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Exploring Sandy Hook Biking Trail

Exploring Sandy Hook Biking Trail

Sandy Hook Biking Trail (Sandy Hook, NJ)

Recently, my husband and I went up to Sandy Hook and the Gateway Recreational Area.  Sandy Hook is a large park with a beautiful biking path: ie the Sandy Hook biking trail.

The Sandy Hook Unit is located in Sandy Hook which is on the northeast shore of New Jersey.   Why is it called the “Gateway”?

Photo was taken by me when we flew over the Sandy Hook Biking Trail last year

The barrier peninsula forms the other side of the “gateway” to New York Harbor. The Sandy Hook Unit of Gateway National Recreation Area is located in New Jersey. In total, Sandy Hook has 6 miles of beaches. There are also many historical sites, including Fort Hancock, Lighthouse,  Missile site, and military artillery batteries.  There is also a lengthy Sandy Hook biking trail which is great for runners or bikers.  Plus a beautiful view of New York City and a great view of Manhatten.

sandy hook gateway recreation area

There are Two Primary Sites on the Sandy Hook Biking Trail:

Fort Hancock: served as part of the harbor’s coastal defense system from 1895 until 1974.  There are over 100 historic buildings still left today.

sandy hook gateway recreation area

sandy hook gateway recreation area

sandy hook gateway recreation area

sandy hook gateway recreation area

Walking through the Battery on the Sandy Hook Biking Trail

sandy hook gateway recreation area

The Sandy Hook Biking Trail takes you around the park.

Sandy Hook itself contains seven beaches.  What I didn’t realize was there is even a nude beach (Gunnison Beach).  Since it was 40 and windy, no one was there.  Surrounding the beaches are salt marshes.  It looked like it was an excellent spot for both fishing and surfing as we saw more people doing that than exploring.

sandy hook gateway recreation area

sandy hook gateway recreation area

sandy hook gateway recreation area

OMG nude beach

Also while exploring the Sandy Hook Biking trail, it’s worth your while to check out is the Sandy Hook Lighthouse. sandy hook gateway recreation area

Outside of the primary Sandy Hook biking trail, there are three hiking trails and one short boardwalk within the Sandy Hook Unit of Gateway National Recreation Area. We spent about 90 minutes walking around the Sandy Hook Biking Trail, but it looks like a great spot to get to run or bike over 10 miles.  Most of the trails are bike path or pavement.

sandy hook gateway recreation area

In all, we had a great time at the Sandy Hook Biking Trail.  Not our typical “hike through woods” but never the less a great time. The Sandy Hook biking trail and the national park is a great afternoon troop. It would be a beautiful beach or running trail to run if we lived closer.

You can see more hikes here.

Questions for you:

Have you ever been to a nude beach? (I actually have when I went on a cruise to the Carribean a while back).

Do you have any cool historical spots near you? Have you been to Sandy Hook or the Sandy Hook Biking trail? 

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Hiking at Bear Mountain Park

Last week, my husband and I went hiking. I’m new to hiking, but as I mentioned in a previous post, we want to see plenty of local places while we still live in New Jersey.  We are both enjoying it, and it’s been a fun weekend hobby instead of traveling to road races.  To be honest, hiking is an incredibly intense workout and it tires me out more than running.

For our next adventure, we drove 2 hours north into New York State to Bear Mountain State Park.  Yes, Rockland County…no not “Upstate, NY”.  As someone who went to school in Potsdam, NY, 30 miles north of New York City is not upstate.

Bear Mountain is about 40 miles north of New York City.  The park itself has  a lot to do including a lake for swimming, trails, places to picnic and even a zoo.  There are plenty of moderate trails to hike too.  When we went, it was a beautiful day which meant there was no parking at all.  Most people were at the lake beach, in fact, even though hundreds of parking spots were filled, we only saw two other parties during our entire hike.

There are plenty of trails including moderate trails as well as more leisurely and historic trails.  We started with the leisurely trails which included a lot of history stops.

Bear Mountain Hiking

Bear Mountain Hiking

Bear Mountain Hiking

The actual barn

After about a mile we went along the yellow trail and left the historic area.  The trails became much more intense and there were some points we were almost rock climbing.  Considering I’m clumsy, perhaps this wasn’t the best idea. Everything was fine, though and even my ankle felt okay.

Bear Mountain Hiking

It was almost shocking how quiet the trails were because of how busy the lake was.  While I was taking in the atmosphere, Tarzan appeared…just kidding.

Bear Mountain Hiking

After about 3 miles and an hour and a half, we made it to the top.  We could see New York State as well as New Jersey.  Talk about a view; it was one of the most incredible views on the East Coast I’ve seen.

Bear Mountain Hiking

After hanging out at the top for a bit, we decided to head back.  Despite having a map, we got lost. There is another red trail we ended up connecting too and it caused us to hike across the entire park.  bear mountain state park

Our hike was only planned to be 4 miles, but it was 6 for us.  It wasn’t a big deal except I was starving.  Luckily I packed a giant red velvet diner cookie from lunch.

The diner cookie was the real MVP of the hike.

Bear Mountain Hiking

We stopped along the way taking photos of random spots too.  Like when I nailed yoga on a tree…(just kidding)

nature yoga meme

It was a great hike and after finally getting back to the car, I was beyond exhausting.  I felt like I had run a marathon, but views were worth it. Addig the extra 2 miles was definitely exhausting.

bear mountain state park tim and i

At the end of the day, we ended up hiking a 1000+ elevation gain (which is a lot for me). It was a great hike and we are looking forward to going back.

elevation bear mountain

Other hiking related posts:
Hiking Hemlock Falls
Hiking the Hollywood Sign

Questions for you:
Have you ever been hiking?  Have you gotten lost?
Would you rather go hiking or into the mountains?

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