Archived Outdoors

The trail from spring to winter

out trailartieBright sunshine? Sixty-degree weather? In February?

There was no question that I would be hitting the trail Sunday afternoon, and from the trailhead at Pinnacle Park in Sylva, nothing felt better than setting off uphill in shorts and a T-shirt, making tracks over the dried leaves covering the trail. 

As the trail climbed — the Pinnacle sits more than 2,000 feet above the parking lot — things changed. First, the path got mushy, deep mud the result of newly melted snow. And further up, especially in pockets tucked away from the sun, the snow hadn’t melted at all. White stuff carpeted the ground beneath rhododendron thickets, a reminder that winter is still alive and well. I pulled some extra layers from my pack. 

But the top of the Pinnacle? Well, that was just a piece of sunny bliss. 

— By Holly Kays, outdoors editor

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