Today is the winter solstice. It’s the shortest day, it’s the longest night. At the winter solstice each year we are reminded that there is light in the darkness, that warmth and longer days are ahead of us, and that we can hope for new life, rebirth, and growth come spring. The promise of the solstice is that even in the darkness there is light, that days will get longer, the sun will return, that spring will come anew.
Usually we celebrate the solstice with a sunset hike at one of our conservation areas followed by a bon fire. We are unable to gather together this year to celebrate the returning of the light and the changing ebb and flow of our natural world, but we would like to wish you a happy solstice virtually and recommend some walks you could take with your family this evening, or any evening this winter.
Lyme Pinnacle – Lyme Pinnacle is the perfect place to watch the sunset over the mountains and usher in winter and the return of longer days either from the top or in the lower fields.
Lake Runnemede – The lake is a beautiful spot to visit in the heart of Windsor, VT. Enjoy the views of the lake and Mount Ascutney as the sun sets.
Up on the Hill – Another beautiful view of Mount Ascutney, this time from Charlestown, NH. A short half mile hike to the pond at the top of the hill rewards the hiker with lovely views and a great spot to see the sunset.
Smith Pond – Always a favorite, the 1.5 mile hike to the pond from the Smith Pond Road trail head has beautiful winter views across the frozen pond.
Morey Mountain – A little more of a rugged journey, this 1.2 mile (one way) trip to the look out over the Connecticut River is its own reward! Beautiful sunsets can be seen from the look out looking down the river and over into New Hampshire.
Remember if you’re hiking to see a winter sunset to bring your head lamp or flash light and warm layers!