Our most recent stroll in the park was in the lovely Buttermilk Falls State Park. This time of the year changes the character of hiking in both good and bad ways. In the fall and winter, parks and trails are less traveled, there are no bugs to contend with, and cooler temperatures can make for more comfortable strenuous hikes.

On the other hand, hunters are in the woods Although the overwhelming majority behave in a safe and responsible manner, it’s the occasional oddball or inexperienced hunter that gives one pause. Also, especially in the state parks, many trails are closed for the season due to hazardous conditions. (Slippery icy conditions on steep or treacherous trails, fallen or unstable rocks from freezing and thawing stresses, and unprepared or inexperienced hikers are probably the main factors.)

Although we have more limited options, it’s worth getting out anyway–it can be quite beautiful with the changing light and snowy conditions. Our recent brief hike was a good mental health elixir. We’re eager for the coming snow to give us some opportunity to get out snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Yeah, that’s it, that’s our story.