“Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.”
– Walt Whitman
“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.”
– Frank Lloyd Wright
Although the summer isn’t officially over for about three weeks, I return to work as a teacher tomorrow. What does that mean? That means summer hiking is pretty much done. I am hoping that I will be able to get out when I can, but the wonderful morning hikes that I have enjoyed the last couple of months will fade as quickly as the summer has.
Without a doubt, this summer has really been a good one for hiking. Although it has been filled with many rainy days, that was far outweighed by the beautiful mornings filled with blue skies and nice cool temperatures. This post is going to quickly cover my three favorite hikes of the summer. If you have been following my posts this summer, this list shouldn’t really surprise anyone!
Number One-Anthony’s Nose:
This should not come as a surprise to anyone. Going to the Nose has been a source of refuge, peace and tranquility for many, many years. When I have good days, bad days and really bad days, the Nose has always been there. That’s all I have to say about that….
Number Two-Ward Pound Ridge Reservation
This is a newcomer to my favorite list. In the past couple of weeks I have really come to love hiking here. Well maintained and blazed trails make hiking a really nice experience. With the marked trails as well as the connector trails, you can shorten or lengthen a planned hike any number of ways. And if you don’t eat during your hike you can take advantage of the numerous picnic tables that are situated throughout the reservation. I am really excited about getting out there in the fall when the leaves change colors.
Number Three-Bear Mountain
Located directly across the Hudson River from Anthony’s Nose, this hike has it all. Thigh numbing climbs, views up the Hudson, down the Hudson and all the way to NYC (if the weather permits).
With the incredible amount of hikes in this area as well as thinking about the ones that I did this summer, it was difficult to pick my favorite ones. The ones that made my top three list were the ones that I have developed an affection for. Ones where I know I can go to recharge the batteries or just find some peace. They vary in length, but that isn’t the most important thing-keeping my peace of mind is.
“The closer you get to real matter, rock air fire and wood, boy, the more spiritual the world is.”
“I felt like lying down by the side of the trail and remembering it all”
***With this hike I finally went over 100 miles for the summer. Woo Hoo!!!! Hopefully no more rain!
Just the other day I ventured onto the Blue Trail on the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. I chose to tackle the trail in a counterclockwise manner and I am glad that I did. Although the trail was pretty steep at the beginning and had several demanding climbs and even more demanding descents, the last section of the trail was relatively flat. To get a better idea of the rest of the trails in the park, I purchased Walkable Westchester by Jane and Walt Daniels. This book gives detailed descriptions of trails in the parks in Westchester County, NY.
Parking in the Kimberly Bridge parking area again, you actually stay on the parking lot side of the road to access the Brown Trail. Starting off on the DH trail, you follow that until it intersects with the Brown Trail.
As you begin hiking on the Brown Trail, it ascends quickly and steeply for a short time. As with the blue trail, unless you are looking for a hike with what seems like never ending climbing, you should do this in a counterclockwise direction.
After climbing, leveling off and then descending, the trail turns sharply to the left and with the exception of a very short climb, stays level or moves downhill for the rest of the hike.
One of the more interesting things about this hike is the varied terrain that you come across. Woods roads, forest, Cross River and now an almost tunnel like experience as you hike through this portion of the trail.
After completing the Brown Trail Loop, I crossed the street and hiked some more on the DH Trail until it came to Reservation Road. At this point I turned left and headed back to the parking area.
Summer 2017 Mileage: