Riding on the snow-covered Paulinskill Valley Trail in New Jersey.
Dean Hower's unusual bike-tread attachment, in front of a frozen waterfall in Slatington, Pa.
Tell Us ...
In February, we asked you to tell us about your favorite winter activities on a rail-trail.
Janice Elsishans— Newton, N.J.
I live within five miles of various parts of the Paulinskill Valley Trail and Sussex Branch Trail in New Jersey, and I ride the trails on horseback with a group of friends year-round (Halsey Farm is located right along the Paulinskill). We ride a variety of sizes, from a 17-hand Percheron cross to a 14-hand Arab, and also horses with different ways of moving, such as gaited or non-gaited. Just as people have a variety of speeds and strides, so do these horses.
The opening up of the Paulinskill River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) has made it possible to do a circular versus a linear trail. It not only spreads out users but also decreases overuse of trailheads. But this year, riding our horses has been really difficult with all the ice on the trails. It isn't worth either getting hurt or injuring a horse for the sake or riding when the conditions are so rough.
Dean Hower — Lehigh, Pa.
This year I bought a new attachment for my mountain bike. You replace the front wheel with a ski, and as you can see in the picture (at right) the back wheel is replaced with a track. I took this picture on the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor's D&L Trail.
Greg and Carol Koesel — Monroe, Mich.
We are snowbirds who are fortunate enough to be able to winter in Florida. We bring our Burley tandem so we can enjoy the wonderful biking weather.
Each year we ride one of Florida's trails. The Withlacoochee State Trail and General James A. Van Fleet State Trail are two of our favorites. We spend most of our time around Naples, where there are sadly no trails, but will also spend time in the Florida Keys. Each year the bike trail along Route 1 is improved. We look forward to the day when we will be able to ride the length from Marathon to Key West without using the highway on the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail.
Constance Condit — Claremont, Calif.
I wanted to remind you that in the West, especially in Arizona and Texas, we do much of our cycling in the winter because summers are too hot!
Dave Moser — Butler, Pa.
I love to cross-country ski, as the level rail-trails are perfect for it. I do all of my skiing at night when I get off work; it's great to be out there under the moonlight with a light snow falling and listening to the owls talking to one another.
Rosine Oliver & Bob Lapp — Salt Lake City, Utah
Our favorite winter activity is getting out of the yucky air in the Salt Lake Valley (by "yucky," I mean when we have an inversion, and bad air is trapped at valley level and the mountains see blue skies and sunshine). In December, I had a bum shoulder and my husband was recovering from a detached retina so we couldn't ski or snowshoe. We loaded Grace, our dog, in the car and headed up to the Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail State Park outside of Park City and just walked in the snow/mud combination. It's always uplifting to see blue sky and sun!