HikeLI: Kings Point Park

Where: Kings Point Park (Kings Point, NY)

What: Hike (trail, unpaved)

Snacks: For Five Roasters (Manhasset, NY)

Kings Point Park is located on Redbrook Road in Kings Point, (additional entrance on Steamboat road) smack dab in the middle of a residential area off of Middle Neck Road. The 175 acre park has roughly five miles of trail, tennis courts, baseball diamonds, soccer fields and more. The park is dog friendly in some sections provided dogs are leashes. There are ample places to picnic.

For this trip, I took the 1.8 mile loop as recommended by All Trails. The loop criss crosses over Mitchell Creek with a series of wooden bridges. Mitchell Creek was dry today and I’m glad for it, I wasn’t in the mood for mosquitos. A portion of the trail hugs various backyards and for a moment there I thought about inviting myself into a stranger’s pool.

Despite the hustle and bustle of the neighborhood it is serene here. Such a cute place for a quick walk or a trail run.

For snacks we went into Manhasset for a quick flat white from For Five Roasters.

See you on the trail,

x

Jess

HikeBeyondLI: Ithaca and Such

Where: Ithaca, NY and surrounding

What: Hike (trail, unpaved, stone, staircases)

Snacks: Various

Disclaimer: This post may contain crude language and various negative views of humanity. Please don’t read on if either of those offend you.

General note(s): As of this writing all of the parks had a parking fee of $8.00 from (I think) 8am to 6pm, every day. Lots of parking. All have easy to find address for your GPS. It is all pretty, yes but, proper footwear please – most of these trails are wet after all.

Parks visited: Taughannock Falls State Park – Ulysses, NY

Robert H. Treman State Park – Ithaca, NY

Buttermilk Falls State Park – Ithaca, NY

Watkins Glenn State Park – Watkins Glenn, NY

Places eaten / snacks had: Gimme! Coffee – Trumansburg, NY

Maru Ramen – Ithaca, NY

Glens Dairy Bar – Watkins Glenn, NY

Luna Inspired Street Food. Ithaca, NY

Do you remember being a kid and having a disposable camera? Maybe you only had enough allowance for one or your parents could only get you one. Remember taking way to many photos at the start of a trip then rationing photos for only the coolest stuff toward the end. No? Just me? Am I dating myself? We spent so many summers in PA, ME, VT and NH and for each trip I got my very own camera. I would snap everything I could early in the trip and by the end with five or so precious photos left, I would carefully exam everything to make sure it was photo worthy. Getting the cameras developed was another story. I’m sure some are still buried in drawers or in closets. That’s how I treated this trip. I took too many photos early then, by the last park I just wanted to enjoy.

Each park was similar in that you choose from a gorge trail or a rim trail. The gorge trails follow the falls and the rim trails hover above. For each park, since coming back to the area is difficult, I made sure to take both gorge and rim trails. Essentially, each park was explored in its entirety, which, is no small feat. While I didn’t seek to pair a park with a specific eatery like I do at home, the above list is everywhere I ate during the trip. We camped so for a few days, my diet was mostly s’mores and things you can dip into peanut butter. Maybe, also peanut butter s’mores.

When I checked into the campsite, I was told that Ithaca has more restaurants per capita than NYC. I believe this. Downtown seemed to be 90% restaurants, a handful of thrift / buy Cornell merchandise, more vape / CBD shops than necessary.

A paragraph about food: The ramen shop was wonderful, flavorful and fast (pictured somewhere). Noodles after a big hike day really seem to hit the spot. Luna was not good, if I lived here I wouldn’t go back (not pictured). Everything was covered in cilantro and my rice tasted like dishwater – maybe a cilantro byproduct since it tastes like soap to me. Gimme! Coffee was great – check the size of that biscotti! But the town was small and most everything was closed. The barista mentioned a local festival coming up and how the town shuts down to accommodate this. He was cool. We could be friends. I’ve never lived anywhere so small and it was fascinating new found knowledge. Gimme is a local chain and also has a location in Ithaca. Glen’s Dairy, felt so wasteful. I ordered a small and the photo is what I got. I spent so much time thinking about wasting ice cream that I couldn’t enjoy it. Foolish, I know but I wager, if it were awesome ice cream I wouldn’t have had those thoughts. My favorite ice cream is what I make in my ice cream maker so, I’m a hard sell. But seriously, if you love big portions, go to Glen’s.

