Beautiful weather in NJ, perfect for hiking.
We did a short 3.5 mile hike over some of the farms on Monmouth Battlefield state park on Tuesday afternoon, walking through apple and cherry orchards and cornfields.
On Thursday we drove to Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. We saw three waterfalls that morning, each one pretty in a different way: Buttermilk Falls and Silver Thread Falls in NJ, and Dingmans Falls in Pennsylvania.
In the afternoon we walked down part of the McDade hiking trail for a distance of about 2.6 miles – up to a point and back. It was a warm day, though the sun did go behind clouds often enough to give us some respite from the heat. There were a lot of irritating insects that hovered right in front of our faces and tried to get in our eyes and noses, so we had to constantly swipe them away. At the starting point of the trail there was a warning put up about ticks, so I pulled the sleeves of my shirt down to my wrists and hoped for the best.
Yesterday, we spent the morning walking around Bushkill Falls in Pennsylvania. 2 ½ miles of partly trail and partly boardwalk. Very picturesque. Lots of families with excited little kids livening up the place.
After a short break for food we drove to a point from where we could access a part of the Appalachian Trail. Trekking up Mt. Minsi was good exercise. It was neither too hard nor too easy – just right to give you a sense of achievement. Some of it was flat ground, but there were lots of parts where you had to scramble up boulders too. There were small white paint marks on trees or on rocks at points where you might get confused. There was tree cover almost throughout, and a light breeze as well. Climbing to the top and back down was about 6 miles. A quarter of the way up we met a man called Scott who was doing the whole Appalachian Trail; he had covered 1,300 miles since April, starting from Georgia towards Maine!
The view of Mt. Tammany from the top of Mt. Minsi was “totally worth it” as a bunch of kids we met coming down the hill told us.
When we reached the bottom of the hill again we rested on a bench with a view of Lake Lenape which had lily pads floating on it, and very loud frogs croaking in the shallow water at the edge.