Frum Outdoorsman: Rare but Possible

The wanderings and adventures of an orthodox Jew

Kayaking in Harriman State Park

Posted by Frum Hiker on May 27, 2008

20 minutes from my door lies 50,000 acres of streams, lakes and trails- I am a frequent visitor to Harriman State Park, its highest point being roughly 1300 feet above sea level, and its low points being graced with beautiful lakes for swimming and kayaking.

I have been meaning to kayak a couple times a week- because its a relaxed and therapeutic way to be outside. The dips of the paddle and the smooth gliding under open skies always allow my mind the spaced out time it needs. Kayaking is so easy and it is my only upper body workout.

I went last night to let go of my mind, which has been running at 100 miles an hour lately. My mind has been worked up over many things, and more then anything I needed to chill- so I chose this chain lake system in Harriman off of route 106 and seven lakes drive.

I like paddling these lakes because while the lake with the boat launch is crowded, you can paddle through a couple tunnels to this totally peaceful and serene lake with nothing on its sides and rarely more then one person fishing on the water.

Last night was special because immediately upon leaving getting out of my kayak the sun was casting this brilliant cloud blocked sunset- one of those massive pink and red blobs that beacons me to the high points in a flurry just to catch its last rays.

I quickly got my boat on my roof and drive to my favorite sunset viewing spot. I then ran up the sides of this rock ladden hill to my spot. I was huffing and puffing and my feet were all scratched up from just wearing sandals. But it was a sight to behold for the warn breezes and the sunset made for some great davening and meditation- it was good times and I stayed until the last rays were gone.

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6 Responses to “Kayaking in Harriman State Park”

  1. s(b.) said

    cool, man. I got out on my trikke tonight, finally. it felt AWESOME!! I found the sweet spot, by the time I was done. So healing!

  2. k@th said

    yeah, okay…but have you ever been sea kayaking in the pacific? orca whales breaching around you? me neither. sounds good on paper, but…i’ve seen them with seals…

  3. JJ said

    Sounds like a great story.
    Harriman State Park seems to be riddled with rednecks from the local surroundings and gangsta wannabes from the city.
    I would be willing to be a paying member if these elements can be reduced.

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  6. Actually, I wish people would stop making comments about park visitors from New York City, their race, and their financial status. The fact is, the beaches of Harriman are crowded, but most of Harriman is empty, and all you have to do is get the map set, and get out there and explore. Harriman State Park is an incredible resource that rewards discovery, not laziness. This post is a great example of someone going in search of peace, and finding it.

    I would love to know which lake you left from!

    Thanks!

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