Frum Outdoorsman: Rare but Possible

The wanderings and adventures of an orthodox Jew

I moved to Monsey last week and I am loving it!!!

Posted by Frum Hiker on March 10, 2008

I know that may be paradoxical for someone of my age and marital status to say, but in a little over a week I have realized that the outdoor opportunities are endless within a half hour radius. Just 15 minutes from my door is Harriman State Park, 46,000 acres including 36 lakes- most of which have access for boats. Lots of trails including portions of the Long Path and Appalachian Trails both of which run right through the park. I am also very close to the Hudson Highland and Storm King areas which both have extensive hiking trail networks and I am a 20 minute drive from Ringwood state park which has some of the best mountain biking in New Jersey. To say the least I am pumped. Throw in a 40 hour a week job and the end of daylight savings time- I am going to be in amazing shape within 2 weeks.

To start things off I went hiking in Harriman last sunday, snow covered trails made for slow going, but I hiked up to a startegic sunset viewing spot and sat on a rock and contemplated life and the woods, like a regular Whitman type. Then on Monday I road 20 miles on my road bike on the poorly paved roads of the park, its beautiful riding, but rough with all the bumps.

Friday I took my mountain bike out for the first ride of the season. If I was still in Albany, I probably wouldn’t have ridden until next month. I went to Ringwood and road the cannonball trail off of Skyline drive. I still can’t figure the place out so well, and road until it started raining on me and decided to just go back up instead of finding a loop- it was erev shabbos anyway. It was great riding and would have been better, but I realized my rear shock was blown and needs some new cartridges or something.

Today I hiked for about 5 hours through Harriman and it was amazing. I ended up hiking twice as much as I had originally planned due to trail flooding and no way to bushwack around. I ended up at the Lemon Squeezer which is on the AT and is this huge rock formation that you squeeze through to follow the trail. I also ended up, due to my detour on the Lichen Trail- which took me into the Ramapo Dunderberg trail. These two trails followed this ridge that made me feel like I was above the tree-line somewhere out west. Dead trees and pine trees swayed in the wind and boy was it windy, 35 mph winds, maybe thats why I met only two people on the trail for a whole 5 hours.

This week I am already planning to hike and get to know the trails better in my area. When it gets a little warmer I will be backpacking on the weeknights camping out and hiking out before work, I am pumped.

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One Response to “I moved to Monsey last week and I am loving it!!!”

  1. Great post. It about sums up Harriman for me, especially the feeling of being “out west” when you get up above the trees on the Ramapo-Dunderberg. Thanks for writing.

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