I've always enjoyed being outdoors in nature. Everything moves a little slower, there's less distractions and I'm a happier human being overall. Over the last couple of years we have all felt the need to escape the world around us and you see more people outdoors. In spring, summer and fall it's easy to get out and explore.
But what happens when winter comes?
Are you doomed to be stuck inside and only wander out to do the traditional winter activities of skiing, snowboarding, skating, sledding or something similar?
As a Trip Leader for Adventure Calls Outfitters, most of my times from early spring until late fall is spent in Letchworth State Park sharing the river with our amazing guests.
Then winter comes and I don't get to spend as much time as I would like in one of my favorite places.
The good news is that there is just as much to do outdoors in the winter as there is during the rest of the year.
|Archery Field Overlook|
For this adventure, I decided to check out some of the most frequently visited sections of the park and see how they compare during the winter months.
I started my day with a quick stop at Archery Field Overlook. The river below looks tiny, the waves and rocks that we navigate all year long are hidden by snow and ice. The gorge walls are covered in ice and snow look like something from another world.
The sun is shining and I make my way to Inspiration Point. Throughout the year this is easily one of the most photographed areas of the park with a spectacular view of both the Upper and Middle Falls and the train bridge.
Today is different. The falls aren't raging with water crashing to the river below. Instead the sun shines on a frozen tundra of ice build up. The rainbows that can be seen on sunny days when the water flows are nowhere to be seen, but the scene is still something to witness.
|Frozen Middle Falls|
I continue my walk to get a closer look at the falls. Middle Falls does still have a few areas of flowing water, but it's mostly a maze of gigantic icicles locking a moment in time until the next thaw.
Upper Falls is mostly frozen as well, and to see just a sliver of the river below makes me realize just how powerful nature is. During rafting season, the water flows through this section in a range of a few hundred cubic feet a section to tens of thousands of feet a second, but on this day, the ice and water make it look as if everything is standing still (it isn't so do not try going out onto the ice or anywhere near it).
|The Ice Volcano|
My last stop on my walk today is to see what is the one thing I get asked about more than anything else in the winter at Letchworth State Park; the Ice Volcano.