Sunday, January 14, 2018

Cheesequake State Park, NJ - Yellow and Blue Short Loop


ABOUT THE PARK:
Cheesequake State Park - New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
This park charges an entrance fee between Memorial Day and Labor Day

DIRECTIONS:
GPS Coordinates 40.436661, -74.265326
The parking lot almost empty at noon - unheard of!  Not too many people braved the cold.
 
TRAIL MAP:
Cheesequake State Park Trail Map - NJ Department of Environmental Protection
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HIKE DISTANCE:  2.6 miles

THE HIKE:
This was the third weekend in a row of single-digit feel like temperatures but Brodie and I could take it no more so we bundled up and headed to the state park closest to us for a short hike. Plus I had been breaking in a new pair of winter hiking boots that are supposed to keep your toes warm. That is the one thing that drives me nuts hiking in this awful cold - frozen toes.
Starting at the trail head.
I always hand a right on yellow at the fork and return from the left.
If people were more responsible with their dogs this would not happen and I always see irresponsible people letting their dogs run amok.  So frustrating.
At the bottom of these steps ...
... I leeve the yellow trail and take an unmarked path around the perimeter of the lake.
A patch of snow that survived the 60 degree weather on Friday before the arctic cold front come back.
Northern Flicker
Cutting through along the beach over to ...
... the Crabbing Bridge.
It was darned cold out here in the open.
It was, literally, as cold as this looks.
Some more unmarked trail to the left after Crabbing Bridge.
This unmarked trail, pretty easy to follow, leads right into the blue trail where we turned left.
This was all knocked out from Hurricane Sandy and I could never continue on since the boardwalk was destroyed.  But it's been a few years since I was here and it's all fixed and passable now.
Sometimes Brodie is a lot like Shawnee - forget those steps if we can.
Merging in with red and green before the interpretive center.
Bird houses at the interpretive center.
A little bit of an unfrozen cascade.  How is that possible in this cold?
And the final picture, almost at the end, before the battery in the camera completely died.  This was a spur of the moment hike so nothing had been charged up.
As far as these new winter hiking boots - and I know you are all wondering because who likes frozen toes?  I could not believe how warm my feet stayed in these boots and they were comfortable, too.  They were a little bulky and I tripped on roots a few times so had to be conscious of that.

I ordered them from Cabela's since they were $99.88 and the rest of the world sells them for $149.99.  I am not a big fan of Merrell but I have to say, these boots are great.  No more frozen toes.  I had read in reviews to order a half size up to accommodate thicker winter socks, which I did and which was definitely the right thing to do. 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Hyde Park Trails, NY - Roosevelt Farm Lane and Winnakee Nature Preserve


ABOUT THE PARK:
Roosevelt Farm Lane - Hyde Park, NY 
Winnakee Nature Preserve - Winnakee Land Trust
Hyde Park Trails Audio Podcasts - National Park Service
Hyde Park Trail - Hyde Park, NY Recreation Trails 

DIRECTIONS:
GPS Coordinates 41.76988, -73.93470 
Parking at the eastern end of Roosevelt Farm Lane.

TRAIL MAP:
Hyde Park Walkabout Trail Map - National Park Service
Roosevelt Farm Lane Trail Map - National Park Service
Winnakee Nature Preserve Trail Map - Winnakee Land Trust

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HIKE DISTANCE:  6.6 miles

THE HIKE:
From the parking lot there is a short side trail ...
... to the Roosevelt Farm Lane which is also the Hyde Park Trail.
Our friend Al, the poodle, joined us today.
We left the Roosevelt Farm Lane and took blue with the intention of taking the entire Roosevelt Farm Lane for the return route.
Nice trail through the woods.
We went right on  yellow.
Right on red.
At this intersection I wondered if the well-traveled path to the right would lead to Winnakee Nature Preserve without having to walk along Route 9.  We gave it a shot.  We failed.  Almost, just almost at the residential road to Winnakee Nature Preserve, we were stuck in a corner at the federal land boundary line, private hunting club properly and residential back yards.  We had to retrace.
Back on red.
That dog we just passed obviously stopped at this tree.
On the Roosevelt Farm Lane.
The Hyde Park Trail leaves the Roosevelt Farm Lane to the right...
... and through the western parking lot.
Crossing the parking lot entrance.  Across Route 9 is the Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historical  Site where we will go another time to complete the Hyde Park Trails.
For now we are on this gravel path along Route 9 which passes a drive-in movie theater.
At the first road between Comfort Inn and the Shell station, right on Terwillliger Road.
At the end, Winnakee Nature Preserve is to the left.
Through the Winnakee Nature Preserve parking lot at the dead end.
The trail for the Hyde Park patch is only the red trail but we did them all.
Do you see it?  Over there?
Yes, balloon number 45 of the year.
We had turned left on green hoping to connect to Hackett Hill Park via a few short residential road but it did not turn out to be so easy.  We ran into a very busy road at a very busy intersection with no place to walk so it was not safe to proceed and we had to turn back.  Again where we needed to be was just around the corner but we couldn't get there.  Another time.
Back at the nature preserve going the other way on green back to red.
Back through the parking lot ...
... about half a mile on residential streets ...
... along Route 9 by the drive in theater ...
... and back on the Hyde Park Trail to Roosevelt Farm Lane.
I had forgotten how long it had been since Al did a full hike with us.  The last couple of hikes he rode in Shawnee's stroller with her.  And he hasn't gotten any younger.  So at about 7 miles, Al was exhausted and wanted to go no more.
We alternated carrying and walking but darned, he is heavy.
At long last, the side trail back to the parking lot.
This is how these two stayed for the entire 2 hours drive home.