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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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Big Cottonwood Training Week 3: Travel and More Travel

Big Cottonwood Training Week 3: Travel and More Travel

I spent early last week traveling home as well as recovering from the She Power Half Marathon. My quads were slightly sore after the race but seemed to loosen up with the week. It was a more eventful week since I spent half of it on the road.  The week also felt as though it went by fast.

Monday: Easy 45 minutes Indianapolis
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes Wheeling, WV, Easy 2 hours hike PA
Wednesday: 4X1 mile 6:41, 6:45, 6:46, 6:58 (wu/cd 10 miles)
Thursday: Swim 2 miles
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: Red Bank Classic 5k (wu/cd 10 miles)
Sunday: 15 Miles
Total: 53

Week 1: Hello Humidity

Week 2: Half Marathons and Workouts 57 mpw

Week 3: 53 MPW

Thoughts:

My easy runs were just that, easy. It was fun running in several new cities, and I didn’t run in the same area one last week. I’m happy with how the week went. I would have liked to get a second day of swimming in, but with traveling, it didn’t work out.  As I mentioned last week, I base my easy runs on about 6.5 miles per hour. I might run 6.1 or 7, but since my easy runs are typically done by time, it makes it easy to calculate a rough idea of mileage.

Workout Wednesday: 4X1 mile with 2 minutes rest

My legs still felt heavy after the race. I didn’t feel terrible, but I didn’t feel the best. I was glad to get the workout in.

Red Bank Classic 5k: 21:00

I’ve always wanted to do the Red Bank Classic, but the timing never works out. This year it did. To summarize the race, my body didn’t feel great, and I also collided with another racer at the start. I spent a few seconds on the ground. It was hard to get back up and start running, but you can only control what you control. I’m proud of myself for running a solid effort.

Sunday Long Run: 15 Miles

In all, I felt decent but not great. I woke up exhausted and not sure I even wanted to run. I told myself to start and see how it goes. I’m not the type of person that believes you never regret a run, because there are a few times I wish I hadn’t run. Anyway, I got 15 miles in and averaged 8:20 pace which I’m proud of.

In all, it was a decent week. It wasn’t the best week ever, but I got what I needed too done.

Posts from the Week:

Running Podcasts to Keep You Entertained

She Power Half (1:29.27)

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. This weeks newsletter is how to get the most out of your local running store!

Questions for you:

Have you ever fallen during a race?

How was your week of training? 

Exploring Tyler State Park (Newtown, PA)

Exploring Tyler State Park (Newtown, PA)

Tyler State Park (Newtown, PA)

Recently I found myself just north of Philadelphia in Bucks County. Since I was already up there, I thought it would be fun to check out a new park and see what I saw. I spent about 2 hours at Tyler State Park and walked between 4-5 miles. Some of Tyler State Park is a paved trail, some is grassy, muddy, and rugged terrain. It truly has a bit of everything.

At the 1,711 acres of Tyler State Park, there are plenty of runnable paths and it would be a good spot to run if you’re in the area again. In addition ot the nature trails, there are picnic areas, and swimming area in Neshaminy Creek.

At Tyler State Park, many of the trails are paved which can be used for biking too.  During my time at Tyler State Park, I saw bikers, walkers, hikers, and even horseback riders. In fact, when I stopped to let a horse pass, it licked me.

I enjoyed all of the different surfaces at Tyler State Park.  I wanted to test out my Hoka Speedgoat Midis on new surfaces so opted to wear them. They were great for all-terrain including pavement, dirt, grass, and muddy water (my feet stayed dry when I sunk into a few inches of mud).

Hiking Tyler State Park Newton PA

At Tyler State Park, it starts off walking across a dam.  It’s all paved and people were fishing as well.

Hiking Tyler State Park Newton PA

Hiking Tyler State Park Newton PA

While there isn’t a lot of drastic elevation change at Tyler State Park, there is some.

Hiking Tyler State Park Newton PA

At Tyler State Park, we walked through huge fields as well. I thought perhaps it could be used as a cross country course too. Maybe it has been.

Hiking Tyler State Park Newton PA

Even found some “creatures” at Tyler State Park

Hiking Tyler State Park Newton PA

I also thought it would be funny to try and fit into this tree that had fallen and was hallowed out. Why, I don’t know.

Hiking Tyler State Park Newton PA

Hiking Tyler State Park Newton PA

There is even a beautiful covered bridge in the middle of Tyler State Park as well.

Hiking Tyler State Park Newton PA

In all, Tyler State Park was a quiet, fun, hike. If you are in the area and looking for something relaxing to do, I recommend it.  There is so much to do even if you don’t choose hiking. I would love to go at the swimming area.

You can see all hikes here.

Questions for you:

What is your favorite low key park?

Have you ever been horseback riding?

I did when I was much younger.

Hiking Parker Loop at High Point State Park

Hiking Parker Loop at High Point State Park

Parker Loop at High Point State Park

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I woke up early and drove up to Northwest NJ for an all-day hike at Parker Loop at High Point State Park and Stokes State Forest. We ultimately hiked 13.4 miles, and it took us about 6 hours.

