It snowed again on the valley floor last night. An inch according to our snow gauges (top of the picnic table; how high the cat jumps). Road conditions at altitude were sub-optimal, so instead of trying to go snowshoeing, we went for a snowy walk in nearby Forest Park. All the trees and shrubs were flocked with fluffy snow, making our walk a truly magical experience. The sun even appeared from time to time. When it did, all that fluffy snow came raining down on us. o_O Not quite as magical, but still good.

On our (many) other hikes here we’ve usually gone high on trails along or over the ridges that form the park. This time we stayed low. From Parking Area 1, we went up along Jackson Creek (which was gushing with water) on the Rail Trail, then up along Cantrall Creek (also gushing) on the Cantrall Creek Trail to Parking Area 6. From there, we returned on the Steep Canyon Rangers, Naversen Family, and Boulder Trails – churning through up to a foot of snow on some of these trails. Back at the parking area, after 4.8 miles and 780 feet of gain, we found new park maps that had been updated to show several new trails – like the Knobcone Pine and the upper Rattlesnake. Sigh. More hiking will now be necessary to explore these new paths. 😉

The hat (and brave smile) makes the hiker
Jackson Creek
The old Jacksonville Reservoir
Along the Rail Trail
The seasonal pond at Parking Area 4
Along the Cantrall Creek Trail
The little waterfall in Cantrall Creek
Along the Steep Canyon Rangers Trail
Connecting with the Naversen
The Dick Ames Shelter on the Naversen Family Trail
Twin Peaks from the shelter
Down the Naversen
The restored wetlands at Jacksonville Reservoir