lived.