We have not had significant moisture for a while so there were only three places that required some acrobatic balancing acts as we skirted large muddied areas of the path. We hung on to tree limbs and ducked beneath thorny branches leaving the well worn trail and making sure that our hiking boots did not get too caked with the muddy clay.
The local beaver plays havoc with the part of the hiking trail that skirts the marsh. The maintenance folks dumped a dozen boards across the path, but eventually they will have to build another boardwalk for the area. There was a delicate screen of ice on the top of the water in the more open areas giving witness to the colder night before. Local titmice, chickadees, woodpeckers and white-throated sparrows showed no fear in scolding us as we made our way. They also were enjoying the warm sun on their backs as they flew from tree-top to scrub brush.
It was nice to see that the park staff have a good sense of humor after all the downed trees the past two years. I do not know if it is global warming or just the age of the forest, but we are losing that climax forest look. We have none of the rare century trees that make one's mouth fall open. I regret that.
It is 1.8 miles and ends at the beach. But we decided to rest just a short bit shy of that and enjoy the swamp instead, while families with dogs and children headed toward the more popular destination.