Some trails should be done in shoulder season. In late fall, the high country gets blanketed in snow, but the hills just above the City can still be hiked until the snows cover the City, then melt enough to ice up. Then, in early spring, open hillsides get more sunlight and wind circulation, melting the snows, and drying more quickly.
The Lower Rose Trails start a short ways up Rose Hill Road (at 399 m elevation). Since the area is mostly treeless, the dirt tracks are a good choice when sheltered areas are icy or muddy. We hiked these trails again in mid-December and had dry conditions.
Old double tracks now combine with mountain bike single tracks giving us a number of loop possibilities (map). We like to start at the old double track just below the Rose Hill Trailer Park.
If you try out these trails, there will be many small trail junctions. We go south to the foot of the hill, then follow the trail east under the hill for as long as we can, then choose one of the paths going north to the Orchard Road area, before returning on one of the routes going west. It may take a couple of hikes in the area to find the best link-ups. Better yet, go with friends to help you explore the Lower Rose Trails.