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Hiking High Mountain with a View of NYC

Hiking High Mountain with a View of NYC

Recently, I took a short trip to Passaic County in North Jersey.  While in town for the day, I decided to hike a short trail at High Mountain in Passaic County. Even though it was cloudy, there was a faint view of NYC.

I was surprised by how quiet the trails were in the middle of the populated area.  In fact, I didn’t hear any car traffic and only saw two people on the neighboring golf course at the very end.  (That’s right, no one on the trail!).  There are a few loops you can do and you can get a hike of about 6 miles if you desire.

I will say, there are sections of trail that can get muddy after heavy rainfall and I was glad I had my Goretex (waterproof) Brooks Cascadia.

While the trails are well marked, finding the path in the beginning was tough.  It starts right near the traffic circle.  Once you get on the trail, it’s easy to follow.

In order to see the NYC skyline, the hike is only about 1.6 miles.  It’s somewhat steep but nothing rigorous. Once you get to the top, you can see a great view, but you can also stand on the rock nearby and get an even better view.  It was cloudy when I went so I didn’t have a picture-perfect view.

Here are a few photos:

Here is the start from the traffic circle.  Since there is no “trailhead”, if you can’t find it just walk around the entire traffic circle.

High mountain passaic county nyc

Hiking High Mountain with a View of NYC

Even had some deer spotting

Hiking High Mountain with a View of NYC

Overturned tree

Hiking High Mountain with a View of NYC

Hiking High Mountain with a View of NYC

View of NYC

Hiking High Mountain with a View of NYC

Neighboring Golf Course where I saw the only people of the trek.
Hiking High Mountain with a View of NYC

In all, if you’re looking for a local hike with a good view of NYC, High Mountain in Passaic County is a good one.

I had a great time and would definitely go back.  Hopefully when it’s a little bit more clear!  It’s great if you are looking for something with a view, or even with pets, or kids.

Here are other hikes I’ve done this Spring and Summer:

Hiking Turkey Swamp in Freehold
Exploring Cattus Island in Toms River
Exploring Hartshorne Park in the Highlands
Hiking to the Cape May Lighthouse
Hiking Bear Mountain in a Downpour
Hiking through Belleplain State Forest

You can see all hikes here.

Questions for you:

Have you ever hiked with a view of a City?

What is your favorite hiking shoe?

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Hiking Indian Wells State Park (Connecticut)

Hiking Indian Wells State Park (Connecticut)

While in Connecticut last month, we decided to take a nice hike at Indian Wells State Park.  It’s not a rigorous hike but a pleasant hour or two walk around the park.  It’s family-friendly, and right along the water with a beach if you want to swim or boat.  The hike itself was about 2-3 miles, and we went to the lookout point as well as the waterfalls.  A few people were swimming in the waterfall, so I didn’t take many photos as that might have been a little awkward.

If you hike about a mile, you’ll reach a small overlook which was a beautiful spot to relax.  We spent a few minutes looking out and then hiked to the “main attraction” of the waterfall.

The free-flowing waterfall has a deep pool at the base that we saw many people jumping into. We did as we weren’t interested in swimming at all. If I were to go swimming in the area, it would probably be at the waterfall because it’s not far from the beach and entrance and a more secluded area.

The hike itself was quiet, and we didn’t see a lot of people throughout the couple hours we were out there.  Here are a few photos from the adventure.

The hikes all start with climbing a short but well-maintained series of steps.

indian well state park connecticut

indian well state park connecticut

View from the look point into Connecticut

indian well state park connecticut

Into the Creekindian well state park connecticut

indian well state park connecticut

In all, it was a great walk, and I would definitely go back.  It’s a short and easy hike if you’re looking for something to do with kids or a dog.  Of any of the parks, it’s one of the most family friendly we have been too.

Here are other hikes I’ve done this Spring and Summer:

Hiking Turkey Swamp in Freehold
Exploring Cattus Island in Toms River
Exploring Hartshorne Park in the Highlands
Hiking to the Cape May Lighthouse
Hiking Bear Mountain in a Downpour
Hiking through Belleplain State Forest

You can see all hikes I’ve done here.

Questions for you:

Have you ever swam near a waterfall?  Do you prefer going to a beach, pool, or lake?  Or none LOL.

What is a fun hike local to you?

Walking Around Belleplain State Forest

Recently I found myself back down near Maurice River and at the East Creek Trail in the Bellaplain State Forest. Belleplain State Forest is a 20,000+  acres located in both Cape May County and Cumberland.  There are plenty of different trees and animals lurking around, and it’s pretty well maintained.

The trail itself is a very flat, and runnable (if you want, I did not) 4.8-mile.  East  The creek is located in Belleplain State Forest. It’s marshy, swampy, and in the summer has a lot of mosquitos.  If you go in the Spring, Summer, and probably fall you will deal with mosquitos, but it’s like that anywhere in the Pineland area.  Also, check for ticks because I saw plenty of deer ticks of grass blades and picked about 10 off me.  Yes, 10.

Never the less, it was a lot of fun, and it was a nice and relaxing morning.  As most people know, one of my goals this summer is to get outside and enjoy the outdoors as much as possible!

