Kaaterskill Wild Forest, Greene County, New York

On Friday afternoon, we endured two hours of painful bumper-to-bumper traffic to escape from New York City, and then continued driving to the Catskills, where we checked into the Howard Johnson’s in Saugerties.

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Ramapo Mountain State Forest, Bergen & Passaic Counties, New Jersey

I joined Rachel, Martin, and Nachi, whom I’ve hiked with many times before, as well as Aaron and Yitzy, whom I don’t know if I’ve met before or not. My wife Batya didn’t join us, as she had to take care of training for work, and also because she is still recovering from her shoulder injury and was afraid this might be too rugged a hike.

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Allaire State Park, Monmouth County, New Jersey

On Washington’s Birthday/Presidents’ Day, we decided to visit Allaire State Park. We followed a hike written up by Daniela Wagstaff in 2011, though there have been a few changes to the park since then. We parked in the lot on County Route 524 (Atlantic Avenue) at 40.15755, -74.12056. We crossed the road, turned left, and walked a short distance (passing a house), coming soon to a double gate on the right, at which point we entered the woods on the orange trail. For reference, see the park map:

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Marine Park, Brooklyn, Kings County, New York

The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation lists Marine Park, at 530 acres, as the largest public park in Brooklyn (narrowly beating out Prospect Park, which is listed as 526 acres). Marine Park includes an area northwest of Avenue U that includes a jogging track and baseball fields, and an area southeast of Avenue U that includes a golf course and the Salt Marsh Nature Center.

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Harriman State Park/Sterling Forest State Park, Orange County, New York

This was the third time I completed this particular hike, one of my favorites in the New York area. The first time was a solo hike, On June 12, 2011, and the second time was with friends, on October 14, 2012. This was the first time that Batya had been on this hike.

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Allamuchy Mountain State Park, Sussex County, New Jersey

Interested in visiting a park we had not visited previously, I selected Allamuchy Mountain State Park, in Sussex County. Despite the name, we found the park to be very flat. We began our hike on the white-blazed Deer Path Trail, hiking north:

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Trout Brook Valley, Fairfield County, Connecticut

We drove to Connecticut to visit Trout Brook Valley conservation area, where I had visited four years previously. I refer readers to that earlier post to learn more about the park and trails.

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Sourland Mountain Preserve, Somerset County, New Jersey

Today we drove to Sourland Mountain Preserve, a 3025 acre county park, where we enjoyed a late Fall day with temperatures in the upper 60s! It was nice to hike with a short sleeved shirt this time of year. The name “Sourlands” is derived from the fact that early settlers found the rocky soils difficult to farm.

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Shore Parkway Greenway (western section), Brooklyn, Kings County, New York

We had a previous hike of the western section of the Shore Parkway Greenway about a year before, and decided to repeat the walk on this day.

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Laraway Mountain, Long Trail State Forest, Lamoille County, Vermont

Monday: I had initially hoped that we would be able to climb the five highest peaks on our first visit to Vermont, but we had to cut short our hike at Camel’s Hump (third highest peak) due to rain and hail. We then successfully climbed Killington Peak (second highest) and Mount Mansfield (highest peak), but Batya’s new boots were causing her foot pain, so we had to abandon plans for a hike to Mount Ellen and Mount Abraham (fourth and fifth highest) and find an easier hike. [Mount Ellen shows the same elevation as Camel’s Hump, so I’m not sure why it’s listed as fourth highest instead of tied for third. Perhaps Camel’s Hump is a few inches higher.]

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