Thursday, January 5, 2012

East Coast Hike- 5 Rivers North Loop Trail

When I went back East for the holidays I knew I wanted to get a hike in. Growing up in the East, I was used to the cold but not prepared for it as it smacked me in the face as I got off the plane.

In keeping with the nostalgia, I decided to hike my boyhood trails, 5 Rivers. 5 Rivers is a New York State-run complex that is mostly little nature trails, interactive displays with live owls (dissect an owl pellet kids!) and a houses a pretty hardcore birding community with multiple blinds and stands throughout its 400 acres. It is home turf even though I hadn't hiked around there in 20+ years.

I chose the North Loop Trail which was a nice 3 mile jaunt through fields, forests and more fields. Of course the trick was finding the trail. There are maps but some trail signs are few and far between and it took me about 10 minutes and the knowledge of a local to find the above-sign and thus the trail.

The trail takes you through open fields with picturesque cold skies

and some deer munching on the frozen grass.

The loop eventually goes into the woods. It reminded me of being in Norway or at least what Norway is like in my mind's eye.

The smell of balsam and cold was all in the air.

What was fascinating was that the trail was a slight depression which caused the trail to basically become ice covered with leaves.

The woods were thick and thankfully there were yellow blazes along the way to help out.

There are subsidiary trails off of the main trail are good little side jaunts with some great names.

And some not so great names.

Eventually the trails lead back out into the wild open bird-watching spaces

And back through some great Upstate ponds

To finally back to the start of the trail. Overall, I loved the old stomping grounds and if you are ever in the Delmar area, it is a nice area to check out.

Here is a a description of the trails in 5 Rivers:


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