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.

France, Versailles

A very different walk today. Took the 171 bus directly to the palace of Versailles and spent the morning walking thru the elaborate gardens that once belonged to the kings of France. It is winter and the magnificent fountains are all shut-off for the season. The garden statues are wrapped to protect them from the weather, reminding me of the work of the contemporary artist Christo, who goes around “wrapping” the world’s monuments. But the walk itself is an enjoyable change. Continue Reading →

France, Parc de St. Cloud — Old Palace Grounds…

Back to the Parc de St. Cloud today, but it is colder, the air is clear and the sky is blue, creating a very different ambiance. There are no signs of the little red squirrels this time. Continue Reading →

France, Parc de St. Cloud — Meeting Mr. Red

Not that bright a day today, but much warmer than it has been here in France lately (it seems Europe is experiencing an extremely cold winter this year) and so I decided to go for a walk. While the Paris area is quite urban, there are a few very large parks on the edges of the city, and as we are located in Sevres, I chose to go wandering in the Parc de St. Cloud. Continue Reading →

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 →

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 →

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 →

Nissequogue River — The Greenbelt Trail

It wasn’t too cold (today’s hi was 40F), but a little windy, and I was bundled up for the walk. Drove to a new place I had never been along the other side of the Nissequoge River from Short Beach. The Nissequogue River State Park encompasses part of the land of the old Kings Park Psychiatric Hospital. And a section of the Greenbelt Trail goes through here. Continue Reading →