I parked at the road closure. Normally the trail I was going to hike was accessed at a campground. Being short and easy, it gets mobbed in the summer, not to mention the bustle of the campground itself. I would never venture here then. But now, it was a different story. Because snow closes access to the trailhead, this would be a deserted six mile walk.
I hiked along the bike path, now buried by snow and ice. Because it's been a mild winter, I didn't need snowshoes, only microspikes. The path passed several cabins, seasonal inholdings boarded up for winter. I briefly imagined living in one of them, accessing it by skis and enjoying the solitude. But they are only summer cabins, and there was no footprints around any of them. I continued on into the silent campground.
It was hard to believe that this campground would be full of activity in only a few months. I took a detour down to the beach, where the lake was framed by mountains covered in white. There was nobody around.
The trail itself climbed gently to an overlook point. Some snowshoers clattered down the path, probably deciding they would rather wear them than carry them. I had the point to myself, something that would never happen in the summer.
Readers of this blog, and honestly anyone who knows me, know that I love summer and summer hiking. But winter, with its lack of tourists and even most local hikers, lets me get to these places that normally are overrun with people. It allows me to appreciate the little things, like a snow covered bike path and a quiet campground. It's easy to get caught up in the idea that I should always be striving for an epic outing, climbing a peak or covering hard miles. But there's just as much beauty in places like this.