Connex is welcoming the community to leave their troubles behind them as they take to the forest and enjoy winter in a refreshing way, as they plan their Second Annual Winter Hike.
The first trek was a popular event, with 45 hikers taking on the challenge.
“We had so many hikers, given the fact that we had a temperature of 0 degrees. People just turned out for it all bundled up and ready to go,” Connex’s Wendi Waugh explained. “These people were dedicated. When I tell you it was cold, it was in the negatives just the night before. It maybe got up to 15 degrees later that day. Maybe.”
The trek is 6 miles from Turkey Creek Beach parking lot and will hike counterclockwise on the trail.
Near the halfway mark, near the Nature Center, Connex will have a camp setup until 2 p.m. with beans, cornbread, and hot chocolate.
“It may have been cold last year, but it just made the beans and cornbread that much better once we got there,” Waugh said.
Waugh also said that she is expecting the weather to be better, with temperatures in the 30s, but hopes for some winter magic to touch down to some degree.
“Hopefully, we do get a little snow or frost to glisten off the lake and just look magical,” Waugh explained. “We’re excited about this partnership with Shawnee State Park.”
Waugh is hoping for and event of fire and ice, since the state park will have fires at the beaches when hikers start and finish.
The hike is going backwards, but Waugh said they are doing it that way to make the harder part of the hike first, so the easiest parts are later.
“The start is a little hilly and the lake has the divots that go into the forest a little, which you have to walk around,” Waugh said. “I like to start people that way, so they finish where it is easier near 125.”
Waugh also stressed that people can always end at the halfway mark or partner with friends to have cars at the start and the half-way or finish, so that the trip is made easier.
“We invite everyone out. Dress warm, wear the right shoes, bring a friend and your social skills,” Waugh said. “Be ready to connect.”
Waugh says that connection is what Connex is all about, not only with people, but with outdoors.
“Connex connects people to the outdoors and there is no greater place to do it in the greater Portsmouth area with such a plethora of outdoor recreation.”
The winter hike will be January 14, hikers are encouraged to begin at 10 a.m.
Reach Joseph Pratt at (740) 353-3101, by email at [email protected], © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved