Carol and I enjoyed two short hikes, a geocaching loop on hardpacked trails in Ashland's Whitten Woods and a late-day snowshoe jaunt up the Drakes Brook Trail in Waterville Valley.
Whitten Woods is located off Highland Street in Ashland and has a nice little trail network leading to two low "peaks" with northern views. The trails are maintained by Squam Lakes Association.
On the way to North Peak we searched for an hour and a half for a tricky geocache, without success
Below North Peak one vantage point offered a framed vista north to Sandwich Dome, with Jennings Peak catching a sunbeam.
Carol descends off North Peak. The trail surface was hard-frozen and choppy. A good condition for Microspikes.
Looking over Little Squam Lake with Squam Lake and the Ossipee Range in the distance.
On the way back we diverted to Waterville for some good snowshoeing on the Drakes Brook Trail. A warm-weather postholer had turned around after punching through the snow bridge over Drakes Brook (solid once again after the thaw), Before the crossing there was a groomed X-C ski surface, and beyond the brook there was a smooth snowshoe track with an inch of new snow on top.
Artifact from a century-old logging camp.
The firm snow conditions were ideal for some off-trail rambling back down the valley.
The open hardwoods beckon.
Happy snowshoer in an open glade.