Trail Journal

Trail: Ohio and Erie Towpath Trail

Trailhead: Canal Fulton, Ohio

Miles: 2

Date: February 20, 2022

Some weather background to these unique scenes: A couple days ago we got 1.5 inches of rain, which melted the 12+ inches of snow that was on the ground. Needless to say, a lot of the local streams overflowed their banks, including the Tuscarawas River. And then yesterday, the temperatures fell precipitately, so all that water froze quickly.

I got about a mile onto the trail before running into impassible water, but not before seeing a number of wondrous sights. Water that had flash-froze while still flowing. Thin sheets of ice seemingly levitated above the riverbank. Miniature icicles dangling from low-hanging tree branches.

I was lucky to show up when I did, because the temperature was rising quickly just as I was leaving. When I pulled into the Olde Muskingum trailhead (the park I normally park at was completely flooded), it was a bitter 25 degrees, but when I left it had already surpassed 40 degrees. No doubt many of those delicate ice formations have already melted away.

These paper-thin ice sheets were seemingly levitating above the riverbank
miniature icicles hanging from tree branches
The normal riverbank was between those trees
where I usually park was under water
I couldn’t go any further

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