First Hike of the Year! (make that last three years!)

Black Rock Forest

Went hiking for the first time in years this past weekend. I think the last time was maybe 3 years ago, hiking Camel’s Hump in Vermont with Daphne. We practically ran up that mountain…and when we got to the top we were pouring sweat out, and we couldn’t figure out why we’d hiked so aggressively. This hike was a bit different. No large mountain, just a large rock. And I traded out Daphne for Randy. The hike was listed online, I think we found it by searching ‘hikes, new york city’ or something like that. Seemed doable, and with the possibility of seeing waterfalls and views, it was cemented.

The route of our hike. Starts and ends at that black slash mark. 'Black Rock' is where the scenic vistas were located.

The hike started out fairly easily. Nice and quite, no one else on the trails. Weather was a bit cool, but it was around 10:30/11, so we expected it to heat up a little. Plus, as prepared hikers, we wore layers! There was a nice stream running through the woods, which afforded us some good nature sounds, and some pleasant views. There were also some nice bridges across the stream, making for good picture opportunities.

RAR! Yay hiking! Bridge #1

Mini waterfall.

Even though there weren’t any leaves on the trees, we did see some nice vegetation and flowers poking through. Get ready for flower close-up shots!

Flowering tree.

Little fern.

Octopus tree. First they grow here, then they swim away.

On our way to Black Rock we came across a reservoir. Water levels were really low, which was really cool, because I got to see an empty spillway! Yay hydrology! Not sure why the water was so drawn down, or when they raise the levels, but it was neat. As we came upon it we saw an otter (or some other small mammal) scampering away. Wouldn’t see that near the city!

This is where the water would be flowing.

Close-up of the dam looking onto the reservoir.

Next stop: Black Rock. After about 20 more minutes, and a steeper incline, we finally reached our destination! The views were great!

View number 1 from Black Rock

View number 2 from black rock. I think that's the Hudson River.

After resting a bit at Black Rock and enjoying the sunshine we decided to return home. We felt a sense of urgency, mostly because we forgot to pack a lunch. Whoops! Lesson learned. Don’t do a day hike without snackies. Luckily we had plenty of water, but the lack of food was definitely felt by the end of the day.

The return hike was less picturesque because it follows a bunch of gravel roads. No more quaint trails through the woods. You also end up near route 9W at the end, so the sounds of traffic mix with those of nature. We did see one more neat river before we made it to the car.

A fixer-upper in the woods.

Upon reaching the car we gobbled down some peanut butter and crackers, and nutter butters. First stop: a deli for some tasty sandwiches. All in all an extremely enjoyable day! Can’t wait for the next hike! Maybe I’ll finally have an excuse to buy hiking boots, rather than wear my old gym sneakers!

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