Tag Archives: Hudson Valley Hikes

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

The Last Hike Of (Official) Summer (31)

“When the seasons shift, even the subtle beginning, the scent of a promised change, I feel something stir inside me. Hopefulness? Gratitude? Openness? Whatever it is, it’s welcome.”
-Kristin Armstrong

It felt really good to get out hiking again. With the start of school and traveling for my daughters hockey team, it makes it difficult to get out as often as I would like. As it is with the transitioning seasons, you never know what the weather is going to be like. It turns out that the last two weeks of August and the first week in September were cooler than it was today.

At the start of the  hike today it was 71 degrees and very humid.  Despite how sticky the air was, a nice breeze fell over the woods at the start and stayed with me the entire hike. As you can see in the picture below, it was still dark when I started at 6:00 am. For the first time ever, I forgot my camera at home. As a result, the pictures here were taken with my cell phone. And…since my cell phone is not on the upper end, the pictures aren’t that good!

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A 6 am photo taken with my lousy cell phone!

The great thing about hiking during these several weeks going into fall is that everything is evolving. You can see evidence of the leaves changing but the majority of the trees are still green. Soon, however, the woods will be transformed-the color, texture and the smell, until is looks like a giant bowl of stuffing. That is why fall is the best season of the year!

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The leaf covered trail with green still in the background.

Happy Hiking!!!

Summer 2017 Mileage:

9/21/17-6.0-181.22

A Nice Mental Enema (30)

“Can you help me get my head on straight just a half an inch so I can muddle on through?”

-Assembly of Dust

It appears that summer is on its way out and fall is on its way in! Although the forecast has temperatures heading into the mid 70’s to posssibly 80 midweek, the signs are already here that the seasons are changing. The nicest thing about hiking today was the fact that between Monday (when I last hiked) and Saturday, enough leaves had fallen so you had the awesome crunching sound as you made your way through the woods.

As it has been for a couple of weeks now, the temperature was in the mid 50’s with a nice breeze whenI hit the trail at about 10:15 am. For me that it is a pretty late start, but when the alarm on my phone went off at 5:00 am, my brain said, “no way.” So I waited.

Once I got on the trail however, it was all good. I did my favorite trail again and it was glorious! It is long and varied enough to give you not only a good physical workout, but a decent mental cleansing as well.  That’s all I want and it’s all I need.

Happy Hiking!!!

Summer 2017 Mileage:

9/9/17-6.0-175.22

 

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.

Ward Pound Ridge Reservation-Red Trail (21)

“Walking is magic. Can’t recommend it highly enough. I read that Plato and Aristotle did much of their brilliant thinking together while ambulating. The movement, the meditation, the health of the blood pumping, and the rhythm of footsteps… this is a primal way to connect with one’s deeper self.”
-Paula Cole

“Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far.”

-Thomas Jefferson

Today (8/14/17) marked the third day out of the last four where I have hiked at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. As with the first two hikes, I have never hiked the Red Trail prior to today so I was hoping that it would be as good as the others. Needless to say, even though this one was the longest, I enjoyed it the most. The trail varies from soft earth to rocky and had a minimal amount of ascents. With that said, none of the climbs were that bad.

As I pulled into the parking lot I was met by this wonderful metal sculpture. Just awesome!

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Starting on the right just off of the Michigan Road parking lot, you will pass a gate with a kiosk filled with the usual warnings. After looking at the map and reading the section on the Red Trail in Walkable Westchester, they even recommend tackling this hike in a counterclockwise direction.

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The Michigan Road parking lot

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The Red Trail begins and ends just after the kiosk.

Immediately after the kiosk, the Red Trail starts off level and on soft earth.

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As you wind your way through the park, the surface of the trail changes throughout the duration of the hike. Earth, rocks, gravel, this trail has it all.

The one very cool thing about this Ward Pound Ridge is that they have cabins and shelters scattered throughout the park. This one happened to be just off the Red Trail.

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Here are some interesting rock formations along the trail.

Happy Hiking!

Summer 2017 Mileage:

8/14/17-6.0-107.32

Ward Pound Ridge Reservation-Brown Trail (20)

“The closer you get to real matter, rock air fire and wood, boy, the more spiritual the world is.” 
―Jack Kerouac

“I felt like lying down by the side of the trail and remembering it all” 
―Jack Kerouac

 

***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.

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The Cross River just off of the Kimberly Bridge parking area.

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The DH Trail as it re-enters the woods. Shortly you will veer right onto 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.

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The Brown Trail moving to the right.

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.

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The hiking was easy on this portion of the trail. 

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The Brown and the DH Trail stay together for a short time. 

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.

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A bridge connecting the Brown Trail with the FH Trail. 

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The Cross River again, this time deeper in the woods.

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.

Happy Hiking!!!

Summer 2017 Mileage:

8/13/17-5.1-101.32  

 

Horn Hill On A Thursday (15)

“Don’t ruin a good day by thinking about a bad day yesterday, Let it go.”

-Anonymous

“Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one.”

-Hans Selye

Despite a late short hike last Wednesday, I decided to head out early the very next morning (7/27) to get some hiking in. As with some of the other hikes that I enjoy, I went back to the Horn Hill Bike Path, which is located just off of the Anthony Wayne Parking Area.  It was a nice cool morning with low humidity so that made the hike a really pleasant one.

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The trail, about a mile in…

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The one and only hill on the hike.

Happy Hiking!!!

Summer 2017 Mileage:

7/27/17-6.1-75.82