Hudson Valley Parent

November 2013

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A hike for all seasons Hudson Valley treks can be just as much fun in cold weather By ERIN WYBLE NEWCOMB T he Hudson Valley is famous for hiking, but when the last leaf falls and the "peepers" all head home, what's left for us locals over the winter? Winter hikes can take your breath away (and not just from the cold temperatures) with pristine snowscapes and frostglazed forests. I'll never forget waking up to a white Christmas last year and taking my family out for a hike at Poet's Walk in Rhinebeck. I wrapped up the baby in her carrier while my husband took off through the snow with our older daughter. We spent that Christmas morning building snowmen and mini snow castles for my daughter's new Little People toys (a Santa, an elf, and a reindeer). With the cozy gazebo nearby and the sweeping vista of the Hudson River and the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge in the background, the snow transformed the hike and our morning with its wintry magic. The whole world looks different in winter, and our favorite trails are no exception. Snow-covered trails provide great opportunities for observing and identifying animal tracks. Bare trees open up viewpoints covered by the canopy during the other three seasons. With a little preparation and the right gear, there's no reason for your family not to enjoy hiking just as much in the winter as in any season. Lots of layers Becky Copenhaver, a Tillson mother of three and co-owner of Wright Naturals, loves hiking in a fresh snowfall. She fondly recalls 16 Hudson Valley Parent n November 2013 the experience of wrapping her first child in a carrier and walking through the snowy trails with her sleeping baby. Becky recommends lots of layers and advises parents to bring along extra mittens and socks. Her family loves Smartwool socks and "a pair of Wright Naturals Cozy Hands in our pockets to keep little fingers warm." And, she adds, "hat and scarves are non-negotiable." Pleasant Valley mom of two Kerry Schwarz agrees there's no need for snow to forestall a winter walk in the woods. She cites the Scandinavian expression, "There is no bad weather, just bad clothing" and declares, "We love all-weather fun." On her blog, The Adventures of Chicolini and Company, she encour- Hiking trails in the Hudson Valley, like the Poet's Walk in Rhineback, are just as beautiful and educational in the winter as in any season.

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