Taughannock Falls State Park: This park is incredibly simple to navigate. They have a boat launch, ample concessions and picnic areas. There is a .75 mile trail running through the center and north / south rim trails that connect. The north and south rims together are about three miles. The stream bed was quiet and signs indicated that you were allowed to walk in it. At least, signs with arrows pointed you to the main trial so I assume if it wasn’t allowed the Park was at least very aware.

The falls are impressive at 215 feet. The rim at Taughannock was the best of all of the parks I visited, allowing for multiple view of the falls from above the falls.

Robert H. Treman State Park: This place is cool! It has a giant swimming hole and adorable cabins. The swimming hole was mobbed and there were so many lifeguards on duty that you’d think it was a local community pool. There was so much joy there.

The coup de gras was Lucifer Falls and there were people hanging out at the base of it. There isn’t a trail to the base of it so they must have walked across the stream. Why do something you aren’t supposed to do when there is a giant, safe swimming hole? I get so frustrated with people. Damn.

Buttermilk Falls State Park: There are two very distinct areas of this park. The rim/ gorge trail area and a lake loop. The trail head I took was accessible from the camp ground and led directly to the lake. The loop around the lake is 1.5 miles. There is an overflow lot with direct access to the lake trail head with restrooms.

From there I walked park roads to the bear trail, across to the gorge trail. It was early enough where the trail was quiet. The water looked so welcoming but, signs dictate if you swim in the stream, you’ll get ticketed. This of course didn’t stop people. From this direction, the largest waterfall was my last viewpoint. At the base of the falls is a swimming hole. We’re talkin’ lifeguards, a diving board, a dog wading area and roads to designate deep and shallow ends.

On the way back to camp, park rangers were closing sections of the gorge trail so I felt lucky to see it.

Watkins Glenn State Park: I want to start off by saying how photogenic this park is. It’s gorgeous, truly. But fuck. I hate this park. It was so crowded that there were portions that felt like I was trapped in the middle of a nightclub dance floor. Cameras everywhere. People stopping on wet staircases to take a photo. People falling because the grown was wet and they were in improper footwear. People in the stream. People everywhere. Don’t ask how one of only two photos I’d gotten in the part is void of people. I don’t know how. They were everywhere. I’m in so many photos that I don’t want to be in.

I stumbled upon a cemetery here and it left for an eerie feel. There wasn’t anyone on this part of the trail and I’m not sure if it was actually part of the park.

The trails themselves are short, ranging from 1.5 to 1.8 miles, point – to – point. Staircases connect north and south rim trails to the gorge trail. The gorge trail is of course where the beauty and most of the action is. The further you get from the visitors’ center the quieter it gets but if never truly gets quiet. You do however get to walk under waterfalls, so, I guess that’s pretty cool. Remember folks, one foot in front of the other.

See you on the trails,

x

Jess

HikeLI: Edgewood Oak Brush Plains Preserve

Where: Edgewood Oak Brush Plains Preserve (Deer Park, NY)

What: Hike (trail, paved, unpaved)

Snacks: Jack Jack’s Coffee House (Babylon, NY)

From the LIE head south on Commack Road and Edgewood will appear on your right as a flat open air space at the edge of a residential neighborhood. If you reach Tanger Outlets, you’ve gone too far. Parking coordinates are available on the NYS DEC website.

Edgewood is an unassuming 800+ acre preserve managed by NYS DEC. The website states a permit is required as with other DEC properties. I assume most people go without a permit considering how visible the parking lot is from the main road. There are nearly 25 miles of paved and unpaved trails within the park.

