Tag Archives: hiking quotes

It’s Officially Fall!

“Our minds, as well as our bodies, have need of the out-of-doors. Our spirits, too, need simple things, elemental things, the sun and the wind and the rain, moonlight and starlight, sunrise and mist and mossy forest trails, the perfumes of dawn and the smell of fresh-turned earth and the ancient music of wind among the trees.”

-Edwin Way Teale

“Although the vast majority of walkers never even think of using a walking staff, I unhesitatingly include it among the foundations of the house that travels on my back.”

-Colin Fletcher

If you have read this blog of mine, you know that fall is my favorite time of year. Apple picking, college football, cool days, cooler nights and of course awesome hiking make every day truly magnificent. Today I was back hiking the Labyrinth at Ward Pound Ridge. As I was in sight of the finish, I felt good and decided to make the left turn onto the Yellow Trail to add some mileage.

Making my way up the trail. I pulled out the map and saw that the RT Trail would soon take me off of the Yellow trail and then put me on the Red Trail for literally a couple of hundred feet. Heading up a small hill, it then finished on the Green Trail.

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On the Red/Green trail.

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My trusty pack and poles leaning on my favorite resting rock at 2.5 miles. 

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The view directly behind the rock where I take a break just before the Green trail veers off to the left.

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The trail about one mile from the finish.

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Some of the more interesting rock formations along the trail.

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More of the Red Trail.

 

From this point on I will be listing my mileage as an accumulation for the entire calendar year. Taking the information from my blog as well as my GPS, I have calculated that prior to the first hike of the summer I had hiked 45.2 miles. I am adding that to the 181.22 that I did for the summer, giving me a total of 226.42 miles. With the addition of the 7.7 miles that I hiked today, that brings my total for the year to 234.12 miles.

2017 Mileage:

Hikes from 1/1/17-6/26/17-45.2-226.42

9/23/17-7.7-234.12

Shed That Skin

“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”

“Anything that costs you your peace is too expensive.”

-Buddha

As an educator I get to mark the end of summer two different ways. First, I see the return to school. Second, the date finally arrives when it is really, truly over. Today, September 22nd is that day. As I noted in an earlier post, my goal this summer was to get out as many times as I could. Looking at things statistically, from 6/27-9/21 I went on 31 hikes that covered 181.22 miles averaging 5.85 miles per hike.

Overall I think that this summer was an excellent one. I was able to clear my mind and get some weight off of my shoulders. The hikes this summer only reinforced one thing-that getting out in the woods can truly be therapeutic. Each mile that I spent walking the trails, carefully meditating on every step that I took, helped me shed anger that had been building up since the end of June.

Feeling the cool breeze in the morning, watching the sunrise and looking over the Hudson Valley on my many different hikes allowed me to shed that proverbial snake skin.  According to the web site Wonderopolis, “snakes shed their skin to allow for further growth and to remove parasites that may have attached to their old skin.” I couldn’t have said it any better!

So what is the goal now? The goal is to keep moving forward…

Happy Hiking!!!

My Favorite Summer Hikes

“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….

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Almost a perfect view!

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.

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The gateway to my favorite hikes in Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. The gateway to peace and tranquility!

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).

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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 Red Trail (Repeat) (24)

“After a day’s walk, everything has twice its usual value.”

– G.M. Trevelyan

“Without new experiences, something inside of us sleeps. The sleeper must awaken.”

-Frank Herbert

Today (Monday 8/21/17) was much cooler than on Saturday went I ventured out into the woods. Barely 60 degrees, the humidity was much lower which made hiking more than enjoyable. Since Ward Pound Ridge Reservation is around 20 minutes from where I live, it seems to be my new “go to” place to get a hike in. I can get a good six miles done in about 2 hours, maybe a little longer (or shorter) depending on how fast I am hiking.

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The sky just before sunrise with some mist.

After hiking in peace with an ever brightening sky, I climbed a short incline, rounded a corner and was rewarded with this nice shot.

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Since I was hiking my new favorite loop in WPRR, I decided to head off on a connector trail that would leave the Red Trail on to a connector trail to the Orange Trail back on another connector where I would meet up again with the Red Trail. Here are some of the things that I saw:

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A small bridge coming down from a shelter on the Orange Trail.

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A Connector Trail leading from the Orange Trail back to the Red Trail.

Happy Hiking!!!

Summer 2017 Mileage:

8/21/17-6.1125.12

Leatherman’s Loop (22)

“Alright, alright, alright.”

-Wooderson

“You know how your dog reacts when he knows he is going for a ride? That’s the feeling I have when I am going for a hike. I just don’t pee on the floor in excitement.”

-MPD

Today I wanted to head to the Leatherman’s Loop in Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. The story of the Leatherman is a fascinating one and I strongly encourage you to check out the link below.

leathermansloop.org/2009/02/the-legend-of-the-leatherman/

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This excellent hike starts and ends at the same point where Monday’s hike began. The Red and the Green trail run together until you meet the Leatherman Loop (LL) off to the right. Take the LL trail as it moves uphill for a very short time. The trail levels out and then turns to the left. I decided to go clockwise and I headed downhill. Once again, the trail levels off and then makes a right turn.

