While in Delaware, I wanted to check out Cape Henlopen State Park. It looked beautiful. With the exception of traveling through Delaware, I haven’t spent a lot time in Lewes, Rehobeth Beach, or Bethany Beach. I’ve heard Delaware State Parks are beautiful, so I’ve always wanted too. When the opportunity to visit Cape Henlopen State Park presented itself, I decided to go. Why not?
The Walking Dunes Trail in Cape Henlopen State Park is a natural, flat trail. While there isn’t much elevation change, it’s a great option to walk your dogs, get outside, or relax. You don’t need hiking shoes or hiking boots.
Cape Henlopen State Park has several things to do, including the surf, fishing pier, hiking, cycling, or just relaxing at the beach. There are also campsites and bunkers if you want to spend a few days there. Near the parking lot and trailhead for the Walking Dunes Trail, there is a seaside nature center and park office. Towards the Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, you can find a bait and tackle shop.
When we were down towards the shore, people were looking at horseshoe crabs. Several loop trails are depending on the distance you want to go, but the Walking Dunes Trail was perfect for us. We saw several people out too!
Plus, on the Walking Dune Trail, there is also Fort Miles, which is cool to see some historical sites.
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”?
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.
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.
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.
Also while exploring the Sandy Hook Biking trail, it’s worth your while to check out is the Sandy Hook Lighthouse.
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.
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.
Hiking at Bear Mountain State Park (New York State)
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 State Park 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 on the Appalachian Trail 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. Hessian Lake was a zoo and all of the picnic areas at Bear Mountain State Park were taken.
There are plenty of trails at Bear Mountain State Park and Harriman State Parkincluding moderate trails as well as more leisurely and historic trails. If you aren’t into hiking, there is seasonal cross country skiing, ice skating, boating, trailside museums and zoo, and swimming. In the parking lot of Bear Mountain State Park is the Bear Mountain Inn where you can stay overnight.
We started with the leisurely trails which included a lot of history stops.
After about a mile into our hike at Bear Mountain State Park, 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.
It was almost shocking how quiet the trails were because of how busy the Hessian Lake was. While I was taking in the atmosphere, Tarzan appeared…just kidding.
After about 3 miles into our hike at Bear Mountain State Park and an hour and a half, we made it to the top. We could see New York State as well as New Jersey. There were views of Harriman State Park, Hudson Highlands, Bank of the Hudson, Iona Island, Perkins Memorial Tower, Perkins Memorial Drive, Palisades Interstate, Bear Mountain Bridge, and the Hudson Valley.
Talk about a view; it was one of the most incredible views on the East Coast I’ve seen.
After hanging out at the summit of Bear Mountain Mountain 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.
Our hike was planned to be about 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.
We stopped along the way at Bear Mountain State Park to take photos. Like when I nailed yoga on a tree…(just kidding)
It was a great hike at Bear Mountain State Park and after finally getting back to the car, I was beyond exhausted. I felt like I had run a marathon, but views were worth it. Adding the extra 2 miles was definitely exhausting.
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.