Another year gone by already – well, that didn’t take long. And it’s apparently that time of year again to reflect on how 2015 was for hiking.
My hiking time this fall was a bit limited, especially due to a rather brain-draining graduate school project that I had to wrap up over the last few weeks. (It’s also the reason why the blog’s been a little quiet of late. So I beg your indulgence on that one, oh trail heads.)
All things considered, it was a pretty awesome year for outdoor pursuits. I got to take on a short chunk of the Appalachian Trail back in June, during a National Trails Day gathering up at Bear Mountain. Took a first run out on some cool multi-use trails, including the Columbia Trail out in western New Jersey and the Pine Creek Rail Trail out in central Pennsylvania.
It was a great summer for geocaching: I located caches ranging from an ammo box buried out in the middle of the woods near a trail I often frequent, to a smallish prescription bottle-size container located near a small town playing field and rec center. (And I’m not going to say exactly where, because geocachers, like Star Wars fans, don’t like spoilers.)
Saw a couple of bears – albeit not all at the same time.
Walked the High Line in New York on a snowy second day of spring, paid a visit to Cheesequake State Park down the Jersey Shore, and joined a group of trail volunteers for a trail-maintaining workshop up in West Milford.
So what’s on tap for next year?
I’ve been meaning to take a visit out to the Jenny Jump State Forest (did Jenny really jump, one has to wonder), and to visit the observatory out that way. I’d love to take on some more hikes on Long Island or in upstate New York. And yes, one of these days, I still need to take on the Giant Stairs in the Palisades – that’s a hike that I’d prefer to do with a group.
In the immediate future, I saw this week that the state is offering a series of First Day Hikes on or around New Year’s Day, at different state parks. So I may be signing up for one of those, schedule permitting.
And on the writing front, I’m hoping to contribute a few more pieces for the Trail Walker.
So on a closing note, may 2016 see you with boots on and backpacks in tow.
Have a happy and hike-filled New Year!