While I figured it would still be a bit mucky I didn't want to let a day of decent weather pass without enjoying a little trail hiking before heading back to work. So, I decided to make my first trip of the season over to the Birchwood Trail. I have yet to hike the entire trail system here. My favorite short hike takes me from the trail head down into the valley and across Conn Creek, where I skirt the north side before crossing back over. The route is only about 2km (sometimes a bit longer if I get turned around in the valley) and is a great way to spend an hour or two. I took my binoculars along (as well as the camera obviously) for a little birding. While I did see plenty of chickadees and juncos, as well as the ever-present raven, I did have to be on the look out for other things....
Don't worry. I didn't see any bears, though I'm sure with parts of the trail in the condition it was in, any bear around would hear me. Walking up this little section definitely tested my agility. Skittering about and dancing like a squirrel on steroids, I managed not to badly.
Speaking of squirrels, the trails (for the Birchwood Trail is in reality several interconnecting trails) are all named after various animals...in this case "squirrel" and "bear". As if I didn't need yet another reminder that this is bear season here.
The photo doesn't really do it justice, but it was rather slick here with all the ice.
Passing some dead fall as I made my way further into the valley.
As expected, Conn Creek was over its banks. The ground around this area is actually quite mobile. With the spring flooding, erosion and the whole freeze/thaw cycle the trails are always shifting. A few spots I'm sure can be a real treat when it comes to maintenance.
Here is one of two bridges I crossed, this one to get back over to the south side of the valley.
Conn Creek waking up from a long winter's slumber.