Welcome to My Hikes

I hike a bit.  I’m not really nutso about it.  So far I only do day hikes, mostly because I value a good dinner and hate sleeping on the ground.  So I’m not really someone who would go out on the AT for a month at a time or anything like that.

My intention with this blog is not to impress anyone with my hiking diligence or rugged, outdoorsy-ness.  I just want to keep track of where I’ve been and what I’ve seen.  If you’re interested, great; if not, that’s fine, too.  By my reckoning, I’ve been hiking regularly since about 1996, so an awful lot of trail has gone under foot that will probably never be related in these pages.  My primary stomping ground is Harriman and Bear Mountain SPs, whose trailheads are all within a half-hour drive from my house.  There are only a few interior sections of the hundreds of miles of trails in these parks that I have not covered at some point, in addition to some trails not on the map, or else unblazed and hard to locate.  The original section of the Appalachian Trail (AT), runs through these parks, and other trails here as well have been trod since the 1920′s and 1930′s.

There are of course many other great places to hike within an hour or two of my home.  Among these are:

  • Hudson Highlands SP — famous for its many views of the Hudson River, as well as several grueling ascents.  This is on the east side of the Hudson and runs from Peekskill to Beacon.
  • Storm King SP — on the west side of the Hudson, just above West Point.  Great views here, too!
  • Black Rock Forest — adjacent to Storm King to the west, it lacks the river vistas, but is an interesting place with many gravel roads as well as rugged trails.
  • Minnewaska SP — outside New Paltz, a vast network of trails within the Shawangunk Ridge, famous for its waterfalls, views, and ice caves.
  • Rockefeller SP Preserve — in Westchester County, a majority of the land that J. D. Rockefeller and his family owned was turned over the state in 1983.  Miles of carriage roads and over 1000 acres of bucolic land smack in the middle of the densest NYC suburbs.  A nice place for a less strenuous hike.
  • Ramapo Valley County Reservation — a New Jersey oasis in sprawling Bergen county.

There are many more places I’ve been to in NY and NJ, not to mention some interesting places I’ve hiked on vacations (Ireland, LA, South Dakota), but these are the big ones.

All of the photos on this site (including any headers) were taken by me and thus are Copyright 2010 to the present by Paul Neary.  If you’re new to this blog thing, then let me tell you that you should click on the little pictures embedded within the post to get a really good picture.  Right now my current camera is a Canon SX 210 IS, which is a fantastic little box that takes great pictures and videos, and is perfect as a hiking camera.  Not a plug, just FYI.

Update as of 14 June 2016: temporarily lost my SX 210 IS for about 9 months (long story) and replaced it with SX 610 HS.  Has a little better zoom (14x vs. 18x), but who knows?  As with so many things these days, the choices are almost unlimited, reviews abundant and contradictory, and no matter which you pick, it will be obsolete within a few months.

3 Responses to “Welcome to My Hikes”

  1. lisa says:

    I found your blog by looking up bottlecap hike. You are so funny. Good writer

  2. Abby says:

    Paul, your humor combined with your satire combined with your candor had me laughing out loud. Please keep them coming!

  3. Tammy E says:

    I came across your website while searching for images of Mt Marcy on Google Images. I’ve done the hike twice with my husband (1st time was just a few months after we started dating, 2nd time he gave me THE ring up on top). We’re going again this weekend with our little toddler and I wanted to refresh my memory.
    Anyway, I found your posts to be very refreshing. Although much younger than you, I struggle up and down these mountains and somehow find myself hiking them over and over again because, heck, they are beautiful and hiking truly gives me a sense of accomplishment. I really enjoyed your perspective of these hikes, and felt like I was hiking right there with you! Thanks for sharing your experiences.

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