To get to Leatherman’s Cave, you will see a sign on a tree that points you in the right direction. The short climb to the cave is a short one but very steep.

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Leatherman’s Cave

Once you have rested for a bit and taken photos, head back the way you came and right before you get back to the woods road, turn left to continue on the LL. Be prepared, this section of the hike up to the Overlook is very challenging. Once you get to the top, you get a real nice view of the Cross River Reservoir as well as the dam in the distance.

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A cool bench where you can just chill after a strenuous climb. 

If you look to the center right of the picture below, you can see the outline of the Cross River Dam.

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The Cross River Reservoir

A close up of the Cross River Dam.

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The Cross River Dam

After completing the LL, I decided to knock out the rest of the Green Trail. Most of it continued to be aligned with the Red Trail until it makes a sharp left turn to head back to the start of the hike.

Without a doubt, another excellent hike in Ward Pound Ridge!!! I’ll be back in a couple of days.

Happy Hiking!!!!

Summer 2017 Mileage:

8/16/17-5.4-112.72

100 Mile Review

“Life is better in hiking boots.”

-Anonymous

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Now that I have hiked just over 100 miles in my Vasque St. Elias GTX Boots and awesome Meriwool Merino Wool socks, it’s time to write a review. Let’s start off with the socks. Since I have three pairs of the socks, I can pretty much rotate them every time I go hiking. I am sure that this has saved on the wear and tear on each of the pairs. As I mentioned when I first got them, they are much better than any cotton sock. To this day they remain comfortable and well worth the extra money that they cost. Still no hot spots (I used to get them all the time with cotton socks!) or blisters!

I did have to do some research as to what would be the best way to wash them. What I do is I fill my kitchen sink with warm water and add some soft liquid soap.  After 15-20 minutes I rinse them in pretty cold water and squeeze out any excess water. The one things that many sites I looked at were very specific in saying that Merino Wool socks should not be wrung out as the wool could be compromised. Lay them on a flat surface to then let them dry.

Overall these socks have been a blessing. They have performed above my expectations and I fully expect that they will continue to do so.

Wearig an 12 W, the Vasque St. Elias GTX has also performed even better than I thought they would. With an exact fit, they provide the amount of ankle support that I need to be able to hike a short distance, or a hilly 10 miler that leave my legs rubbery! The best thing about these boots is you would think that a boot that offers so much support would be pretty heavy.  At 3 lbs. 1 ounce, the St. Elias has enough support to keep your feet and ankles protected, but light enough that you really don’t feel them.

Happy Hiking!

 

Ward Pound Ridge Reservation (19)

“I wanted to unfurl my toes for a little while. I wanted silence, isolation and an invitation to exhale life’s complications. I heard nature’s melody and I harmonised with every single note. I needed the trees, their colours, and the sounds of wildlife breathing. I inhaled the essence of the forest and smiled as life coursed through my veins” 
―Amelia Dashwood

“There is always an adventure waiting in the woods.” 
―Katelyn S. Bolds

“Nature is one of the most underutilized treasures in life. It has the power to unburden hearts and reconnect to that inner place of peace.” 

-Janice Anderson

Today I decided to try hiking a little more locally than I usually do. Instead of traveling to Dutchess or Orange county, I went in the opposite direction to Westchester County. Located just off of route 121 in Pound Ridge, NY, Ward Pound Ridge Reservation offers many hiking trails, camping and picnic areas in what is truly a pristine area of the county.

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The standard warnings located on the opposite end of the Kimberly Bridge parking area.

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The Blue trail heading up towards the remnants of a fire tower. 

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This is the spot where a fire tower used to stand. 

I am not going to lie, whenever I do a loop hike I look at the map and try to determine the easiest way to traverse it. Even though this hike started with a pretty steep climb, when I finished I was glad that I hadn’t gone the other way! If you look at the picture below, I took it after hiking down this section. If I had been coming from the opposite direction I would have had to scramble to get up this section of the trail.

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As with other parks in the Hudson Valley, these woods are filled with enough varied terrain and landscape to keep things interesting!

 

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An inchworm making its way to safety!

The first half of this hike was a decent mix of soft earth, grass and rocks. The second half was all on a woods road. After climbing pretty steeply and then navigating some pretty tricky descents, the hiking was easy all of the way back to the parking area.

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The woods road leading to the parking area.

When I finished, I did take the opportunity to sit on the bench to rest and enjoy the view.

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If you are looking for a place to hike and maybe have a BBQ or picnic, then this is the place for you. I don’t know how crowded this park is on the weekends, but when I was here today, it was very quiet.

Happy hiking!!

Summer 2017 Mileage:

8/9/17-4.1-96.22