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Hiking Los Robles Trail and Open Space

Hiking Los Robles Trail and Open Space

Hiking Los Robles Trail and Open Space

It feels like this was forever ago.  While in California, we hiked five different locations between 2-9 miles.  Nothing was overly strenuous but each was fun and challenging in its own way.

Los Robles Trail and Open Space is located at the southern portion of the Conejo Open Space.  Los Robles Trail and Open Space is located near the highway, and you would never guess there are over 200 acres in the park. There are views of Ventura County, Angel Vista Point, and the Santa Monica Mountains.

We were traveling north from Carlsbad to San Francisco and wanted to get out and stretch your legs.  When I googled short hikes, I found the Los Robles Trail and Open Space. One commenter wrote: “perfect for when you’re stuck in traffic on the 101 freeway and want to get out of the car for a short walk.”

What I didn’t realize until later was Los Robles Trail and Open Space historical significance!  On Feb. 28, 1776, Juan Bautiste de Anza and nearly 200 settlers came through the Conejo Valley on a similar trail while traveling from Mexico to San Francisco.

While we were out on Los Robles Trail and Open Space, we saw several other hikers as well as plenty of mountain bikers too. Hiking Los Robles Trail CA

Los Robles Trail and Open Space

Hiking Los Robles Trail CA

Lots of mountain bike trails too at Los Robles Trail and Open Space

Hiking Los Robles Trail CA

A very old tree

Hiking Los Robles Trail CA

Views of Los Robles Trail and Open Space

Hiking Los Robles Trail CA

The end Los Robles Trail and Open Space to a neighborhood

Hiking Los Robles Trail CA

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Trying to catch a sunset and eating hair. Typical.

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You Can See More Hikes here.

California Hikes:

Hiking Marin Headlands (San Francisco)

Hiking Calavera Hills Community Park

Mini Trip to Los Angeles

Questions for you:

Are you good at road trips? Can you drive for a long period of time without stopping? (not me LOL)

Where is your favorite spot to hike? 

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Walking the Manasquan Reservoir

Walking the Manasquan Reservoir

Manasquan Reservoir

Recently I was at the Manasquan Reservoir.  Even with the number of times I tried to spell it writing the post, I’ve struggled! The Manasquan Reservoir has plenty of recreational activities including fishing and boating, wildlife and habitat protection. Plus there are nature programs, exhibits, multi media presentations, wildlife, and habitat protection. It’s a great spot for schools and community groups. I’ve never seen a bald eagle at Manasquan Reservoir but there are many reports of them hanging out at the wildlife observation areas.

Anyway, the perimeter loop at the 770-acre Reservoir is 5 miles and it’s a scenic, flat loop with views of the reservoir and Manasquan River. You can run or walk, whatever you’re feeling like.  It took me about 2 hours to walk the Manasquan Reservoir but I was taking my time and seeing what I saw.  Manasquan Reservoir would be a fairly nice loop to run or even do a workout on.  Why didn’t I run? I was catching up with a couple of people and it was a cross training day. I would come back and run the Manasquan Reservoir.

The Manasquan Reservoir is an easy hike or walk, but there is always a view along the way.  Plus, I saw people riding horses which I haven’t seen in a while. I parked near the boat ramp and just walked around that way.

The Manasquan Reservoir Park has about 1,200 acres which include the reservoir itself plus the surrounding forests and wetlands. While it was cold when we were out, you can boat or fish at the reservoir too.

manasquan reservoir perimeter trail

The Manasquan Reservoir is well marked with plenty of signs. It’s next to impossible to get lost (believe me, if there is a way to get lost, I will)

manasquan reservoir perimeter trail

A few bridges at the beginning of the Manasquan Reservoir

manasquan reservoir perimeter trail

manasquan reservoir perimeter trail

The water wasn’t frozen over but the tree branches had their fair share of icicles at Manasquan Reservoir

manasquan reservoir perimeter trail

Much of the path is easy, crushed, gravel at Manasquan Reservoir

manasquan reservoir perimeter trail

A pack of deer right next to me. They were tame and didn’t care…

manasquan reservoir perimeter trail

manasquan reservoir perimeter trail

manasquan reservoir perimeter trail

The final section Manasquan Reservoir goes by road. It’s not more than 1/2 mile though.

manasquan reservoir perimeter trail

In all, it was a beautiful but cold adventure. I like the Manasquan reservoir and I want to come back and run.

