A Winter Wonderland In March At The Greater Hazleton Rails To Trails

A Winter Wonderland In March At The Greater Hazleton Rails To Trails

Rails to trails (41 of 48)
Previous Post
Next Post

We had a mild Winter  here in Northeastern Pennsylvania this year. There  with little snow and very few bitterly cold days. . However, Winter isn’t over and this past week  we had a change in weather. It got colder and on  Friday a March  storm left us with a few inches of snow. It wasn’t a major storm, but it  was enough to  create a winter wonderland in our yards and woodlands. I didn’t want to drive  far in the snow  so I hiked close to my home in Hazle Township in Luzerne County on our local Rails to Trails. 

It was cloudy with a light wind when I arrived on the Greater Hazleton Rails to Trails Saturday morning. There was a little more snow on the ground than at my home, maybe 3 to 4 inches of powdery snow. The snow covered everything, including these bears in the picnic area near the parking lot. 

It was a beautiful scene, a real winter wonderland, but one  I would much rather walk in in December than March.  I wasn’t the only one on  the trail.  There were three sets of tracks in the newly fallen snow, two human and one animal. 

I began my hike in the winter wonderland and soon discovered who two of the sets of track belonged to. . A young man and his dog were  returning from a short hike on the trail. I knew how far they had walked by their tracks. 

I continued on the trail knowing there was only one person ahead of me. The powdery snow covered everything. The smaller  pine trees bowed under the weight of the snow., 

while the large hemlock trees stood tall  covered in the snow. 

After about a 1/2 mile I found the woman who made the other set of tracks I  hoped she walked out to the reservoir, my destination, but when I asked she said she only walked out to the one mile marker. This meant I would have to  break the newly fallen snow  when her tracks ended. We had a nice conversation and continued on  our walks. 

Near the mile marker the trail crosses a local Township highway,

and  then enters lands owned my the local Water Authority.

The woman’s tracks ended here and I was now the first human to walk on the newly fallen snow. 

There were a few other tracks on the trail, but they were made by deer. 

Other than the deer tracks there was no other sign  of wildlife activity for  the first 2 miles on the trail. I didn’t see or hear a bird or any other critter.

There was not much to photograph in this world of white. The snow blanketed  everything.  Some of the green mountain laurel leaves were visible under the powdery snow, 

as were this purple green briar vine berries, reminders of the last years warmer months and growing season. But that was about it, just white.  

It would be hard to tell what month it was as I walked in the winter wonderland. If I were to wake up here with no knowledge  of the date I would think  it were mid- Winter. 

Then, I saw these red maple buds, a sure sign it is March.   And a sure sign Spring is near despite the wintery surroundings. 

After I had walked  2 1/2 miles I came to the picnic area and dog watering station along the trail. It is a nice place for folks to rest and relax, especially in the hot Summer months.

I ended my walk  here and began my hike  back when I saw the first signs of wildlife, a few crows perched high on some trees tops, 

the cawed loudly as I approached before flying off over the wintery scene below. 

It was a nice walk back, the snow made it more difficult walking with my old muscles and bones but it wasn’t too cold and I did enjoy the peaceful wintery trail.

I encountered a few folks on my walk back, a gentleman carrying a pair of cross country skis. I asked why wasn’t using them and he said he had just purchased them and it was his first attempt to use them  He didn’t like them. I told him I tried snow shoes once and also found them cumbersome and decided it is just as easy to walk in the snow. He agreed. 

I met  two more people, a couple walking their two dogs.  A small cute dog and another  large one who, I think the large one wanted to eat me. 

I finished my hike seeing only one more living creature , this tufted titmouse. 

singing near the parking lot at the end of the trail. It wasn’t only the birds and wildlife that weren’t active. 

They were  only five people I encountered on my  5 mile hike.   I thought more folks would have been out enjoying the beautiful  March snowfall. I don’t like it, and I’d much rather be walking on a warm March day photographing robins and wood ducks and listening to spring peepers, but I will admit it was a nice walk. However, as I type this another snow storm is predicted  in our area. I am hoping it misses us or  changes to rain.  I have had enough walking in a winter wonderland for this year. I want Spring and green grass, flowers and leaves.  Here is a link to a gallery on my blog website with some  more photos from my hike in the late winter wonderland. Greater Hazleton Rails to Trails March 11 2023. 

“…there’s just something beautiful about walking on snow that nobody else has walked on. It makes you believe you’re special, even though you know you’re not.”  ― Carol Rifka Brunt

This is my first post