Connetquot — shades of grey

The weather was not very encouraging today. It was rainy and wet all morning, only starting to dry up a little late in the afternoon. That didn’t leave much time for a long walk, so I decided to just go to Connetquot to do a short loop. I chose to try a bit of the blue trail, which I have never taken before. The whole blue loop is quite long and goes to the very end of the park and then back around, but there are a number of points along the path that intersect with shortcuts back to the shorter red and green trails. It was about 2pm when I started, and I needed to be back before the park closed at 4:30pm. Continue Reading →

Hiking Long Island, NY

Lately I’ve started exploring the natural wonders of suburban Long Island. Though I spent a lot of time here growing up, this is the first time I am getting beyond the malls and standard suburban cultural fare. And I am constantly amazed by my new discoveries. There is a whole other side to this place, full of natural beauty and secluded wilderness spots, right here in the heart of the ‘burbs. Complied here is a journal of my local wanderings, walking on our “wild” side.

Sunken Meadow — The Greenbelt Trail

Wanted to try the Greenbelt Trail again, this time I picked it up at a starting point from the Sunken Meadow State Park, which is actually mostly a big beach, and I imagine in summer it is packed something awful, but as it is the middle of winter I expected some solitude. I was wrong about that, as the nice weather encouraged lots of folks to get outside, and many went to the state parks, I suppose. Continue Reading →

Lily Pond County Park — A short walk…

The closest place to go walking in nature is a relatively “new” park, that is as of yet basically undeveloped. It is called the “Lily Pond County Park”, and it groups together several areas that were kind of abandonned wooded areas that had overgrown and were reclaimed by nature. What is now a “park” once had a road going thru it that kept flooding with the rising waterlevels of the marshes, until eventually the towns gave up and just let it go under, to the point where you really can’t even imagine a road ever was there. The area also includes land that was part of an old home in the center of the woods. I am not sure the last time anyone ever actually lived there. We used to sometimes walk our dog in the “woods” when I was a kid. And local kids used to use it for dirt-biking. Continue Reading →

Fire Island — Oh Deer…

I never realized there was a National Park out here on Long Island, but the Fire Island National Seashore Wilderness Area is under the authority of the National Parks Service, and is protected even in summer when on just the other side of the same beach, hordes of beachgoers fill every square foot of sand at Smith’s Point. Continue Reading →

Birch Creek Loop

The other week I started walking in the Pine Barrens, and it was such a great discovery. This week I decided to try the Birch Creek Loop in Flanders. It was not so easy to find the starting point for this hike, and I initially found my way into another beautiful spot on the bay, further up. A quick GPS check on my iphone and I saw the spot I was supposed to start in. As it is a small dirt turn-off, I had missed it on the way out. A short drive, and I was there.
Continue Reading →

Making Maple Syrup at Caumsett State Park

Visited this park for the first time today, not to go walking, but for a community education event about Maple Syrup. I had hoped to go walking before the event, but it was way too cold and windy out — the high was only 26F!
Continue Reading →

Hubbard County Park — A Dock on the Bay

Set out to find a trail on Birch Creek Road, in Flanders, not far from the famous “Big Duck,” but made a mistake and ended up on Red Creek Road instead. I was in the Hubbard County Park, and there was active hunting going on. Continue Reading →

Manorville — The Pine Barrens

A very cold (hi of 33) but bright day, and I was determined to explore the Pine Barrens trails I had discovered online. I decided to start with an “easy” one, according to the little brochure I’d downloaded, a short loop that they referred to as “El’s trail” that was in Manorville. I drove out there, and it seemed to be a very small park that almost didn’t look like a park when you arrived. Continue Reading →