Wescott Trail

Wescott Trail, Wescott Preserve (1/18/2014)

When we woke up this morning the weather forecast said that there was a 30% change of snow showers in our area and the same chance in Stockton, NJ, the location of Wescott Preserve. No accumulation expected. So off we headed for the Wescott Preserve. A few minutes after hitting the road it started hailing really hard, then snowing and hailing at the same time. It snowed the entire 1-hour drive to Stockton. By the time we arrived at the preserve the forecast still said a 30% chance of snow, but the ground was beginning to get covered.

We had planned on hiking every trail on this map, so we parked at the trailhead of the Wescott Loop on Rosemount-Raven Rock Road (that's a lot of R's!), planned on doing the 0.76-mile loop, then driving to the trailhead for Peter's Trail on Strimples Mill Road and then doing an out-and-back of the entire Peter's and Mimi's trails. But by the time I put on my hiking boots it was snowing very hard. By the time we completed the 0.76-mile loop it was snowing so furiously (see the last photos) that the visibility was awful. Add to this the fact that we could hear at least a dozen gunshots coming from what seemed to be the other side of Lockatong Creek (our next destination), we doubted we'd be able to complete our plan. But we tried. We headed on a slippery road to Strimples Mill Road. When our car started sliding a bit too much for our tastes we decided to head back home, with plans on returning on another day. As luck would have it, it completely stopped snowing 15 minutes later but the presence of hunter's vehicles made us to decide to return the next day (Sunday) when hunting was prohibited.

The Wescott Trail is a beautiful little loop with gorgeous views over the Lockatong Creek. During the nothern stretch, Peter's Trail can be easily seen on the other side of the creek, lined with a beautiful stone wall. We were there on our next hike.

Total distance hiked today was 0.76 miles in 25 minutes of blinding snow!

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