Other

Down By the River: Liberty State Park and Hoboken, NJ

img_1295

View of lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty from the riverfront promenade in Liberty State Park.

Got a bit of a city hike to share with you…well, more like a city bike ride. If you’ll follow me, I’m going to take you down to a certain spot on the Hudson River in Jersey City. It’s a place with lots of bike trails, lots of sea breezes, and lots of history.

Not to mention a certain lady in a green dress standing on a rock right in the middle of New York Harbor.

You know who I’m talking about.

Lady Liberty just had a birthday not too long ago – and I think we may say that she’s still looking pretty darn good.

And this place of which I refer is Liberty State Park. Continue reading

Categories: History, Other | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy birthday to the NPS!

IMG_5438Just a short – but very sweet – post tonight. Today marks the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.

I’ve been to parks with awesome sea views (Acadia National Park, and the Assateague and Cape Cod National Seashores), not to mention under-the-sea views (the underwater trail in Virgin Islands National Park). There’s the park not too far from me that makes learning about the Revolutionary War more fun (Morristown National Historic Park).

And then there’s the one with the giant hole in the ground – you might have heard of it? The Grand Canyon National Park?

As part of the centennial activities, the NPS have launched Find Your Park, a campaign to get people out to enjoy their local national parks. On the NPS website, there’s a function where you can punch in where you live, and the site bring up national parks in your area.

I’ve visited a fair number of parks on the list, but there’s a lot more that I want to visit – so I need to get trip planning. Shenandoah, perhaps, or Yosemite? Or Denali – for like many others, I am smitten by the adorable pups in the Canine Rangers.

Happy birthday, NPS, and here’s to another 100 years or more.

For further reading:

NPS Centennial: Find Your Park, centennial activities, and much more.

Categories: Other, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Everything’s coming up wildflowers: Replanting a trail at Bear Mountain

IMG_0915

The new sign for the Trails for People exhibit behind Bear Mountain Inn.

This is a public service announcement from your esteemed blogger-in-chief.

If you’re going to put in new hedging around your house, do NOT plant barberry. Please. Your friendly neighborhood invasive species removal crews will be eternally grateful. (Besides, a couple of states have made it illegal to plant barberry, because it’s such a nuisance of a plant.)

There.

As many of you probably know, it was National Trails Day on Saturday, June 4. I’d joined the Invasive Species Task Force from the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference up at Bear Mountain-Harriman State Park in just-barely-upstate-New York the year before. We’d spent an energetic – albeit prickly  – morning removing barberry bushes, a shrub once popular for hedging but now deemed an invasive species, hence the PSA. I was game to try again – and crews would be planting some native species plants along the now barberry-free slope.

My mom was up for a visit and she was game to join in, so Saturday morning found us making the amble up the Palisades Interstate Parkway.

Continue reading

Categories: Ecology, Health, Hiking, Other | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

This one’s for the birds: Forays into birdwatching

I like learning new skills to bring with me when I’m out hiking – how to box a compass, how to recognize different kinds of plants, how to geocache.

And now, your blogger-in-chief is taking an interest in birdwatching.

Some bird watchers are experts; I am of the “I can recognize robins, cardinals and finches, but for anything else I have to go looking through the guidebook” level of birdwatching skill.

Why do so many people enjoy birdwatching?

Birds are beautiful (though some might beg to differ in the case of, say, a vulture), often entertaining, and most importantly, vital to a functioning ecosystem. Basically, if you don’t have birds, then you’ve got a serious problem. After all, that’s where Rachel Carson got the title for “Silent Spring;” she noticed, one day, that there weren’t any birds singing. And birdwatching gives you a sense of how many of what kinds of species there are.

Continue reading

Categories: Ecology, Equipment, Other, Walking, Wildlife | Leave a comment

Down By the River: Riverwalk Trails, Hartford, CT

IMG_0762

Walking along the Yellow Trail along the Connecticut River’s west bank, looking south toward Hartford’s downtown area.

Well, trail heads, your blogger-in-chief has been a little bit AWOL these last few weeks, mainly because of grad school responsibilities, work (what else is new) and an academic conference: the Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) spring convention up in Hartford. But fear not, oh gentle readers, for your blogger-in-chief had her (mental) hiking boots on.

In between conferencing (and wondering just how many times a sane person can use “trope” and “palimpsest” in a sentence), there was time for some outdoors stuff, including checking out some of the Riverwalk walking trails down along the Connecticut River.

Continue reading

Categories: History, Other, Walking | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Auld Lang Signpost

IMG_5438Another 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.

Continue reading

Categories: Biking, Geocaching, Hiking, Other, Walking | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Urban hikes and other ramblings

IMG_0559

Belvedere Castle in Central Park.

