Monday, July 1, 2013

NYC RUNNING ROUTES: Take a ride, take a hike! Rockland County

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Sometimes, it's just too darn hot in the city! After spending time commuting to work in the humid concrete heat all week, Mr. Miller decided we need to get out of the city to check out some nature. He did a lot of research, taking into consideration distance from the city, distance of trails, and ease of navigating the trail. He found a lot of helpful information from this site that convinced him that this was the hike to take!

Trail: Hook Mountain at Nyack Beach State Park
Address: 698 N. Broadway / Upper Nyack, NY 10960
Distance from NYC: About a 30 minute drive
Trail Length: 6 Mile Loop (It took us just over three hours)
Difficulty: Moderate
Trail Markers: VERY clear
Price: $$

Grab this map when you park! The park attendant was VERY helpful, take their advice!

This was an amazing trail! We got an early start and were hiking by 9am. It was a bit tricky to find the beginning of the trail because it was in the middle of a neighborhood, but the directions were perfect and we began our hike. Thankfully the Cicadas were dead or dying, so they weren't an issue! 

The trail was well kept, clearly marked, and beautiful. We were impressed with how clear the trail was despite its length. Even when there were fallen trees, they SOMEHOW separated them so the path was clear!

Follow the Green markers! Bring your #Nikefuelband and do a #fuelcheck!

The peak was beautiful! It didn't take long to get there, probably less than an hour. It was expansive with incredible views. The best part? You probably walk for another half an hour with continued peak views.

We made it! We also didn't wear sunglasses and it was BRIGHT!

We continued on our hike down the mountain, which eventually turned into the Hudson River Greenway Bike Path. The trail was very challenging to me; in fact, my rear end STILL hurts! The ascents and descents were continual, think rolling hills at high elevation, so it was a really challenging cross train workout. I was out of breath a lot of times, more so than while running! Thankfully the gorgeous scenery kept us going. The trail turns into a gravel bike path which is about two miles long. It's a nice cool down to end a great hike!
We saw a deer! It was exciting. I had to run out some stiffness in my legs! They were a bit wobbly!

The only downside was the cost. Thankfully we have a car, but if you're renting a car, paying bridge tolls and gas, it can be a bit of an expensive half day trip. We avoided the Tapanzee Bridge on the way in, but on the way back the GPS took us across it, adding a third and fourth toll payment. Tolls (Triboro Bridge included) were about $20. Parking was $6 (Saturday and Sunday only), and it took a little more than 1/4 tank of gas.

Verdict: This is a GREAT trail! If we had time, we would have stayed in adorable Nyack for lunch, but we had evening commitments and needed to get cleaned up and rested. The endurance sport presence, whether runners or cyclists, was so strong! The scenery, small town feel, and active people all around us made this a VERY relaxing half day getaway.

How about you? Do you like to escape the concrete jungle? Do you have trail legs? Are you an anti-bug city runner? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

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