A strange winter hike in Frick Park

Yesterday morning, on a sunny day, with temperatures ranging from around 35-40F, Abby and I went on a Meetup hike at Frick Park. This was actually our first Meetup hike in Frick Park, because normally we just go to our local park alone and go to Meetup hikes that are further away, but we hadn’t been hiking at all for months and so it was convenient to go to this one.

Since we live only two miles away from the meeting place in the parking lot down in Fern Hollow, we hiked straight from home there, meeting up with John, who joined us at the park entrance.

We ended up hiking probably around nine miles (including being on the road from and to home).

It was very strange doing this hike in early February, when Pittsburgh should be suffering from snow and ice and bitter cold. Normally I don’t do any running or hiking in Frick Park again till March, but I’ve been running in Frick for some time now this “winter”!

We started off following the Nine Mile Run Trail. As you can see, there was no snow to be found!

Nine Mile Run Trail

Then we meandered around, taking a bunch of other familiar trails, going uphill and downhill, and eventually ended back down in Fern Hollow. We took a pretty fast pace.

Going uphill

“Officially”, the hike was done, but some of us wanted to do more, so we ended up going up the steep Fire Lane Trail Extension. Abby, John, and I said goodbye to the group when we reached the Lower Riverview Trail, since that was the way to start heading home rather than going back down to Fern Hollow again. We’d already gone down to Fern Hollow twice and I figured that we didn’t need to go down it yet again.

Shoes and mud

This hike was the first time I’d worn my Vibram FiveFingers KSO Trek shoes out in sub-40 temperatures, and with the expectation of getting my feet wet. I wore Injinji toe socks to try to keep my feet warm.

Franklin wearing KSO Trek shoes with Injinji socks

Abby wore her FiveFingers Trek Sport shoes along with her modified tights.

There were not a lot of very wet spots on the trails, but there were sections that were more muddy than others, and my feet got wet going through each such section. If the temperature had been below freezing, I would have thought twice about wearing the FiveFingers, I have to confess.

Because of the shade, parts of the Riverview Trail actually still had residual snow from whenever.

Snow and mud on trail


It was nice to get in a local hike, and I was happy that my experiment of wearing FiveFingers shoes with Injinji socks in cooler conditions on the trails worked fairly well, although when I took my shoes off, I saw that the socks were quite muddy and needed to be washed!

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