#AtoZChallenge | T is for Trees and Trail Markers

In the winter, when the trees have shed their leaves and all that remains are the bare branches some unique, interesting natural sculptures begin to appear. I’m drawn to trees that are different and I don’t think I’m alone because many of the trail markers that I see on our hikes are placed on the most unique trees.

Some trail markers are painted on to the trees while others are actual tags that are attached and as we’ve grown in our hiking experience we’ve gotten a lot better at spotting them. Fortunately, at least for us, it seems to be a little easier in the winter which is good because the actual trail can be more challenging to find when the ground is covered in snow and you can’t always trust the trampled path of those that went before you. Sometimes they wander off the main trail so you need to rely on your trail markers.

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#AtoZChallenge | R is for a Rocky Waterfall and Trekking Through the Snow

The sign letting us know we were only 1,000 feet from the entrance to Screw Auger Falls prompted us to slow down. We’d been to the falls before which I blogged about in my post Hiking Maine | Following in the path of the Ultimate Maine Waterfalls Road Trip so we had a general sense of where we were going. As we got closer, the lack of a break in the snowbank confused us until we saw the sign for the entrance resting on top. Apparently the parking lot to the falls is not open in the winter.

We debated continuing onto our next destination but knew the falls were only a short distance from the entrance so we pulled the car onto the shoulder and parked. After scrambling over the snow bank, we saw a single row of footprints leading in the general direction of the falls. I mirrored the steps and began the short hike to the falls. Occasionally, my weight would push through the top layer of snow plunging my leg into the unknown and slowing down our progress. We proceeded with caution.

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#AtoZChallenge | N is for the Noyes Trail in Norway and Skiing Past Tense

I use to ski. If there were a way to make that statement not just past tense, but past-past tense it would be more accurate. It has been at least thirty-five years since I skied last but I have fond memories of being on the slopes even if my first attempt did result in frostbite. Fortunately, my toes thawed.

My childhood best friend’s family skied every weekend and I was lucky enough to tag along on many trips to the ski resort. There was also an active ski club in my high school. Every Friday night, we headed to the mountain. Skiing is big in Maine.

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#AtoZChallenge | F is for Four Winter Hikes and Extra Points in Scattegories

One of my favorite cold weather activities is hiking. Fortunately, we have an abundance of trails in Maine but I don’t always blog about every hike that we take. So, for today’s challenge post, I’m sharing pictures from four different hikes we took this past winter.

Have you ever played Scattegories? It’s one of my favorite games. The basic premise is that you roll a letter dice, and then you have to think of words that begin with that letter for various categories . If you come up with multiple words that start with that letter for a category, you get extra points. This post gets extra points since the name of three of the four trails that we hiked also begin with the letter F.

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#AtoZChallenge | C is for a Coastal Hike at Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park

Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park is a gorgeous coastal hike. It’s my favorite type of trail. After hiking through the forest, you take a short passage down to the ocean’s edge and emerge onto stunning coastal views.

We did this hike as winter was winding down last year, so the snow was manageable as we hiked through the forest, although we did still need our crampons. When the weather starts warming up,  you need to be extra cautious about ice. Since there is a lot of melting and refreezing happening at this time of year, there can be some hidden slick spots.

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