April 16, 2017

Easter Hike at Woodchuck Hill

We had to spend some lazy hours at home this morning, due to the Easter holiday and the excitable youth.  This was somewhat challenging for me, since it was so gorgeous outside.  The woods were calling!  I would love to build a tradition of taking an Easter hike, and we have incorporated Easter candy on several occasions (Frankie brings a plastic goldfish stuffed with Easter candy and nibbles along the way).  However, storms were predicted for the afternoon and I could see them barreling towards us on the radar.  We needed a short hike somewhere close by.  I remembered my promise to take Frankie back to Woodchuck Hill, and that seemed perfect given our constraints.  I threw some snacks in my pack so we could have a picnic in the treehouse, and off we went, Easter fish in tow.

Last time we came here, we set out from the parking area heading west on the yellow trail, then turned off on the blue trail and continued west, eventually retracing our steps for an out-and-back.  Today we ventured east on the yellow trail, taking the spur to the scenic bench, then continuing along to complete the 1.0-mile loop.  By going this way, we didn't encounter the treehouse until we were almost back to the parking lot, giving us lots of time to explore the marsh before the obligatory picnic.  We went off trail, and were able to get quite a ways out into the marsh by walking atop a beaver dam.  This was great fun, and Frankie enjoyed playing with the dried Phragmites stalks, using them "to build a splash factory" among other things.

When we got to the treehouse, we climbed up, snacked, and hung out for a long time.  The winds kicked up as the front moved in, and we decided to move on.  I hadn't been to Woodchuck Hill in the spring before, and I was a bit disappointed by the lack of native wildflowers.  Otherwise, this was a great little outing.  Long live the Easter fish! 

spicebush (Lindera benzoin)

coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara)

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