With snow finally sticking to the ground, winter digs in its feet, ready to stand its ground for the next several months. Winter isn’t my favorite season of the year, but I do appreciate the comfort and opportunities it yields once I accept and allow it to. Although there is always the urge to simply hibernate and wait for it to pass, I have to remind myself to bundle up and make an effort to get outdoors to behold the beauty that this final cycle of nature. These are a few of the places I’ll be hoping to get to in order to soak up the stillness of the upcoming months.
Hiking along the Buttermilk Falls gorge in the winter, when the water is frozen over and icicles hang along the rim, is a much different experience than exploring it in the summer when the water flows through and visitors flood in to enjoy the weather and the falls. This is a wonderful place to take a camera during the winter months to capture everything iced-over. `
South Hill Recreational Trail
Last year I lived close to the entrance of the South Hill Recreational Trail (which is also very near to the entrance of Ithaca College). This trail, which is special in that it has little offshoot trails that bring you further into the woods and free to explore, was a beautiful reprieve from the congestion of campus or the workload of a busy semester.
I only recently visited Sapsucker Woods for the first time, a sanctuary attached to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The sanctuary is home to five trails, all under a mile and on flat land, making for a relaxing walk. Benches and shelters pop up in various spots, allowing for a moment of comfortable reflection in the woods.
This tremendous waterfall is an awe-inspiring visit to make all year round. There’s something about seeing the enormous waterfall frozen, and imagining the moment of thaw that leads to its collapsing, which strikes me as particularly powerful and gorgeous.