Last Saturday the forecast called for rain, and lots of it. I was determined to get out for my first hike of the new year so we decided to try our luck. The weather channel said the rain wouldn’t start until 11am so my friends and I decided to leave Philly around 7am to head out to French Creek State Park. We knew we wanted to get in at least an hour or so of hiking so we decided on the Mill Creek Trail, one of the routes listed as most difficult on the French Creek trail map (pdf download). We drove from the park office over to the east entrance parking lot. The trail is 6 miles long with some decent inclines and areas that were pretty rocky. Overall I would say the trail isn’t too challenging though and could definitely be done by someone who is not an avid hiker. The trees on the trail were bare from winter and also appeared to have fallen victim to fire. A good section of the trail had trees that were black and burned at the bottom and quite a few had fallen. The path was still relatively clear and easy to navigate though.
I’ve learned the hard way so many times not to rely on weather apps and their hour by hour predictions but I always seem to forget. About 3 miles in (1.5 hours before any precipitation was supposed to start) the sleet started which then quickly turned into snow. There were huge flakes coming down and we couldn’t believe how quickly the trail became coated with snow. When the sleet had started falling it was really steady and just seemed to be getting heavier. We were at a good point to switch our route so we decided to head back on the Raccoon trail. This really only shaved off a little bit of time but before it turned to snow getting pelted by sleet wasn’t all that fun and I stupidly didn’t wear anything waterproof. Again, way to rely on my weather app so much.
I think one of the benefits of hiking during inclement weather is the lack of other people on the trail. Our entire hike we only saw one other hiker and 3 mountain bikers. It makes you feel like you’re the only ones in the woods. After leaving French Creek State Park we headed over the the Iron Hill Brewery in Phoenixville for a much needed, hot lunch. I definitely recommend the soup sampler after a cold and snowy morning hike!
#writeandrun31 Recap | Day 1:
Running (minutes): 20:41
Running (distance): 1.78 miles (11:37 avg mile)
Writing: 451 words