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.
A bike mosaic on the northern half of the Shining Sea Bikeway.
So, what I was saying in my last post about how fall’s a really good time to go hiking, because the heat’s tapering off and the tourist crush is winding down?
A couple of years ago, the family and I went up to Cape Cod (our first time there, believe it or not) in the fall for four days of biking and sightseeing.
It was early on in the fall – late September, early October or thereabouts – so the weather was mild without being too warm. And we crammed in quite a bit – puttering around Wellfleet and Truro, a whale-watching trip out of Provincetown, and a good seafood dinner in Woods Hole for our last night there. And for the biking part of the trip, we did the Shining Sea Bikeway.
View of the Kaaterskill Clove, in the Catskill Mountains, NY, in October 2012. (Photo by Walt Roll.)
Yep, Sept. 1. Labor Day. Back to school for the kids tomorrow, and back to work for the grownups. For me, as a woman with a full-time job and part-time graduate school work, it’s both.
Spent my day doing a short hike/geocaching run on the West Essex Trail in the a.m., later followed by a stop for ice cream in the late afternoon. So not a bad way to spend a day off.
Amid all the school supply sales and the wisecracks about how you’re not supposed to wear white after Labor Day (who came up with that rule, anyway?) there’s a lot of laments about how the summer seemed to go way too quickly. Including from the outdoors people – including me.
Trail map for Wildlife Loop.
Most people come to Chincoteague Island, Va., and neighboring Assateague Island for two reasons: the beaches, and to try to get a glimpse of the ponies.
Even if you’ve never read Marguerite Henry’s “Misty of Chincoteague” (confession time: I still haven’t), you’ve probably heard about the Chincoteague ponies at some point or other.
Granted, the beaches and the ponies are good reasons to come to the islands. But there’s more to the place than beaches and ponies.
The islands are home to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge – which have several trails for walking and biking.
View from the trail entrance on Fairview Avenue.
“Is that the trail up ahead?” I ask the two bikers – likely a dad and kid – coming out of the woods on Fairview Avenue in Verona, NJ.
“Yes – right where we came out.” The dad looks over his shoulder back toward the woods.
“Cool – thanks!”
I’d had a co-worker recommend the West Essex Trail to me as a hiking spot of a weekend. My hiking time has been a little limited this summer, due to a sprained ankle that took a while to heal, plus the usual time-eaters (work, grad school). So, having a few spare hours on a recent Sunday afternoon, I drove up Bloomfield Avenue from Montclair to Verona, boots on and backpack in tow.
Categories: Biking, Hiking
Tags: biking, Cedar Grove, Essex County, hiking, Little Falls, Overbrook Hospital, Peckman River, rail trail, Verona, Weird NJ, West Essex Trail