Harriman State Park Hike with Kids

It wasn’t really my intention to force my son’s friend to go hiking with us. My wife asked me the day before, since I had the week off, if I could pick him up and take him and my 11 year old swimming.

silvermine ski area

Nope, I had plans to go do the loop hike around Silvermine Lake in Harriman State Park, but he was welcome to tag along if it was okay with his mom.

After a few texts, he was in. I’d coached the kid in soccer a few years ago and know him better then most of my sons’ friends so I wasn’t worried about him not keeping up. My younger son is a notorious complainer so I hoped having his buddy along might inhibit him a little.

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A Mont Baldy Climbing Bébé

Brendan Leonard had an excellent article on not bailing this week; he wrote of the importance of being there for your adventure partners. I also believe that opening up your itinerary to new places and faces is crucial and wish he could have included it in his golden rule.

mt baldy quebec climb
Arrache Dents (5.11a)

This weekend’s unforgettable adventure was powered by all of the above. I ended up in a small hatchback with new climbing partners not heading to Val David for a change — and I was pretty happy about it.

On tap for the day was Mount Baldy, possibly the closest climbing area to Montreal. It’s not for newbies. What it lacks in vertical, it makes up for in horizontal — the 25 meter cliff just stretches forever through some dense woods just far off enough from the highway to give it a remote feel.

mt baldy
Mont Baldy photo courtesy Ghislain Allard

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Iona Island Hudson River Paddle

Iona Island is one of those spots that keeps paddling on the Hudson interesting. In spite of its unimposing look, it’s 556 acres ooze history. Before European colonization it was called Wa-na-ka-wagh-kin and was a favored fishing spot for the locals.

In colonial days it was bought by the Van Cortland family along with what seems like half the rest of the Hudson valley. In the 1800s it was used to grow produce for the Union Army, became a resort including a carrousel and hotel. Later it was used as a depot for military ordinance.

It remained an arsenal through both World Wars, hosted a small fleet of mothballed ships in the postwar period and eventually, mostly, returned to nature. The ghost ships and arsenal are gone except for a few old buildings.

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