You Can See All NJ Hikes Here.

2019 Winter Hikes I’ve Done:

Hiking to the Headley Overlook at Mahlon Dickerson

Questions for you:

What is your favorite season to hike? 

Have you ever come close to a deer? 

Hiking to the Headley Overlook at Mahlon Dickerson

Hiking to the Headley Overlook at Mahlon Dickerson

Headley Overlook at Mahlon Dickerson

I haven’t had a lot of time to hike lately and I’ve missed it.  Truthfully between running and hiking, there are times I just appreciate hiking. Not trail running but just hiking and tooling around in on trails for a few hours. I’ve wanted to get to the Headley Overlook at Mahlon Dickerson for a while.  Northern New Jersey has plenty of beautiful trails including Headley Overlook at Mahlon Dickerson.

Headley Overlook is located in Mahlon Dickerson Park in northwest NJ.  The park itself has about 10 miles of hiking or running depending on your mood. I went to the Headley Overlook at Mahlon Dickerson after a few days of rain, so the park was wetter than normal but still moderately easy to get through.

Hiking to the Headley Overlook at Mahlon Dickerson

The Headley Overlook at Mahlon Dickerson has a view of Lake Hopatcong. Then the trail passes the highest point in Morris County (1395′).

Then you return down an old flat rail bed (also known as the Ogden Mine Railroad).  At the Headley Overlook at Mahlon Dickerson, you can hike anywhere between 1-10 miles because of all of the trail systems. The New York-New Jersey Trail Conference has all of the trail maps online including pine swamp loop and highlands trail teal.

We set out to stay at Headley Overlook at Mahlon Dickerson for about 3 hours. It ended up being somewhere between 5-7 miles.

Hiking to the Headley Overlook at Mahlon Dickerson

We parked at the beautiful and peaceful Saffin Pond. There is plenty of room in the parking lot and parking area. Plus a small picnic area too. We started on the teal diamond which was rocky and a little wet due to rain at Headley Overlook at Mahlon Dickerson.

Hiking to the Headley Overlook at Mahlon Dickerson

Nothing too strenuous and I used my Under Armour Gore Trail shoes with no issues.  Slowly I started climbing over the course of a mile and arrived to the Headley Overlook around 2.5 miles. The view at Headley Overlook at Mahlon Dickerson is wonderful and you can see Lake Hopatcong in the distance.

Around 4 miles, I reached the highest point in Morris County. It’s not the highest spot in NJ, but up there.

highest point morris county me

From there, we hiked back to the car which was another hour or so. We explored the old rail beds.  It was the lowest, and the wettest area in the Headley Overlook at Mahlon Dickerson.

Hiking to the Headley Overlook at Mahlon Dickerson

Hiking to the Headley Overlook at Mahlon Dickerson

In all, Headley Overlook at Mahlon Dickerson was a peaceful hike. The entire park has about 10 miles of trails which are doable for most, especially the rail bed (which is almost completely flat).

You can see all hikes here. 

Questions for you:

What is your favorite hiking spot? Have you been to Headley Overlook at Mahlon Dickerson? 

What is your favorite season to hike?

I thought mine was summer, but truthfully, I enjoy the lack of bugs and people during this time of the year.

Walking Merrill Creek Reservoir

Walking Merrill Creek Reservoir

Merrill Creek Reservoir (Phillipsburg, NJ)

Recently, I found myself in Phillipsburg, New Jersey.  Phillipsburg and Warren County don’t get a lot of attention in the Garden State.  It’s an area northwest of Trenton and an area that is truly considered “the Garden State.”

The reservoir is a 650-acre reservoir surrounded by a 290-acre environmental preserve.  The Merrill Creek Reservoir is a man-made lake with a dam constructed in 1986-1987. A surprising fact is the construction cost $217 million and was one of the largest construction projects in the US.