We’ve wanted to get to the Parker Loop at High Point State Park for a while. Parker Loop at High Point State Park is just over 2 hours away and the highest point of elevation in NJ. The Parker Loop at High Point State Park was about 15 miles long, but there were a lot of spots, you could quickly go off trail, or get lost. If we did it again, we would follow the blue path which ultimately takes you about 15 miles but is much easier to follow.

The trail at Parker Loop at High Point State Park is moderate. It was only difficult for a couple of climbs and also due to the length. It had everything from climbing, to scrambles, to stream crossings, and walking along dried up water beds.

There are no major parking lots on Parker Loop at High Point State Park and we ended up parking on the side of the road. Parker Loop at High Point State Park started off easy and flat. We wandered through the trail for a couple of miles before hitting a stream.

Hiking Parker Loop Trail High Point State Park NJ

I’ve never crossed a stream before, so it was terrifying. What if I fell in? My husband just went across like no big deal.

Hiking Parker Loop Trail High Point State Park NJ

Hiking Parker Loop Trail High Point State Park NJ

Hiking Parker Loop Trail High Point State Park NJ

After the major stream crossing at Parker Loop at High Point State Park, we followed the trail for several more miles. There are spots that it’s easy to get lost because the trail isn’t the best marked. We added a few sections and had to double back a few times at Parker Loop at High Point State Park. Ultimately, we would have followed the blue path which does about the same thing but is easier to follow.

Hiking Parker Loop Trail High Point State Park NJ

We got to a beautiful campground and lake around mile 6 of Parker Loop at High Point State Park. You can rent cabins and hang out there; it looks like a beautiful and peaceful spot to relax.

Hiking Parker Loop Trail High Point State Park NJ

As we kept going along Parker Loop at High Point State Park, we noticed how many large trees were down. New Jersey has had a lot of storms recently, so I have to wonder if it’s from that, but we noticed dozens, maybe even 100.

Hiking Parker Loop Trail High Point State Park NJ

Around mile 9 of Parker Loop at High Point State Park, comes the longest and steepest climb which takes you to the top. The view is one of my favorites, and if you look, you can see PA, NY, and NJ. (The Northern NJ tri-state).

Hiking Parker Loop Trail High Point State Park NJ

Hiking Parker Loop Trail High Point State Park NJ

Finally, we headed back to the parking area of Parker Loop at High Point State Park. Since we had gotten lost a few times and doubled back, we had no idea how long the trail would be for us. We ultimately did 13.4 miles.  It was a lot of fun, and we are looking forward to doing a few more all day hikes before it gets too hot.

Hiking Parker Loop Trail High Point State Park NJ

You Can See More Hikes Here.

Questions for you:

Have you ever gotten lost?

During one of our first hikes, we got completely lost at Bear Mountain and ended up taking an Uber back. Thank goodness there was one. We learned a lot from that, and how to be much safer hikers.

What is the longest hike you’ve done? Have you ever been to Parker Loop at High Point State Park?

 

Hiking Watchung Reservation

Hiking Watchung Reservation

Recently I was in Watchung Reservation. The weather wasn’t ideal for hiking, but I was in the area and have wanted to go. Because patience is not a virtue I have, I decided to hike anyway (instead of driving back up the following day). Watchung Reservation is part of the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference and the Union County Parks System. There is plenty to do outside of nature trails including the trailside nature science center, loop playground, trailside museum, deserted village of Feltville, and Watchung Stables.

There are also plenty of hiking trails in Watchung Reservation including the History Trail and Sierra Trail. The most famous is the History Trail.  The History Trail at Watchung Reservation is about 6-miles and visits sites of historical significance. The Watchung Reservation, itself is approximately 2,000 acres with Lake Surprise and Glenside Park.

At the Watchung Reservation parking area, there are several posts, benches, historical markers and of course a trail map.  It starts and stops at the Trailside Nature Science Center. It’s not a strenuous hike and was rather enjoyable when we went. Parts were flooded out to rain but no big deal.

It starts on a smooth dirt trail.

Watchung Reservation

There were a ton of trees down at Watchung Reservation!

Watchung Reservation

Watchung Reservation

When we went to cross the reservoir at Watchung Reservation, it was completely flooded out. I had to hop across branches, and stones, which to be honest not falling was one of my biggest accomplishments of the day.

Watchung Reservation

Watchung Reservation

On the other side of the Watchung Reservation and Lake Surprise, there were plenty of historical sites and small huts and houses that were almost completely gone.

Watchung Reservation

In all, Watchung Reservation is a beautiful and peaceful hike. It’s perfect if you want to relax with something not too rigorous.  Or if you want to explore some of the other options available.

You can see all of the hikes here.

Questions for you:

Do you like hiking in the rain?

Are there any historic hikes near you?  Have you been to Watchung Reservation? 

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