Sunday, December 18, 2016


On a cold but brilliant day I snuck out for a late afternoon snowshoe ramble on a favorite loop using the Smarts Brook Trail, Tritown Trail and an unofficial mountain bike trail over a knoll with a view. Temp was 4 above at the start, 1 above at the finish, but the wind had abated and the "Arctic sun," as a friend calls it, and blue skies were beautiful.

A fine afternoon for snowshoeing on the mountain bike trail.

An interesting split boulder.

Late afternoon sun in the hardwoods.

At the top of the knoll a spur off the mountain bike trail leads to this fine clifftop viewpoint.

Jennings and Sachem Peaks.

A pretty view of Welch and Dickey Mountains and southern ridges of Mt. Tecumseh.

The snowy ledges of Welch and Dickey.

Jagged boulders and gnarled trees below the cliff.

Bald Knob at the lower end of Acteon Ridge, just across the Smarts Brook valley.

Back on the mountain bike trail, a cairn marks the town boundary between Thornton and Sandwich.

The intriguing name of the mountain bike trail.

It looks like a culvert, but is actually a hollow beech log.

Beavers at work, next to the Smarts Brook beaver pond.

A cold evening coming on at the Smarts Brook beaver pond.

Black Mountain.

The Sandwich Dome massif looms to the east.

Beaver home all buttoned up for the winter.

Sandwich Dome summit.

This tree will take a while to bring down.

Smarts Brook icing over.

Smarts Brook cascade, partly frozen.

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