On Sunday Emma and I headed up the coast to visit my aunt and decided to check out some new trails, new to us anyway. Two summers ago I did some running on the land of the Georges River Land Trust in Thomaston and this seemed like the kind of place that would get plenty of snowmobile traffic, but without knowing for sure we took a bit of a chance. From the trail head on Dunbar Street there was a sign saying no snowmobiles or ATV's, but I decided to take a look over the snow pile at the end of the road and see what the conditions were like. It looked like only one person had walked through the snow since it fell last week, but about 100 yards down the trail it looked like there were snowmibile tracks, sneaky buggers.
After wading through deep snow for a short stretch we came out to one of the most immaculately maintained snowmobile trails I have ever seen. The trails was about 10 feet wide, the whole width had been groomed and was well packed for easy running. Well, it wasn't that easy, there was a lot of uphill. After a little more than a mile there was a powerline than crossed the trail with snowmobile tracks in either direction, and even bigger hills. Since neither of us were feeling that adventurous we thought we would skip the powerlines and stick to the flatter trail, but this ended up in someone's back yard after another quarter mile so we turned back to hit the powerlines and the big hills.
After a short but very steep uphill we were met with an incredible view as this powerline cut seemed to go on forever in both directions. It's nice when the effort of climbing is rewarded with a view. We headed down the other side of this hill and continued to descend for more than a mile. These trails weren't groomed like the ones we started out on but had seen enough traffic to make them easier to run on than the ones at Bradbury the day before. We eventually hit a logging road and made a short detour off the powerlines to do some exploring, this is the little peak in the middle of the elevation profile.
From here we turned around and headed back the way we came, now going up a very long hill. Although the air temperature was in the mid-teens with all the sun reflecting off the snowy slope it felt much warmer, and combined with the increased effort of running uphill we got quite warm. We each took off a layer but after reaching the top of the hill and running downhill on the other side for a few minutes we started to feel the cold again.
We finished the run wishing we could have gone on longer. Looking at a map I can see that the powerlines head east directly into Rockland, and going west they just keep going. Great potential for long winter runs and hopefully some good summer running too. We'll definitely go back to Georges Highland Path.
distance: 6.7 miles
weather: 16 degrees, sunny and breezy
conditions: firm packed snowmobile trails
gear: Inov-8 Roclite 315 with screws, wool socks, OR gaiters, tights, 2x long sleeve tops, gloves, buff