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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?

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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? 

Exploring Box Canyon Falls (Ouray, Co)

Exploring Box Canyon Falls (Ouray, Co)

Box Canyon Falls (Ouray, Co)

After running the Mt. Sneffels Half Marathon and refueling, my husband and I decided to check out the Box Canyon Falls (Ouray).  This wasn’t so much a hike as a tourist attraction, so it’s a great stop if you don’t feel like walking much, but want to see waterfalls.

Located in the city of Ouray, the “Box Cañon” Falls, is the point where the Canyon Creek narrows and spills thousands of gallons of water a minute over the falls. It’s one of the more beautiful waterfalls I’ve been too. The Box Canyon Falls are an 85 foot waterfall that falls into the narrow Canyon Creek.

The Box Canyon is also home to the Black Swifts which are swifts that migrate from Brazil. They stay from June to September, but sadly we didn’t see any.

We arrived around noon, paid, and talked the person in the Visitor Center. He gave us plenty of information, including trail information, history, and geology of the area.

At the Box Canyon Falls, there were plenty of people of every age visiting. If you are looking for something low key and quiet, this probably isn’t your stop. There is a parking area located right next to the Box Canyon Visitor Center.

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Colorado you were fun. Until next time.

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At the Box Canyon Falls there are three trails:

  • The Main Trail: The Falls Trail is an easy, level 500 foot trail that takes you to the Box Canyon Falls. There are steps to go down the canyon.
  • The High Bridge Trail: 95 rock steps take you up 200 feet for a beautiful view of Ouray. It also connects to the Perimeter Trail. If we hadn’t decided to run the half marathon, I would have loved to do the Perimeter trail in Ouray. It’s a beautiful view over the falls as well as Ouray itself.
  • The Native Plant Loop: The Native Plenty Loop looks and identifies several native plants as well as animals along the Box Canyon. This is also short and easy.

We did all three trails and even taking our time, and it took us about 45 minutes. If you are in Ouray, I highly recommend checking out the Box Canyon Falls.

Box Canyon Falls Ouray Co

The Box Canyon Falls

Box Canyon Falls Ouray Co

Walking through a tunnel a the top of the High Bridge Trail

In all, it was a beautiful and short walk to the Box Canyon Falls. If you are around Ouray and have 30 minutes, I highly suggest stopping.

Box Canyon Falls Ouray Co

View from the top of Box Canyon

Box Canyon Falls Ouray Co

The Box Canyon Falls

You can see all the hikes here.

Questions for you:

Have you ever been to Box Canyon Falls or Ouray?

What is your favorite waterfall?

 

 

Hiking Cheesequake State Park

Hiking Cheesequake State Park

A few weeks ago, I decided to take a trip to Cheesequake State Park. I’ve seen Cheesequake Park from the Garden State Parkway, and it even has it’s own Parkway exit. A dirt road runs underneath the Garden State Parkway to connect the northern and southern sides of Cheesequake Park.

Despite being that close to the Parkway, you don’t hear the cars rolling by. Cheesequake State Park has always been on my “to-do list,” but the timing or weather neer worked out. Cheesequake State Park is located in Old Bridge, Middlesex County, New Jersey.

After doing research, I learned the name Cheesequake comes from the following Native American Lenape words:

Cheseh-oh-ke, which means “upland.”

Chiskhakink, which means the “at the land that has been cleared.”

Here are a Few Things Cheesequake Park Has:

  • Camping, Tent and Trailer Sites with flushable toilets and shower facilities (facilities within walking distance of campsites)
  • Picnic Areas with Fire Rings
  • Swimming with Lifeguards
  • Fishing for trout, largemouth bass, catfish, and sunfish
  • Interpretive Center with History of the Park and Colonization History
  • Roughly 8 miles of easy to navigate hiking

 

Cheesequake State Park Middlesex NJCheesequake State Park Middlesex NJ

Cheesequake State Park Middlesex NJ

Part of the trails were almost flooded over. I was wearing my Hoka Speedgoat Midi Boot which prevented any water in my shoes.

Cheesequake State Park Middlesex NJ

Cheesequake State Park Middlesex NJ

Cheesequake State Park offers some beautiful views. There are no mountains to climb, but you do get some glimpses of the North Jersey shore.

Cheesequake State Park Middlesex NJ

This might be the most unique thing I’ve noticed on a hike. I looked down to see a “swarm of caterpillars” all climbing over them. I’ve never seen anything like it. After talking with someone in the nature center, she mentioned the caterpillers do this for safety with numbers. It’s known as “as a rolling swarm of caterpillars.”

The caterpillers were harmless but a group of caterpillers bunched together is not something you see every day.

Cheesequake State Park Middlesex NJ

In all, I had a fun couple of hours at Cheesequake State Park. If you’re looking for an easy to navigate state park with trailer sites, fire rings, and picnic tables, Cheesequake Park is a good stop.

You Can See All Hikes Here.

Questions for you:

Have you ever seen a swarm of caterpillars?

Where is somewhere you’ve wanted to hike around you? 

Hiking Tuscarora Mountain

Tuscarora Mountain

On the way home from Indianapolis, my husband and I decided to stop at the Tuscarora Mountains for a 2-hour hike. I’m not someone who road trips very well (meaning about 5 hours is my limit for sitting still, and I need to use the bathroom every couple of hours.) The weather was perfect, and we thought it would be a good stop. Since my husband grew up in the area, he knew Tuscarora Mountain well.

The Tuscarora Mountains are an accessible destination to get to if you’re in central PA and Franklin Counties. Many main roads like the Pennsylvania turnpike come within minutes of the trailhead for Tuscarora Mountain. There are a few hiking trails that reach the summit of Tuscarora Mountain, but you can also park at the top of the big mountain and admire the view.

Hiking Tuscarora Mountain Pa

We saw a few deer as well as a few giant spiders at Tuscarora Mountain.  This was a little to close for comfort.

Hiking Tuscarora Mountain Pa spider

The trail at Tuscarora Mountain is one of the more overgrown trails we’ve been too recently. Some spots have a calf-length grass. I advise you to wear long pants (even if it’s hot) and use bug spray. The public health major in me, says that Lyme disease is most prevalent in PA so be protected.).

Hiking Tuscarora Mountain Pa

There are a few rocky spots, especially to the summit of Tuscarora Mountain, but for the most part, it’s an easy trail. It’s 4 miles out and back (8 round trip), but if you feel like that’s too overwhelming, you can park at the top of Tuscarora Mountain and walk down then back up.

Hiking Tuscarora Mountain Pa

The trail at Tuscarora Mountain is well marked, and unless you decide to go bushwhacking, it’s next to impossible to get lost.

Hiking Tuscarora Mountain Pa

The top of  Tuscarora Mountain is worth the climb and even if you want to make a pit stop and just drive to the top, it’s beautiful. It’s one of my favorite summits of hiking so far. Since we have family around here, it would be a fun stop to go back. It looks like there are plenty of trails.

Hiking Tuscarora Mountain Pa

Hiking Tuscarora Mountain Pa

 

Hiking Tuscarora Mountain Pa Tim and I

You Can See More Hikes Here. 

Questions for you:

Are you a fan of road trips? How long can you sit in a car? 

Do you like hiking? 

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