We’ve measured snow across the park, at least the sections we can access, and our official accumulation total is 10 inches. 10 inches of snow for March in this part of the world is certainly a historical weather event. Additionally, if you missed it, Floyds Fork flooded yesterday in a pretty big way. The Fork rose to over 10 feet on the river gauge at Fisherville (in Pope Lick Park). This level of flooding occurs on average about 3-4 times per year. What was different this time is that the temperature dropped WHILE the Fork was out of its banks in spots. For the first time in the history of The Parklands, there is significant ice underneath this fresh blanket of snow along lower sections of the park roads and Louisville Loop. This “flood” ice is going to take a while to melt as it is very thick and locked to the ground where it froze in place.
So, use caution in the park. Even surfaces that are cleared of snow may still have some significant ice on them. This is especially true for sections of the Louisville Loop and park roads that were under water yesterday. Places like the North Beckley Paddling Access, I-64 underpass, Sara and W.L. Lyons Brown Bridge underpass, and the Loop south of John Floyd Fields will take some serious help from our crews and Mother Nature to dry out and melt over the weekend.
For the next couple of weeks, your best bet for fun (and dry trails) in the park will be at our higher elevation sites – areas like Trestle Point, Garden Gateway, and the Great Wall. Be safe out there and enjoy this last blast (we hope) of winter. Believe it or not, we are truly just a couple weeks away from spring wildflowers, the beginning of spring migration patterns, and more comfortable outdoor weather.