Here are a few photos:

Belleplain State Forest east creek trail new jersey

 

Belleplain State Forest east creek trail new jersey

 

Belleplain State Forest east creek trail new jersey

many fallen trees

Belleplain State Forest east creek trail new jersey

Extremely long boardwalks that I almost fell a few times

Belleplain State Forest east creek trail new jersey

Where the bugs harbor

Belleplain State Forest east creek trail new jersey

In all, it was another fun spot to go.  I’ll go back but probably wait until the winter when there are fewer bugs.

Here are other hikes I’ve done this Spring and Summer:

Hiking Turkey Swamp in Freehold
Exploring Cattus Island in Toms River
Exploring Hartshorne Park in the Highlands
Hiking to the Cape May Lighthouse
Hiking Bear Mountain in a Downpour

You can see all hikes here.

Questions for you:
What is your favorite bug spray? 
Do you have any plans for the summer?

Exploring the Maurice River Bluffs

Recently, I was down in the Vineland area.  I’ve always wanted to check out the Maurice River Bluffs, and it seemed like a good day to do so.  There are a couple of trails down there! Unfortunately, with the weather we’ve had the last couple of months, part of the trails were closed due to flooding.

That is okay, and I still had a relaxing time just exploring.  I stayed on trails and followed the detour route that is currently in place, but it’s not the same route you’ll find online.

I believe I explored about 3 miles worth of the park.  I was able to make it to the actual Maurice River Bluffs, so I felt accomplished.  Tick season is among us, and along with just everyday safety, I like to stay on trails and not make my own.  Most of the path is pine needles and then along the bluffs is a beautiful sandy marsh.

The parking lot is small, and I don’t know how crowded the park can get.  There was plenty of parking when I went, but as mentioned I’m unsure how busy it can be.  When I arrived, I heard loud music playing.  To be honest, for about 5 minutes I thought there was a festival going on inside the park.  I’m not exaggerating at all!  When I walked up to the front, I realized it was coming from someone’s car.

maurice river bluffs nj

Most of the trail is pines.

maurice river bluffs nj

An abandoned building along the trail.  It was pretty cool as most of the building is gone and you can see nearly to the foundation.

maurice river bluffs nj

maurice river bluffs nj

Looking to the bluffs!

maurice river bluffs nj

Gorgeous view along the bluffs that I had no idea existed around there.maurice river bluffs nj

In all, it was a fun little walk in the Vineland. I enjoy exploring new parts of NJ, and this spring and summer have been great for that!

I have been enjoying the peace of hiking and walking through the Spring and now summer.  I’m hopefully looking forward to continuing through the rest of the season.

Other Spring hikes I’ve Done:
Hiking Turkey Swamp in Freehold
Exploring Cattus Island in Toms River
Hartshorne Park in the Highlands
Hiking Cape May Lighthouse

You can see all hikes here.

Questions for you:

Have you ever been to bluffs?

Do you live in an area with a lot of ticks?

Hiking Bear Mountain in a Downpour

Hiking Bear Mountain in a Downpour

I like going to Bear Mountain in New York State, however, some of the hardest and scariest hikes I’ve done have been in that park.  Bear Mountain was one of the first hikes my husband and I did. Somehow, we got lost and hiked over the mountain and to other side and main road.  In order to get back to our car, we either had to take a taxi or spend another 4+ hours hiking in the dark.  By some miracle, there was a driver up there.  When we discussed options that seemed like a silly one to even pursue.

This particular time, we started in a mist and by the time we were about halfway in, it was downpouring.  Honestly, it wasn’t too bad.  I invested in a nice Goretex jacket which kept me dry the entire time.

Here are a few photos:

hiking bear mountain new york state

The beach. On a decent day this is swarming with people

hiking bear mountain new york state

With the storm there were so many trees down

hiking bear mountain new york state

Plenty of water so plenty of streams to cross

hiking bear mountain new york state

The nice thing about the Appalachian Trail is it is well kept and there are many rocks stairs

hiking bear mountain new york state

Views along the way

hiking bear mountain new york state

View from the top

hiking bear mountain new york state

Tower at the top

hiking bear mountain new york state

close up

hiking bear mountain new york state

Well kept facts about the entire area

At the end, once we got back down to the trailhead

In all, we had a great time.  It was pouring rain, but it was definitely one to write home (or blog I guess) about.  We hiked about 4 steep miles that day but with the scrambling, especially when it got wet, it was difficult.  Typically the trail to get to the peak isn’t that rigorous.

Other Spring hikes I’ve Done:

Hiking Turkey Swamp in Freehold

Exploring Cattus Island in Toms River

Exploring Hartshorne Park in the Highlands

You can see all hikes here.

Questions for you:

Have you ever hiked in the rain?

What is your favorite hike?

 

Hiking to the Cape May Lighthouse

Hiking to the Cape May Lighthouse

One of my goals for the Spring and Summer is to go on more walks and hikes through NJ.  Like going to different diners, it’s fun to see different parts of the state.  Recently, after running the Cape May 10k, I went to the Cape May State Park.  I wanted to spend the day outdoors, but I wasn’t in the mood to ‘just lay” on the beach.  Plus, it was slightly too windy and too cold to do so.

