Trail Stories: Our 1st Hike
On Earth Day 2018, Liv and I went for our first hike together. This is my story... I am by no means a pro hiker, I'm an unlikely hiker, I'm a woman, I'm fat and people like to ask "where I am from?" so... that's what I am. I'm sharing my humble beginnings and look forward to sharing more "Trail Stories" in future blog posts. I've today become an avid "hike/trail planner", ask Liv, I've planned our last few hikes! So, I'm pretty excited about this "series".
Living in NYC the nearest park that we like to visit is Harriman State Park. It is the second-largest park in the parks system of NY state, with 47,527 acres to explore. Harriman State Park has 31 lakes and reservoirs, 200 miles of hiking trails, two beaches, two public camping areas, a network of group camps, miles of streams and scenic roads, and scores of wildlife species, vistas and vantage points.
It's just an hour and a half train ride away from Penn Station in Manhattan!
- About 10 miles
- Lake View
Liv had already done one hike in Harriman, and wanted to go back ASAP! So we went in April when the weather around here starts warming up a little. (He's nuts, he went i freezing February with summer gear!!!)
I'm all for being outdoors and enjoying nature, I grew up on the country side in Sweden with the forest as my playground, I grew up with the "Right to public access" and "Freedom to Roam" the land. I was excited to go!
I was excited until we got to the trail head at Suffern and started hiking on SBM, which started with a intense climb and after that just a bunch of rock jumping. I hated it! I was so over it just 10 minutes in, the SBM is a bish! (Suffern Bear Mountain) You get lost, there is NO trail, just rocks, descends and climbs. It is Liv's favorite trail, I just think the first few miles of SBM from Suffern SUCKS, there is nothing to see, but I guess it gets better around Panther Mountain, West Mountain and Cats Elbow.
I had a sigh of relief when we got off the trail to connect with the Pine Meadow Lake Trail. The Pine Meadow Lake is beautiful and to this day, we try to go back at least once a year to enjoy a swim. There's plenty of great camp spots around the lake, but get there early in the summer to claim yours.
We spent the night at THE best camp spot right by the water, with a "hooked up" fire pit, and I slept in a tent for the very first time, in a VERY long time. I was nervous I'd have trouble falling asleep in the outdoors but I K.O.'d, SBM sucked the life out of me. I think I fell in love with the experience the next day, waking up with a panoramic view of the lake, it was so still, so quiet, made the hike all worth it.
The Pine Meadow Lake Trail was way more enjoyable!
It's an easy, beautiful and quiet popular trail... it can get pretty crowded during peak hiking season. The trail runs along a river and some waterfalls, it's pretty nice. I recommended it to all my friends that are looking to hike as a great "first hike", especially for day hikes. There's parking right by the trail head at Reeves Meadow Information Center, but come early to get a spot, again this trail is pretty heavily trafficked.
We exited the trail at Sloatsburg and hiked through town to the train station and back to NYC we went! There wasn't long before we went back to Harriman again, I think that Summer we went back 3 more times, but more about that next time.
All in all, even though I hated the first day hiking on SBM, it did get me hooked. I love nature, and it was so fitting to go outdoors on Earth Day! Liv and I try to hike every year now for Earth Day as a tradition.
Looking forward to share our next "Trail Stories" it's a good one, it's our big hike in Sequoia National Park, when I'll tell you how I got my Trail name "Wounded Knee", smh. To be Continued...
Liv's First MYOG bag... he's come a long way <3