Normally the first look of snow has me thinking about snowshoeing, and counting the days until our favorite winter haunts have enough snow to break out the gear and travel a winter wonderland like no other. Instead, I'm looking at the places in the mountains where snow is only a brief visitor in the winter months.
It was always interesting to read the winter trail reports and see the Bow Valley area was simply left unreported after the other areas started listing snow conditions and grooming, with just a small note mentioning the frequency of chinooks through the Bow Valley area made any snow accumulation spotty at best. Winter hike at your own risk, the report seemed to hint, but it's not much fun.
I think I'm going to check it out. On a recent mountain drive I was able to quickly drive through the Bow Valley campground and scope out the available trailheads. I found:
Bow River Interpretive
Bow Valley Bike Path Trail
Many Springs Trail
Middle Lake Interpretive
Altogether these trails barely cover 15km one way and only one isn't rated as "easy" (Moraine Interpretive is listed as "intermediate" but only covers 1.5 km one way). But it'll be different. And I bet you it will be quiet.
Middle Lake trail head.
More Middle Lake, with amazing scenery in background. Yeah, I think Bow Valley might be a good place to be.