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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Ellen and Joan Go to Silver Creek Pathway


Ellen and I made plans to go snowshoeing today at Silver Creek Pathway. It's just north of the tiny village of Luther, and about 50 miles from my place. After all the snow this week, we realized that we probably weren't up to snowshoeing the entire four-mile loop in unbroken snow, so we considered just going someplace nearer home. In the end, we decided to head for Silver Creek. It was SO worth it!

Silver Creek Bridge

This trail is a loop on both sides of the Pine River. The southern end of the loop is the Silver Creek Bridge. After a bitter-cold dawn, the morning warmed into the 20s, and the sun even showed itself from time to time. We couldn't have asked for a better day for an adventure. Even the wind finally gave up.

Pine River

Don't get confused. The bridge actually crosses the Pine River. Just a little farther downstream, the Pine is highly popular with canoeists and kayakers. Here, it's a fast-moving but shallow river.

Silver Creek Pathway

Almost as soon as you cross the big bridge and head north along the river, you cross a small bridge over a small creek, which flows into the Pine. However, this is not Silver Creek, which flows in from the east.

Pine River

The trail on that side of the river is just one treat after another! The banks are usually ten to twenty feet above the water, with cedar, or hemlock trees overhanging the water. We kept stopping just to enjoy the views and the gurgle of the rippling water.

Silver Creek Pathway

In a few places, the land dips down closer to the water level, and the trail slips through groves of cedars. I've hiked this trail several times in other seasons, but this was my first winter trip.

The snow was deep and unbroken except for deer trails, so we were working pretty hard. Even so, we estimate that we made it about 1.5 miles up the west side of the river. Then we found a log to clear that we could sit on and eat our lunch. We considered going farther, because of course, the walk back would be much easier- following our own tracks, but decided that we probably had done about enough.

We returned to the car without it being a death march, an excellent situation! There were some guys camped near the bridge. Yes, in a tent. They were from Indiana, and come up for one weekend every year. One of them took our picture, and then they were heading out to play "snow golf," which involved one wedge, a bucket full of orange plastic golf balls, and a make-it-up-as-you-go golf course. All together, we were out for 3.5 hours.

It was a darn-near perfect outing! I'll have more to share in the next few days.

For other outing with Ellen, see Gale's Pond
See Bowman Lake Excursion
... and others!


Ferd said...

What a GREAT hike!!!
Thank you so much for sharing the details!
Loved the pix!

betchai said...

love snowshoeing too Joan, glad to see you have such a good time.

Ann said...

sounds like you and Ellen had a perfect day, Love the pictures, it does look like a very nice place for a hike.

rainfield61 said...

Such a great hike, especially with a friend around.

Lin said...

I actually said these words the other day:

"I need some snowshoes like Joan."

I'm a Joan wannabee!

Sharkbytes said...

Ferd- I try hard to provide my readers with great hikes! (I'm afraid my true motives are a bit more selfish- haha)

betchai- do you actually get to snowshoe? I don't see much snow in your pictures.

Ann- It was just superb- and the weather today wasn't nearly as nice- we sure did it right!

rainfield- yes, Ellen and I always have a great time!

Lin- I'm dangerous! My obsessions will rub off on you if you hang around long enough.

wiseacre said...

It looks a lot like my neck of the woods except you have a lot more open water.

I had planned on hike about the same distance this week-end but ended up on top of the garage. The blizzard brought wet snow and warm temps that had to shoveled off the roof. I can't complain - dealing with frozen water pipes and pump is a pain in the you know what.

Sharkbytes said...

wiseacre- We are very similar to you, but we don't have many yellow birch here. Roofs and pumps yell loudly when they call.

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