The hills cover in snow and hiking is still possible, but more difficult. Snowshoeing and winter hiking are good choices, but we can also walk/hike along the shores and beaches of our rivers in winter. The lowest flow of the year is in the winter, so the beaches are wider and longer. They are at the lowest elevation of the area (1100 feet), more prone to melting. The exposed beaches also get more sun and melt from winds (evaporation) so the snow consolidates.
For hikers/walkers looking for scenic routes when paths are icy and the hills are snowbound, the beaches are a good choice. One of the best of these are the beaches from the start of the Rivers Trail. From Tranquille Road, turn onto Aviation Way and park at the end. The trail starts on the dike and continues all the way to Cinnamon Ridge. This trail usually is hard-packed, but it may be icy in winter. We carry traction devices (microspikes) to pull over our boots for slippery conditions.
From the Rivers Trail, informal routes lead down to the snow-covered beaches. Right next to the river itself, narrow sandy stretches invite us to feel the ground beneath our feet. If the sun is shining, a warm glow is reflected on the water.
Across the river are the hills above the Landfill/Waste Treatment areas, blanketed in winter snows. The hill on the far right is a fine viewpoint (see Lower Winter Sun).
More winter beach hikes will follow:
- Cooney Bay
- Schubert Drive
- North Thompson