by Susan Schroder, Community Engagement Coordinator
Weather has so much to do with a hike that when I review one, I first think about the weather. In this case it was pouring rain until 11:55 AM, an hour before the hike. We began at 1:00 PM with clouds overhead. The big surprise was that we were sundrenched on our return trip from the granite walls of Windsor Jambs!
There is usually something unique that sets each trail apart from all others. In this case, it is the Jambs and the primarily red spruce forest. But the Windsor Jambs Trail also has red squirrel middens that were pointed out to us by hiker Tony Borton. Located at the base of a tree, these middens are food storage mounds that the squirrel makes from parts of red spruce cones. The squirrel will sit on a tree branch above the midden to eat. The inedible discarded bracts from the red spruce cones are dropped on top of the mound which continues to enlarge the midden. Inside, the squirrel tightly packs green cones which are kept cool and moist for winter food.
The Windsor Jambs Trail also has hundreds of healthy red spruce saplings lining parts of the trail where wildflowers were beginning to open and the green moss-covered wet lands are captivating. This trail has not been accessible for several years. It is now, and I highly recommend spreading the word so friends and family can enjoy this beautiful hike.