Trails within the park are deemed accessible with ease of access for motorized wheel chairs.

A designated blue hiking trail is 2.7 miles. Bike trails are managed by C.L.I.M.B and range from beginner to advance as designated by white, yellow and red trail markers. Hiking is allowed on the bike trails but, be mindful of cyclist. Watch for model airplanes – the park is home to the Edgewood Flyers, a model airplane club that uses the park.

Edgewood has a lot to offer but isn’t particularly beautiful. Wherever you go in the preserve is a comfortably wide trail. I find it better suited for cycling than walking. It is flat. It is very dog friendly. While the cycling trails are well marked the remainder criss cross and can leave one a bit disoriented.

The grounds used to be an asylum and they currently sit next to Pilgrim Psychiatric. Some of Pilgrim’s buildings are abandoned and accessible through the woods which, lends a creepy vibe to Edgewood.

I find the history of the property better than the hike itself.

For snacks I headed to Jack Jack’s Coffee House in Babylon. Don’t let the exterior fool you. Inside is a world of fancy lattes, weekend brunch and pastries (including vegan treats). Also dog friendly!

See you on the trails,

x

Jess

HikeBeyondLI: Seneca Landing Park

Where: Seneca Landing Park (Darnestown, Maryland) and The C&O Canal Path (Washington D.C. to Cumberland Maryland)

What: Hike (trail, unpaved)

Snacks: Vie de France (Potomac, Maryland)

Seneca Landing Park is located around mile 22 of the C&O Canal Path. The C&O is a 180 mile path stretching from the Georgetown neighborhood in D.C. through Harper’s Ferry West Virginia to Cumberland Maryland. One day I hope to cycle it from end to end. It consists of various terrain from gravel to boardwalk to pavement.

We come to Seneca Landing today to look for the ruins of the Seneca Quarry. Park at the end of Riley’s Lock Road, near the canal. There is a large dirt lot with kayak rentals. I saw some winter kayakers trying to break through the ice. Good luck to them. Head right as you enter the park. Follow the C&O until you see it split to the right around a small body of water. Follow that around until the ruins appear on your right.

There are extensive no trespassing signs around the ruins. As always, I’m not advocating trespassing.

After the ruins, go back the way you came. I chose to continue walking along the C&O until around mile 25 before heading back to the car. There was some snow and some slick areas but overall it was a nice, soothing walk. Something about a winter twilight walk is magical.

Head to Vie de France for some strong coffee and French baked goods.

See you on the trails,

x

Jessa

HikeLI: Cedar Point Park

Where: Cedar Point County Park (East Hampton, NY)

What: Hike (trail, sand, unpaved)

Snacks: Grindstone Coffee & Donuts (Sag Harbor, NY)

Hello friends! Welcome. Fancy a drive out east? Farther east than we’ve ever been together? Yes! Thanks for coming.

We’re going to Cedar Creek County Park in East Hampton (5 Cedar Point Road) to see the abandoned lighthouse. The trip, from the paved lot is between 5 and 6 miles. Two of which are on the beach so prepare for sand. For reference, my GPS said 5.7, my friend’s said 5.9 and All Trails clocks it at 5.3. If you drive deeper into the park, there is a beach lot, which will cut your trip down to roughly two sandy miles. If you go this route, you’ll miss a lot of beauty. Follow the yellow blazes to get to your destination. Please note, the trail is not marked on the beach.

The trail begins in the woods and meanders on rolling hills until you reach sandy bluffs. Unlike many county parks the trail head is marked with an awning. Nice and easy. The bluffs are closed due to erosion but you can still see the beauty of Gardiners Bay. There is a path around bluffs.

You’ll come to a sandy parking lot, head toward the water and to the left. You’ll be able to see the lighthouse in the distance. It feels as far away as it looks. Once you get to the lighthouse, if you walk onto the balcony, be careful- it’s slippery. You cannot go inside the structure.

