The Best Hikes for Spotting Winter Wildlife
Backpacker|January 2022
These ten routes will show you that nature never stops bustling, no matter how much snow is on the trail.
KRISTIN SMITH

1 Savannah Trail Glacier Ridge Metro Park, OH

Info bit.do/glacierridge Trailhead 40.1559, -83.1887

The 5-mile Savannah Trail through decidious forest is the perfect winter spot to catch Cooper's hawks, and great blue herons. Plus, it's doubly fun to birdwatch on cross-country skis when the snow comes in.

2 Mesa View Trail Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, NM

Info fws.gov/refuge/sevilleta Trailhead 34.3513, -106.8823

After climbing to the mesa top for views of the Ladrone Mountains, this 3.8-mile trail wanders the edge of the escarpment before dropping back into the valley. Black-throated sparrows are the most frequent winter visitors, but there are plenty of other animals here, including coyotes and pronghorn; mountain and desert ecosystems meet at the refuge.

3 Barbour Hill Trail False Cape State Park, VA

Info bit.do/falsecape Trailhead 36.6725, -759153

Take the East Dike Trail to the Barbour Hill Trail to look for swans, geese, and ducks as you stroll from freshwater marsh to maritime forest and then over coastal sand dunes. The swans are tundra swans from the Arctic that migrate south every winter.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM BACKPACKERView All

Have Gear, Will Travel

These eight products are versatile companions for every adventure.

8 mins read
Backpacker
January 2022

I Survived A Polar Bear Attack

In July 2013, Matt Dyer was lucky enough to see a polar bear in Canada’s Torngat Mountains. His good fortune ended there.

3 mins read
Backpacker
January 2022

A New Path

When Covid canceled their wedding, one hiker and her fiancé went backpacking instead.

6 mins read
Backpacker
January 2022

CHRISTOPHER FISHER

In October 2021, Christopher Fisher, a 26-year-old, Texas-born endurance athlete living in Breckenridge, Colorado, climbed a whopping 400,332 vertical feet in one month. That’s the equivalent of summiting a 13,000-foot peak from sea level every day for 31 straight days. It’s likely a world record, too (he’s submitting it to Guinness), and maybe just a bit, well, crazy. Here’s what Fisher had to say about the feat.

2 mins read
Backpacker
January 2022

Finding My Footing

A hiker pulls confidence from an unsolicited gear critique in the Catskills.

5 mins read
Backpacker
January 2022

Light in the Darkness

In winter, as the nights stretch and daylight disappears, there’s a certain beauty to be found in the darkness.

1 min read
Backpacker
January 2022

Off-Season Tempo Training

During the winter, focused training can help ensure your next hiking season will be even better than the last—and help snowsport performance, too. Tempo training allows you to zero in on issues like shaking quads on descents, sore glutes after ascents, or tender calf muscles. Complete the following workout once or twice a week.

6 mins read
Backpacker
January 2022

Standing at the Edge

A winter trip through Crater Lake National Park nets a once-in-a-lifetime photo.

1 min read
Backpacker
January 2022

The Best Hikes for Spotting Winter Wildlife

These ten routes will show you that nature never stops bustling, no matter how much snow is on the trail.

3 mins read
Backpacker
January 2022

Emerging from Darkness

For one hiker, nature is the best place to confront her past and consider her future.

6 mins read
Backpacker
September - October 2021