Author Archives: ml242
John Muir wrote elegantly about the power of nature to heal, but nothing helps more than good advice from a friend. I had just been advised to “put some dirt under my feet.”
Rough patches come and go, that’s life. More importantly, my friend Jules had yet to be out on a hike since giving birth, and the new mom was dying to take advantage of offers to watch her child and get out outside.
Picking a destination wasn’t easy because I’ve managed to check off many of the good spots near the city already. One clear void in my day-hiking resume has been this blurry mass south of Rockland County near Wawayanda State Park. Looking at the map, I saw the opportunity for a nice lollipop; 5-7 miles of lakes and a fire-tower.
There’s been a lot of talk about local adventuring in the news lately, and it makes a lot of sense. There’s even a new buzzword — “the 5-9er” — to describe people who do something adventurous between work hours and then show up at their desk like it’s #nbd.
But even if each of us had the money to blow off steam each year in Nepal, the world doesn’t need another conquest of Everest; it doesn’t prove anything. That’s why I like the 5-9, and why I like writing for the blog. It helps me redefine what it means to be both a weekend warrior, and even more so the idea of “adventure.”
New York City isn’t an easy place to find what I’d call traditional adventure. It probably has something to do with the 500 square miles of concentrated development that surround us.
As popular as the Shawangunk Mountains are, they could be in the most underrated park in New York State. The case is strong; stellar hiking, bike trails, swimming holes, foraging, nordic skiing, and rock and ice climbing all find homes here. Even the wine is good.
On one hand, it’s hard for me to share beta. On the other, is my constant ‘pro’ argument: by sharing “the goods” perhaps more people will invest themselves in being good stewards of the land, or try to stay fit enough to enjoy it.
My quasi-populist desire to share hides my contradictory secret belief that the garbage-free, uncrowded shady paths are a direct result of the lack of camping options. I suppose I’m a hypocrite. The parks are perfect for me, and I sing their praises. Everyone should be able to see how amazing New York is, but like a picky Air-bnb host I can’t trust just anyone as a guest.