First (skiable) snow!

At last.  The results of two snowfalls this past week accumulated a sufficient depth to prompt me to blow the dust of my pair of cross-country skis and hit the trails.  First outing of the season!

After considering several local trail choices, I selected Woodcock Preserve in the Town of Clifton Park.  These trails wander through woodlands and often provide wildlife sightings or other signs of forest critters.

I started by checking out the trail map, conveniently provided in a trailhead kiosk.20170211_110322-sample

View the trails map.

Let's go! Heading out from parking lot along White Trail.

Let’s go! Heading out from parking lot along White Trail.


Making my way along north boundary (on right) and open marsh (on left).


Critter tracks crossing Yellow Trail.  I believe these may belong to a Bobcat.


White Trail nearing its intersection with Red Trail near west end of preserve.


Making my way along Red Trail in northwest portion of preserve.


Oval cavity in dead tree along White Trail along west boundary of preserve. This is the work of a Pileated Woodpecker.


Entrance of Blue Trail off White Trail. Blue Trail explores the far southern portion of the preserve.


A “grove” of dried fertile fronds of Sensitive Ferns near small pond along Blue Trail.


Along Blue Trail at southern boundary of preserve.

I saw/heard:  American Crows, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Hairy Woodpeckers, Tufted Titmouse, American Robins.  I also saw tracks from White-tailed Deer, Gray Squirrels, mice and Bobcat (? – see photo above).

In all, I made four trips around all of the trails for a total of approximately 8.5 miles.  During my last loop, my smartphone alerted me about a winter storm warning calling for 10-14″ of new snow between Sunday morning and sometime Monday.  Looking forward to my next outing…

Happy trails!


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