Safe Trails: Winter Wonderland

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Salt Run Bridge photo by FLMSP volunteer Mike Egan
Article by Erick Wikum

Winter, which for most people is the season of hibernation, is upon us.  But you’re not most people, and with a bit of planning, you can continue to enjoy the Little Miami Scenic Trail even now.  Remain active and enjoy the out-of-doors on the trail throughout the winter by following these tips:

  1. Use sound judgment:  Discretion is the better part of valor.  Stay home when conditions including ice or extreme wind chill make for unsafe usage.  If you don’t like the weather in Ohio, wait a few minutes.  There will be other days to enjoy the trail.  Note that Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), which owns and manages the trail, does not clear the trail of snow or ice since doing so would suggest the trail is safe to use.  Evaluate trail conditions for yourself and use the trail at your own risk.
  2. Choose an appropriate activity:  Avoid bicycling, roller blading and running and stick to walking or cross-country skiing when snow or moisture make for a slippery trail.
  3. Dress properly:  Wear multiple layers including breathable inner layers and a windproof outer layer that can be unzipped to avoid the buildup of moisture.  Also wear a headband or balaclava, mittens or lobster gloves, warm socks and waterproof footwear.  Cover exposed skin in cold and windy conditions to avoid frostbite.
  4. Remain in touch:  Communicate your planned route and schedule to a trusted friend in advance and carry your charged cell phone to stay in touch during and after your outing.
  5. Stay hydrated and energized:  Bring water or sports drink as well as snacks to maintain hydration and your energy level.

Longer and warmer days will be here soon enough.  In the meantime, with a mind to safety, you can continue to take advantage of our beautiful trail, a true winter wonderland.

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