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Wildcat Hills

January 17, 2010

On a warm (fifty-degree) winter Saturday, husband and I headed out to Wildcat Hills for a short hike. During the off-season, the visitor center is closed on weekends, so we had to pay a daily use fee via drop box instead of being able to purchase an annual permit.

I can see why January is part of the off-season. Some of the roads were terribly muddy. The Northlook Trail, which we took on this particular day, was muddy in spots, and snowy in many others. With only about 3 miles of trails, Wildcat Hills is a perfect place for the type of casual hiking I like: slow, with plenty of time to look around at the little things.

Portions of the Northlook Trail were snow-covered.

We didn’t see a whole lot of wildlife in person, but there was plenty of evidence of bobcat activity. The area also supports unique birdlife, bighorn sheep and a few mountain lions.

Bobcat track in the snow. The cats also seemed to prefer to defecate right on the trail. Watch your step, folks!

There are some gorgeous picnic shelters in the area, built by the CCC. Overall, Wildcat Hills offers some nice views over the valley, a place to get outdoors for a little exercise, and opportunities to observe wildlife. I’ll be back!

View over the valley from the nature center deck. Hey! I think I can see my house from here!

Copyright 2010 by Katie Bradshaw

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