FSPW invites hikers to enjoy snow in the Scotchmans

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(Photo courtesy CAREY CHISHOLM) Winter transforms the world of the Scotchmans at the top of Star Peak.

Snow time ainít no time to sit indoors and pout.

Put on snowshoes and come out!

(With apologies to Nora Bayes and Jack Norworth)

Winter brings a new look to ancient places like the rugged Scotchman Peaks. A winter outing is a chance to see the wonders of nature in a different light. Snow in any amount changes the scene, and deep snow changes the whole world; how we see it, how we move through it and what can be easily detected. Things we might trip over or have to climb across in summer are buried. Snowshoe hares, squirrels and field mice and the large and small critters that prey on them leave tracks that often tell the story of the struggle for survival. Mountain lions and white tail deer; wolves and moose. They are all out there in the wild white world of the Scotchmans, and winter hikers are often treated to discovering their traces in the snow.

Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness invite you to join them in our wild back yard for a snowshoe hike and a chance to experience planet winter. The Friends have a lineup of outings that meet fitness level requirements from not-so-bad to over-the-top. This season, FSPW has hikes to the Ross Creek Cedars and in the East Fork of Blue Creek that are in the moderately strenuous range plus hikes to Goat Mountain and Star Peak that qualify as classic cardio-fests.

Even if no nature drama unfolds on your route, there are still the views. A snow-laden world is a world transformed. Places like Ross Creek Cedars become otherworldly. Weird sculptures and shapes abound and the planet is hushed by a frozen quilt. Rime-covered trees bend and twist under icy loads and sometimes shed their coats in sparkling, powdery light shows. The wild Scotchmans put on a magic show in winter. FSPW invites you to hike with them into the theater of snow.

Itís easy to sign up for a FSPW hike online at scotchmanpeaks.org/hiking/current-hiking-schedule/ If you have a favorite spot in the Scotchmans that you would like to lead others to this winter, you will find a hike proposal form at scotchmanpeaks.org/hiking/leading-hikes.

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