I’ve often complained about snow. Its cold, it clogs roads, it doesn’t support my weight….. you’ve heard them before, and might have even said them yourself.

But not all snow is the same. Fresh snow might be work for road crews, but when that work is done and roads are passable, the trails remain full of fresh powder. So do the trees. And what is ordinarily a mess becomes fun.

Early in March we had a late winter snowstorm that dumped up to eight inches on the Philadelphia area. The morning after the storm, once I knew I could drive safely, I headed to Valley Forge National Historical Park to play.


Not all parking lots were open, but one near the Knox Covered Bridge was. Going was slow, but going was fun. The sun was shining as I tramped along the Valley Creek Trail, sinking into the powder. I wasn’t the only person on the trail, but I was alone for most of my hike. I was a kid again, and felt the world was created just for me. Even turning around and retracing my steps was a new experience, or so it seemed.


I rarely do back to back trips to a park, but on Saturday I revisited Valley Forge, hitting a different part of the park. Starting from near a hill used by sledders and snowboarders I hiked up the side of Mount Joy, using a trail and a park road unplowed and closed. It was a workout – walking in snow was literally a walk in the park, but was harder. The skies were partly clouded, and the snow was hardening into the stuff that causes me to posthole, but still, it was wonderful to be out in it, and to see the park cloaked in white. If winter stayed like this, I’d like it better.