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Hiking Sunrise Mountain at State Forest

Hiking Sunrise Mountain at State Forest

Hiking Sunrise Mountain at Stokes State Forest

I’ve wanted to hike Sunrise Mountain at Stokes State Forest for a while. It’s just over 2 hours and about a 14-mile hike, so it takes planning. Sunrise Mountain is worth the drive and it was one of the most beautiful hikes I’ve done in New Jersey.

Stokes State Forest has several activities and camping hookups including group sites, sites with fire rings and picnic tables, tent and trailer sites, group campsites and camping areas. Plus it’s only a short drive from the Delaware Water Gap National Park and Buttermilk Falls.

You can drive up to Sunrise Mountain and there are several spots and parking lots you can park along the Appalachian Trail. Around the viewpoint on the Appalachian Trail, there are multiple viewpoints, so it’s more crowded.

There is a pavilion at the top of the Mountain with benches, a water tower, and picnic areas. We sat on giant rocks and ate our bagels.

The terrain at Stokes State Forest is relatively easy and not the rockiest terrain we’ve done. Even the Appalachian Trail isn’t as challenging. The trail does a short, steep, climb up to the summit of Sunrise Mountain at Stokes State Forest.

The view at the top of Sunrise Mountain at Stokes State Forest is beautiful and you can see the Poconos, Catskills, Wallkill valley, NJ Highlands, Delaware Valley, Tillman Ravine Natural area, and Pochuck Mountains.

Photos from hiking Sunrise Mountain at Stokes State Forest:

The start and trailhead of Sunrise Mountain at Stokes State Forest 

Sunrise Mountain at Stokes State Forest

Huts along Sunrise Mountain in at Stokes State Forest. There are plenty of group campsites and spots to stop an hike.

Sunrise Mountain at Stokes State Forest

Climbing stairs towards the summit of Sunrise Mountain

Sunrise Mountain at Stokes State Forest

There is a giant pavilion at the summit of Sunrise Mountain

Sunrise Mountain at Stokes State Forest

As you can see Sunrise Mountain at Stokes State Forest is worth it

Sunrise Mountain at Stokes State Forest

As you can see Sunrise Mountain at Stokes State Forest is worth the trip up. It’s one of my favorite hikes in New Jersey and I can’t wait to go back.

You can see all of the hikes here.

Questions for you:

Have you hiked the Appalachian Trail? Have you ever hiked Sunrise Mountain at Stokes State Forest?

Where is your favorite spot to hike near you? 

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Hiking Wissahickon Creek Gorge Loop Trail

Wissahickon Creek Gorge Loop Trail (Philadelphia, PA)

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I wanted to check out the Wissahickon Creek Gorge Loop Trail near Philadelphia. The Wissahickon Creek Gorge Loop Trail is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that features multiple trails for runners, hikers, and mountain bikers. The orange trail and white trail and slightly more technical than Forbidden Drive. The Friends of the Wissahickon do a great job maintaining the trails for the city of Philadelphia.

We’ve run at Wissahickon dozens of times but never taken the back trails and hiked. The Wissahickon Creek Gorge Loop Trail is a 9.2 mile trafficked loop trail.  It has a waterfall and isn’t too technical that with the right shoes, most people are able to hike.

If you’ve never been The Wissahickon Valley Park, there are more than 50 miles of trails. You can run, hike, or bike and forget you’re still in Philadelphia.

The main trail, Forbidden Drive, runs five miles along Wissahickon Creek. Forbidden Drive is a wide, flat, gravel, road that I’ve run on many times.

While HikingWissahickon Creek Gorge Loop Trail You’ll see a little bit of everything Philadelphia has to offer:

  • Wissahickon Gorge
  • Valley Green Inn
  • Covered Bridge
  • Fingerspan Bridge
  • Runners, hikers, and mountain bikers
  • Possibly horseback riders too (We didn’t that day, but we do many times we are running)
Hiking Wissahickon Greek Gorge Loop Trail

No fast runners allowed

Hiking Wissahickon Greek Gorge Loop Trail

At the top of Chestnut Hill while hiking Wissahickon Creek Gorge Loop Trail

Hiking Wissahickon Greek Gorge Loop Trail

The Wissahickon Gorge

Hiking Wissahickon Greek Gorge Loop Trail

The main attraction of hiking Wissahickon Creek Gorge Loop Trail.