Merrill Creek Reservoir has plenty of space and can be used for running, hiking, cross-country skiing, and photography. If I was local it would be somewhere I would run. There are several loops, but I chose to walk around the 5.5-mile perimeter loop.  The Merrill Creek Reservoir is relatively flat and well maintained. The visitor center noted some of the animals seen included bald eagles, rainbow trout, lake trout, and white-tailed deer. It’s the tranquil setting of water and land that allows people to interact with the natural beauty of the Merrill Creek Reservoir.

There are beautiful views of both the Merrill Creek Reservoir as well as mountains and additional acres of woods and fields in the background.  If I lived close by, I could see myself running there.  It was quiet at the Merrill Creek Reservoir and there were only a few others on the trail.
Walking Merrill Creek Reservoir

Walking Merrill Creek Reservoir

The bark peeled off means a bear got to it :O

The Merrill Creek Reservoir trail was a bit flooded over in one small section

Walking Merrill Creek Reservoir

Walking Merrill Creek Reservoir

You could walk over the dam

Walking Merrill Creek Reservoir

In all, it was a lot of fun and a short easy walk at the Merrill Creek Reservoir. It took about 2 hours to complete.  If you’re looking for something easy, scenic, and fun, the Merrill Creek Reservoir is a good option.

You Can See More Hikes here.

Questions for you:

Have you ever walked around a reservoir? Have you been to the Merrill Creek Reservoir? 

Where is your favorite spot to hike around you?

Hiking Gray Back Peak Trail

Gray Back Peak Trail (Colorado)

The final hiking post on vacation was also in Colorado Springs.  The Gray Back Peak Trail is about 3 miles and follows a ridge up to a summit.  The Gray Back Peak Trail is a fairly easy and quiet trail, and we didn’t see a single person or horse out there (apparently, there is a horse trail there too). On Gray Back Peak Trail, there are nice views of the Cheyenne Mountain and Emerald Valley.

The Gray Back Peak Trail starts here on a somewhat single track trail.  You don’t climb much at the start of Gray Back Peak Trail but follow the straightforward trail for about 1.5-1.7 miles.

Grey Back Peak TrailThere are plenty of rocks to stand and take photos on at Gray Back Peak Trail, if that is your sort of thing. It’s one of the most scenic hikes we have done thus far because you have a view almost 100% of the time.

Grey Back Peak Trail The final hiking post of vacation was also in Colorado Springs. The Grey Back Peak Trail is about a 3 miles and follows a ridge up to a summit. It’s a fairly easy and quiet trail, and we didn’t see a single person or horse out there (apparently, you can ride your horse there).
Once we made it to the end of Gray Back Peak Trail, we were rewarded with a great view overlooking Colorado Springs. We saw several military planes flying too and from the bases. I joked, we can never truly get away from planes. 😉
Grey Back Peak Trail
On the way back down Gray Back Peak Trail, I wanted to climb up one of the rocks. Most people know by now how clumsy I am, so it was better thought than done. With a running start, boost from my husband, and several attempts I made it up. It makes me look more bad@$$ than I am. It was a bigger accomplishment than hiking Gray Back Peak Trail.

In all, Gray Back Peak Trail was a great short hike. We were out for about two hours. If you are looking for something relaxing with a great view, I highly recommend the Grey Back Peak Trail in Colorado Springs.  Gray Back Peak Trail was a short but quiet hike.  With a view the entire time, it was one of my favorites!

Hiking: 
Hiking Flagstaff Mountain in Boulder
Hiking Zion and Bryce Canyon
Visiting the Grand Canyon
Hiking 7 Bridges (Colorado Springs)

Running: 
Haunted Half Marathon 5k (19:40)
Two Weeks of Training: Easy Miles Out West

Diners: 
Sams 3 Diner (Denver)
New Castle Diner (Colorado)
King Chefs Diner (Colorado Springs)
Snooze (Denver)

Questions for You:
Do you have a favorite trail? Have you been to Gray Back Peak Trail? 
Have you ever been horseback riding? 

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