Happy December, everyone. It being the last month of the calendar year, I should be getting ready to do the “really great hikes I did in 2015” entry. Or its evil, eerie-in-a-Doctor-Who-sort-of-way twin, the “all the hikes I still haven’t gotten to yet” entry. (Yes, your trail-head-in-chief is a bit of a Whovian: I’ve got the season finale playing even as I type.)

It’s a short-ish entry tonight – it’s not about any specific hiking trails, but rather a few introspective pensées about walking and hiking.

Continue reading

Categories: History, Other, Walking | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Ice cream in the Tuileries, mobs of football fans, and other memories of 24 hours in Paris

Now, I’d meant to do this week’s blog posting about what everyone’s favorite trail food and snacks were – and just what the meaning is of that mysterious ambrosia called “gorp.” (Some people think it means “granola, oatmeal, raisins and peanuts,” while other people go for “good old raisins and peanuts.” But that’s neither hither or thither.)

The truth is, the attacks yesterday in Paris are on everyone’s minds, and mine too. So I’m going to devote tonight’s piece to une rêverie parisienne.

I’ve been to Paris exactly once, so far. It was several years ago – the family and I were on a trip to England (mostly London, with side trips up to York and out to Bath), our first trip overseas. We decided, before flying home to the U.S., to take the Eurostar over to Paris and just take in the city for 24 hours.

Continue reading

Categories: Other, Walking | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Watcher of the Skies: Stargazing in Pennsylvania (and elsewhere)

A view of Scorpius over Coudersport, Pa. in August 2015.

A view of Scorpius over Coudersport, Pa. in August 2015.

It was a good summer for stargazing, it seems like. We had a few conjunctions, with different planets (Venus, Jupiter, etc.) dancing fairly close to the moon. Back in July, I got to join the North Jersey Astronomical Group for a moon-viewing party in Verona. And there was a lot of excitement on the astronomy front about the Pluto flyby photos.

But let’s face it, being this close to New York, as I am, your chances at being able to stargaze are a bit limited.

Earlier in the year, I’d had a co-worker tell me about Cherry Springs State Park out in north-central Pennsylvania earlier in the year. Now, a lot of people come to this part of the Keystone State for one reason: stargazing. And we’re talking stargazing as an Olympic-level sport: this part of Pennsylvania has been designated as Dark Sky territory. What that means is, the levels of light pollution from nearby cities and towns are virtually nil.

So that’s what we did out in Pennsylvania in August, in addition to checking out rail trails and state parks. We’d timed the trip so that it would fall around the time of the Perseids meteor shower in early August.

Continue reading

Categories: Equipment, Other | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

It’s fall – what are your plans for hikes?

Close-up of a local maple tree with its leaves in full blazing scarlet.

Close-up of a local maple tree with its leaves in full blazing scarlet.

Just a quick one for tonight, trail heads, since your blogger-in-chief is up to her ears in five million different things.

It’s officially fall around here – the temps are decidedly cooler, the trees are turning to various tones of red, orange and yellow, and the apple tree in the backyard is producing at full tilt. (We’ve been making a lot of applesauce, apple crumb and apple pudding.) On top of that, the annual obsession with all things pumpkin spice is in full swing. (Does half that stuff even contain any actual pumpkin, I wonder?)

But I digress. I now pose you the question: what is everyone doing for fall hikes?

Continue reading

Categories: Other | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Blog at WordPress.com.

ultimatemindsettoday

A great WordPress.com site

Girl Gone Hiking

Sojourns with my dog and others that matter.

Trail Heads and Wandering Minds

For hikers, bikers, explorers and other people who like to get their boots muddy

Costa Rica Travel Blog .com

Costa Rica Travel Blog is the current traveller, will-be traveller, has-been traveller, and should-be traveller's guide to everything costa rica. Information, stories, news, advice - written by the Pura Vida! eh? Incorporated team - costa rican insiders, outsiders, and everywhere-in-between-siders.

oahuhiking

Oahu hikes

austin vivid photography

heather schramm-lifestyle photographer

ice cream magazine

................... for lovers of ice cream. Your free on line magazine for sweet frozen treats. Recipes, inspiration, artisanal ideas for your delectation.

Modern Day Lewis and Clark Expedition

Modern Day Re-Enactment/Expedition

ultimatemindsettoday

A great WordPress.com site

My Blog

A fine WordPress.com site

MuseBoxx

Space to Create

Mr. Greco's Lesson Plans

FFCHS: Secondary/US History

Mackintosh Fun Time

BJ Wanlund's Apple Blog!

David Quesal

and The Quesal Puppet Troupe

Space oddities

What I didn't learn in science class

Words Read and Written

Ramblings of an aspiring author & book blogger