The Cape May Lighthouse is a major attraction in the area.  Since it’s along the shore, the state park has a constantly changing shoreline, several freshwater coastal marsh, and ponds.  What I didn’t know was it was also a well-known location for viewing birds.  Many people travel to view birds, which was neat and not something I’ve ever done.  For those who don’t know, I’m terrified of both turkeys and geese, but other birds interest me.  Of any animal, I find them to have the “most personality.”

cape may state park

There are a few trails.  All are easy, along the coast, and we saw people of all ages walking.  We stopped a lot to look at birds but there is no elevation change and many are even on boardwalk.  If you are looking for a rigorous hike, there isn’t for you but if you’re looking something relaxing and scenic, you’ll enjoy it!

cape may state park

Red Trail:

  • about half a mile long and wheelchair access accessible
  • offers hikers access to both the lighthouse ponds
  • Each of the two ponds has a platform to view the birds, swans, and even osprey

Yellow Trail:

  • 1.5 miles long.
  • My favorite of three due to the different habitats including the shore, wetland marsh, and beach

cape may state park

Blue Trail:

  • About 2 miles long
  • Most floral and fauna
  • Like the yellow trail offers there are many different habitats along the shore.

If you are looking to view birds and nature, both the yellow and blue trails are your best bet. The red trail gives a quick glimpse of the park and access to the lighthouse.

cape may state park

cape may state park

cape may state park

I guess after all of that, I should tell you we did make it to the lighthouse.

cape may lighthouse

I’m glad we took some time to visit another of NJ’s parks.  As I mentioned, this Spring and Summer my goal is to visit more parks.

Other Spring hikes I’ve Done:
Hiking Turkey Swamp in Freehold
Exploring Cattus Island in Toms River
Hartshorne Park in the Highlands

You can see all hikes here.

Questions for you:
Have you ever been bird watching?
What are some of your plans this Spring and Summer?

Exploring Hartshorne Park in the Highlands

Exploring Hartshorne Park in the Highlands

As part of my “spring and summer” NJ bucket list, I want to go to more local parks.  Last year we went to a lot of northeast parks, but we’ve been feeling the shore this year!  I’ve already been to Turkey Swamp in Freehold as well as Cattus Island in Toms River.

Anyway, one park I’ve wanted to go to was Hartshorne Park in the Atlantic Highlands.  It’s a little bit of a treck (about 80 minutes), but one random weekday last week, we decided to drive up there.

Hartshorne Park is a lot hillier than anticipated.  I thought, oh it’s along the shore it will probably be flat.  That was not the case and my Garmin said I climbed about 80 flights of stairs.  Not that it matters, but don’t go in expecting a flat shore park.  Hartshorne is 794-acre site and overlooks the Navesink River.  After some research, I came to find out it’s one of the highest elevations along the Atlantic Coast.   If you are looking for a great park for walking, hiking, and even mountain biking (we saw many bikers), this park is for you!  No, the park is not paying me to tell you that, parks are free fun.

One thing drew my husband, and I here was the history of the park:

During World War II, batteries for artillery were built in Hartshorne Park to modernize coastal defense.  You can view several of the bunkers in the park.

With the rise of Airpower (go Air Force).  Military bunkers were not needed as much. During the Cold, War Hartshorne served as a missile defense site and command center.  It was equipped with radar, computers and electronic plotting devices.  All of these structures have been removed, but the bunkers are still in place.

The Hartshorne Park site is now listed officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Anyway-

As I mentioned, I hadn’t done a lot of research about the hiking in the park.  If I had, I would have known all of the historic sites are in the parking lot, and the park is much hillier than anticipated.  We got there around noon, and it took us just about 4 hours to hike 8 miles.  We stopped, we took photos, we looked at the history.  It was a beautiful park with many different views from the woods and deer, to the shore, as well as the military site.

We ended up hiking about 8 miles around the trails and then finished up by viewing the military site.

I didn’t expect so much green, but we did about 6 miles of hiking through that.  Before we came, I expected it almost to be on the water since that is what people took photos of!

Hartshorne park

A very large treeHartshorne park

Another large treeHartshorne park

Most of my photos are from the military site which is within 200 yards of the parking lot.

Hartshorne Park atlantic highlands

A Map of the site

Hartshorne Park atlantic highlands

The Bunker

Hartshorne Park atlantic highlands

Hartshorne Park atlantic highlands

Hartshorne Park atlantic highlands

Now onto the hiking portion.  With the hiking, it goes deep into the pines as well as near the water.  There are so many different views!

Hartshorne Park atlantic highlands

Hartshorne Park atlantic highlands

In all, it was a beautiful hike in the forest as well as along the water.  I’m glad we finally made it up there!

Other Spring hikes I’ve Done:

Hiking Turkey Swamp in Freehold

Exploring Cattus Island in Toms River

You can see all hikes here.

Questions for you:

What was the last historical place you went?

Do you plan to go to the beach this summer?

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