Hiking Wissahickon Greek Gorge Loop Trail

 

hiking Wissahickon Creek Gorge Loop Trail

hiking Wissahickon Creek Gorge Loop Trail

hiking over the Fingerspan Bridge bridge at Wissahickon Creek Gorge Loop Trail

You can see all hikes here.

In all, it was a great afternoon. Let me know, have you been hiking in Philadelphia? What’s your favorite part?

Hiking Splitrock Reservoir

Hiking Splitrock Reservoir

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I headed north to hike Splitrock Reservoir in Rockaway Township in North Jersey. We narrowed it down to a few hikes, but the Splitrock Reservoir won out. We usually use the Alltrails App to find what we are looking for. The hike itself was supposed to be about 11 miles, but we think we might have cut off a mile or so. We heard Splitrock Reservoir was a beautiful hike, so we decided to drive up.

There is about 20 spots to in the parking area and parking lot. After starting the hike, you actually turn left onto Split Rock Road and walk over a dam to get to the beginning of the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference trail. While the hike starts on a dirt road, you quickly exit and get onto the Splitrock Reservoir trail system.

Splitrock Reservoir is rocky with elevation change almost every step. You don’t have a lot of steep climbs, but you are either climbing or descending nearly every step. There were also water crossings, and they’ve added rope to help you across.

Before our hike at Splitrock Reservoir, it hadn’t rained much, so the water level was high. About 5 minutes into our walk, it started torrentially downpouring. We thought it would clear up, but it didn’t. It was a soggy but enjoyable hike.  In case you wondered, I used the Hoka Midi Speedgoat which kept my feet dry the entire time.

Several factors made Splitrock Reservoir a challenging hike:

  • Length
  • Scrambling
  • Unforgiving rain

While it was challenging, we did both enjoy ourselves.

Splitrock Reservoir

Splitrock Reservoir

Splitrock Reservoir

Can you tell it’s raining on the Splitrock Reservoir?

Splitrock Reservoir

Splitrock Reservoir

Splitrock Reservoir

Splitrock Reservoir

There is no real “peak” of Splitrock Reservoir, but this comes the closest

It was a lot of fun, and we hiked somewhere between 9-10 miles. I would love to go back to Splitrock Reservoir when it isn’t pouring rain.

You can see all the hikes here.

Questions for you:

Have you ever hiked in the rain?

Do you prefer hiking with a peak or around a reservoir? 

Hiking Green Mountain in Black Canyon (Gunnison National Park)

Hiking Green Mountain in Black Canyon (Gunnison National Park)

While in Colorado, my husband and I wanted to be outside as much as possible. We found the Green Mountain in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. It’s far off the beaten path, and you are driving an extra hour down dirt roads and no service zones to get there. But is it worth it? Yes. Hiking Green Mountain in Black Canyon is a great 3-4 hour hike. We took our time, and it took us about 4 hours round trip. We stopped for a while to admire the views, especially at the summit of Green Mountain and Exclamation Point.

Hiking Green Mountain in Black Canyon (Gunnison National Park)

The North Rim of The Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is located near Crawford, Colorado. The South Rim is located near Montrose, Colorado. Between the two rims is nearly a 2-hour drive.

One of the most beautiful views of the trail, Exclamation Point, is worth it and not as far. To be honest, it rivals the views of the Grand Canyon. You basically follow the rim of Black Canyon, so the entire 7 miles (3.5 out and back) is worth it. After visiting Exclamation Point, I believe it’s closer to 8 miles round trip.

Hiking Green Mountain in Black Canyon (Gunnison National Park)

We started around noon from the North Rim Ranger Station. It costs $15 to enter Gunnison National Park.

