Really, go out and take a hike. We hiked a very short portion of the Appalachian Trail (AT) today. I mean a very short portion, about a mile out of the 2000+ miles that make up this magnificent trail (we were participating in a citizen-scientist project that involved monitoring particular plant species). But it was lovely to be in the woods, to stop and identify unusual plants, to smell the leaf mold, see the butterflies, and enjoy the sunshine on this delightful summer day.
We are gifted in this region with some of the best hiking in the world, less than an hour from New York City. Use the links on the AT site or check out the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, another conservation-minded volunteer organization. Either site will help you find a hike that’s right for you, whether you are a beginner or an experienced hiker, in great shape or not.
A great beginner’s hike takes you to the Pochuk Boardwalk in northwestern New Jersey. You will walk along a mile-long boardwalk over a wetland, viewing a variety of wildflowers, butterflies, and birds. Depending on the season you visit, you may cross over dry land, a shallow lake, or anything in between. Take a good wildflower or butterfly ID book, take the kids, and get out and enjoy the outdoors. While you’re at it, join the Trail Conference or the AT Conservancy and find out how you can help maintain the trails that keep nature available to all of us.
Take a hike!