Swansea provides the perfect place to hike year-round. Enough people hike it all winter to ensure the trail is always packed down. However the downside to that, it's often very icy and micro-spikes are a must to get traction. The Tower Loop is very popular in the winter but there are always tracks to the upper parking lot, and on to the north peak. Ashby's ascent sees very little traffic during the winter as does the south ridge. The road provides an alternate and a more direct route both up and down.
Winter is the perfect time to appreciate the wildlife that live on or visit Swansea Mountain. Tracks in the snow give you an idea of what the wildlife is and how many there are. The changeable weather conditions in the fall and winter provide a different experience almost daily, from bitterly cold and sunny days where hoar frost covers almost everything, to unique cloud formations not seen at any other time.
Remember to dress appropriately, be prepared for changing conditions, and allow 50-80% more time for your excursions.
Photo by Joe Lucas