It’s Looking A Lot Like Christmas On The Greater Hazleton Rails To Trails
It is less than two weeks until Christmas. And as much as I dislike the cold white stuff we call snow, it does get one into the Christmas spirit. It does for me anyways. I loved snow in my younger years. I looked forward to it every Winter. I walked many miles in hip deep snow drifts, I sledded, ice skated and skied on the coldest of days. It was fun. But not anymore. I don’t like walking or driving in it anymore. These old bones and muscles break and strain much easier now. I don’t like it but I still deal with it.
So when I awoke to find the ground covered with about an inch of snow on the ground, with a forecast for a few more inches, I didn’t want to drive far. So I decided to stay close to home and hike on the Greater Hazleton Rails to Trails.
It was cloudy with temperatures in the mid 20’s when I arrived at the parking lot on Broad St. The snow wasn’t deep so it was easy walking on the trail. There was just enough snow to create a winter wonderland. I have to admit I enjoyed the Wintery scene . It brought back happy childhood memories of many a snowy Christmas, and also reminded me of many scenes in movies and television shows depicting the perfect Christmas setting. These scenes always included snow.
I began my usual 5 mile hike on the trail and encountered a gentlemen walking his dogs at the onset, then another young man walking back from his mile hike ( I knew this because our tracks were the only ones in the freshly Fallen snow). I didn’t see another person on my hike. I got to enjoy the Wintery scene in the quiet snow covered woodlands all to myself.
The only wildlife activity I saw was a small flock of black-capped chickadees feeding along the trail.
I often see these tiny, curious and friendly birds on my Winter hikes. They travel in flocks and usual have woodpeckers, nuthatches and kinglets accompany them. The chickadees serve as lookouts and warn the other birds of any hawks or other predators. There were only the chickadees in the small flock on the trail on Sunday.
Soon after I crossed the highway, and came to the one mile mark a light snow began to fall again. I enjoyed walking in the snow and, it was here the only other human tracks on the trail ended. I was now the first person walking in this Winter Wonderland.
The snowfall intensified for a while making for poor visibility on the trails. I enjoyed walking in the swirling snowflakes. I heard a few birds, more black-capped chickadees, a few crows, and some tufted tit-mice but I couldn’t see them in the falling snow. I also heard a flock of Canada geese honking on the reservoir below the trail.
Here I turned back and had a nice, peaceful uneventful walk on the now snowier trail. I was hoping to maybe see a bear or at least some rabbits, squirrels or deer. But not as creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
As I was finishing my hike I noticed that some of the trees at the entrance were decorated for the Christmas scene. I didn’t notice them when I started my hike. They made for the perfect ending to my wonderful wintery walk on the trail. It is a great place to hike, even in the snow and cold. Here is a link to a gallery on my blog website with some more photos from my hike. Rails to Trails December 11 2022.
I suppose it all started with the snow. You see, it was a very special kind of snow — a snow to make the happy happier and the giddy even giddier… for it was the first snow of the season. And as any child can tell you, there’s a certain magic to the very first snow, especially when it falls on the day before Christmas. For when the first snow is also a Christmas snow, well, something wonderful is bound to happen. ~Romeo Muller, Frosty the Snowman,