Sunday, January 13, 2008

Snowshoe Trek Event

Despite the rain earlier in the week the eight folks who showed up for our January 12th snowshoe trek all had a great time! I have led over a half dozen guided treks up Libby Hill and each time I arrive 30 minutes before the event. Doreen, my wife, always comes along to assist and we watch to see who will arrive. You can get 3 to 20 people for an event so you never know what to expect.

Just before 1pm the cars started to appear and we had 8 folks ready to experience Libby Hill for the first time. Several folks were trying snowshoes for first time as well. Our recreation department lent us 6 pairs of snowshoes which worked out perfect. Word on the street is that the early snow has caused snowshoe sales to deplete inventories at local ski shops.

After getting everyone fitted and adjusting for a couple of binding issues, we headed off for the Harold Libbey Trail. I start off with a quick overview of Libby Hill Trails at the entrance to the trails. The first thing I notice is that folks new to the trails are amazed that Gray has such a developed recreation space. Unfortunately, if you just drove up to our parking lot it is hard to imagine that a great recreation space is hidden just behind the school. As we climb Libby Hill on the Moose Odyssey Trail, the snowshoers are getting limbered up and enjoying the spring like sun we had yesterday. We catch our breath at the Harold Libbey monument and I share how lucky we are to have visionary land owners in Gray who donated this land.

After a water break and cordial conversations on break we start down the Harold Libbey Trail. I can see the new trail users are surprised at how much different the snowshoe trail is from the ski trail. They wind through sun drenched woods and pillowed boulders. We go at a leisurely pace that allows for conversations and we all realize how much fun it is to meet new people and get a little casual exercise to boot!

We cross the new bridge and then three of our trekkers are also geocachers and decide to take a shot at finding Daniel Libby's Locker. It was a great chance to have others learn what geocaching is all about and when the cache was found and opened everyone was excited to see what treasures were contained within.

Next we went off trail down the side of the horseback to Thayer brook. We discovered a hidden waterfalls and saw that beavers had come out earlier in the day to chew bark on downed trees. We got an excellent photo of one of their webbed tracks (see right). We then followed the brook downstream to rejoin the trail for the loop back. By now everyone was smiling and talking steadily as we had become a bonded group.

We ended up landing back at the parking lot extending our hike to a total of 3 hours. Like so many other guided walks, once people get out on Libby Hill they want to see more. I plan on doing some more guided walks this winter including a nature snowshoe on Jan 19th, our full moon walk on Feb 20th and our March 1st fun day. If you might be interested leave a comment here or watch our events section of the

If you want to explore on your own, don't miss our snowshoeing guide also posted on the website. I also do guided walks by appointment as well; shoot me an e-mail if you would like to arrange one.

So thanks Deb, Cherrie, Brian, Joel, Doreen, Georgia Ann and Richard for providing a great afternoon of camaraderie and outdoor fun! If you want to see all the photos you can go to this link to see and download copies.
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Our family of 3 was part of this special snowshoeing tour of Libby Hill on January 12. We were amazed that: 1) it existed; 2) that it was so big and beautiful and intriguing with all its hidden secrets; and especially 3) that the volunteers have put a significant amount of unselfish work into making it possible for people like us to enjoy. The entire tour was not only interesting and informational but serene. Steve is a wonderful guide with a lot of enthusiasm for this project. He only wants everyone to enjoy it as much as he does. We met Carl at the end of our tour. Carl has also invested a lot of time on the trails and he was just finishing with the grooming so that the high school ski team could have a race on Tuesday. We are not only hooked on snowshoeing, but Libby Hill is now one of our favorite spots. We also enjoyed meeting new people. We are looking forward to spending more time there this winter and the upcoming seasons. We know that every season and every visit will bring us many new things to explore. Looking forward to the other tours. Thanks so much to everyone who has made this beautiful place accessible to everyone.