The first miles are peaceful. Since the Green Mountain Trail is so far off the beaten path, there aren’t a lot of hikers. We saw about four parties the entire time we were out. Some spots are shaded and hidden from the sun.

Hiking Green Mountain in Black Canyon (Gunnison National Park)

Around mile 1.5 is the view of Exclamation Point. In my opinion, it’s the best view of the park. You are up close and personal with views of the canyon. I mean it’s named after an exclamation mark! At Exclamation Point there is one big lollipop trail, so it doesn’t matter which direction you choose at Exclamation Point. They will both lead back to the main trail.

Hiking Green Mountain in Black Canyon (Gunnison National Park)

Looking down at Exclamation Point

There is another Overlook that is worth a short stop. It’s just called Overlook which seems boring compared to Exclamation Point. Maybe it will be named after another punctuation mark like a question mark or quotation mark.

Hiking Green Mountain in Black Canyon (Gunnison National Park)

As you head back to the North Vista Trail, the paths get sandy and muddy. It’s not a hike I would be likely to do after a lot of rain.

 

Hiking Green Mountain in Black Canyon (Gunnison National Park)Somewhere between 3.25-3.6, the trail begins to incline, and there are switchbacks. This is the steepest part of the path and where most of the 800 feet of elevation are gained.  Once you reach the top, the trail circles the Summit of Green Mountain. I kept thinking, “are we there yet,” only to realize we were doing another lollipop and you have 360 degrees of views of Black Canyon and Green Mountain. It doesn’t have the same close-up feel of Exclamation Point, but you can see a good 50 miles over Gunnison State Park, Black Canyon, the San Juans, Gunnison River, and Green Mountain.

Hiking Green Mountain in Black Canyon (Gunnison National Park)

Then you head back the way you came. I would love to explore more trails in Gunnison National Park.

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Lost WiFi but didn’t get lost.

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You Can See All Hikes Here.

Questions for you:

Have you ever been to Gunnison National Park?

What is one of your favorite hikes?

Exploring Ridgway State Park (Colorado)

Exploring Ridgway State Park (Colorado)

While in Colorado, my husband and I wanted to check out new parks.

Ridgway State Park Colorado

I got to see my first tumbleweed!

Ridgway State Park in Colorado was the perfect stop on the way to Ouray. There is a beautiful five-mile long reservoir to walk around.

Ridgeway State Park is only 15 miles north of Ouray. The park has plenty to do, including campgrounds, beautiful reservoir, fishing, hiking trails, and wildlife viewings. There is even a Volleyball court.

We stopped at the Pa Co Chu Puk Campground and walked around the area. We could see plenty of people with tent sites and full hookups. The Dakota Terrace and Elk Ridge Campgrounds look to be the most popular campgrounds, and there are accessible recreation areas. There are even a few cabins and yurts to rent.

One thing I found awesome was the Reservoir, and the Uncompahgre River was universally accessible for all. They had plenty of handicap options. There is a swimming beach located in one of the parking areas.

There are over 14 miles of marked trails in Ridgway State Park. Several of the trails are concrete and easy for biking or
rollerblading.  There are also many gravel trails for hikers wanted to be secluded. There are a variety of terrain options from grasslands, forests, and trails along the rivers. Everywhere you turn, there are beautiful views of the San Juan Mountains.

Ridgway State Park Colorado

Walking through Ridgway State Park

Ridgway State Park Colorado

View of the Reservoir

Ridgway State Park Colorado

View of the Reservoir and the San Juan Mountains

Ridgway State Park Colorado

View of the Uncompahgre River

Ridgway State Park was one of our favorite stops in our adventure. It’s accessible for all, and we saw plenty of families camping and relaxing in the Uncompahgre River. If we come back, I would love to check the campgrounds and spent a couple of nights in a cabin or yurt and on the hiking trails.

You Can See More Hikes Here. 

Questions for you:

Have you been to Ridgway State Park?

What is your favorite campground? 

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