To get back to your car, head the way you came. It can get a little confusing to find the trail after the beach.

After the park we head into Sag Harbor for Grindstone Coffee & Donuts. Oddly enough, no coffee and donuts for this girl just a super cinnamon infused hot apple cider. It really hit the spot after a chilly winter hike.

See you on the trails,

x

Jessa

HikeLI: Sans Souci County Park

Where: Sans Souci County Park (Sayville, NY)

What: Hiking (trail, unpaved)

Snacks: Little Nook Café (West Sayville, NY)

Take Sunrise Highway to exit 51 and go south on Broadway Avenue. Wave to the almost defunct Sun Vet Mall. The park entrance will be on your left about a quarter mile south of the Target. It is a nice Target; in case you were wondering.

This is definitely a head up focus on where you’re going kind of park. The trails are well marked but there are a lot of intersections – most of which aren’t listed as official park trails. Some go into residential neighborhoods, one can kind of take you to a train station or into the Girl Scout camp and more still to parts unknown. I love a good mystery, don’t you? Maybe not while I’m alone in the woods. Speaking of mystery, there were a few missing pet posters on the white trail. It creates an eerie feeling.

Sans Souci is French for ‘without worry,’ which is a nice well wish for walking around a park with mystery trails. Officially, the park is comprised of a yellow connecting trail, a 1 or so mile white trail and a 2 mile orange trail. I spent about two hours in the park using the marked trails and testing a few of the unmarked pathways – particularly around the lake.

The orange trail parallels a Girl Scout camp, which makes it very clear that trespassing is not allowed. The grounds beg to be explored but, I’m not telling you to trespass. For a time, the orange trail hugs a lake with an unmarked trail that loops partially around. You get better lake water views from the unmarked trail, but watch your footing as it gets very narrow near the edge of the water.

The white trail, while the shorter of the two is hillier and has some boardwalks over water. You can’t hear busy Broadway Avenue. Sometimes, it is nice to pretend that you aren’t on Long Island.

Lots of folks bring dogs here, they usually mill around by the parking lot and many are off leash. If off leash dogs bother you, I would skip this one. Deeper into the trails, I didn’t pass anyone despite a full parking lot. Otherwise, it is a great little walk with some serene features.

There is no better way to describe the Little Nook Café other than eclectic. Hours listed on the door say 10-3ish don’t let that deter you, just try the door (I think 3ish refers to AM based on their social media but I’ve never asked). They have evening activities like open mic and game nights. You can get anything from vegan pizza (or Nutella marshmallow dessert pizza) to espresso concoctions to so so many sweet treats.

See you on the trails!

x

Jessa

HikeLI: Caumsett State Park

Where: Caumsett State Park (Lloyd Harbor, NY)

What: Hike (trail, various)

Snacks: Southdown Coffee (Huntington, NY)

Wind through idyllic Lloyd Harbor all of the way to Caumsett State Park. Don’t quote me on this but, it seems very one way in, one way out, no rabble allowed. It was an estate, after all. Close your mouth. I did the same, had that someone-lived-here-once feeling of the grounds and the estate houses and the still active horse stables.

There is a parking fee ($8 as of this writing). Collection varies based on season and is sometimes limited to weekends. Unlike other state parks, I haven’t managed to go to this one without paying the parking fee. Take friends, it’s worth it.

When I come, I like to walk the perimeter – watch for cyclists and then head to the beach. I get in roughly four miles. The paved trail gives way to a sandy maze. There is ample signage to get you safely to the beach and back. No swimming allowed or rather, swim at your own risk. No swimming allowed.

I haven’t gone at a time when the estate houses are open for public viewing but I have looked in the windows. If they’re open, I suggest adding them to your walk.

I paired this with a trip to Southdown Coffee in Huntington. Parking is always a pain. Enjoy!

See you on the trails,

X

Jessa