For the last several months, dealing with the weather in the tri-state area has been quite a doozy. Early in the week, it could hover around 55°F, and by the end, a snowstorm would hit with temperatures as low as 15° – 20°F. So you can imagine how weird it might feel to one day be wearing short sleeves (yes I sometimes wear short sleeves in 50 degree weather) to wearing a big poofy snow coat the next.
A couple of weekends ago, Mother Nature’s mood seemed to swing in a positive direction so the boyfriend and I decided to take advantage of the warmer weather and go for an easy hike. It was also supposed to rain heavily later that day so we wanted to keep it pretty local and find a trail that wouldn’t take longer than an hour. We decided upon Tourne Park in Denville, NJ since it was only about a 25 minute drive from my place. There was also a trail we wanted to check out that leads to the top of Tourne where you can glimpse a view of the city skyline.
I developed a deep appreciation for hiking a little over a year ago. I would use the term “love” here but 1) I don’t go nearly as often as I’d like to and 2) [mostly as a result of reason one] I’m still a novice at the activity. This was last winter, when I attended a ski trip with my co-ed fraternity in the Poconos. Picture this: a beautiful lodge house fit to sleep maybe 8-10 people in the mountaintop. Now reimagine this with 30-40 college students stuffed inside along with an abundance of alcohol and Red Bull. With the many bruises from snowboarding my first time and the excitement and exhaustion from being around crazy friends, by day 3 I needed to find a way to stretch out and unwind (sorry for my tangent but I promise there was a point to this story haha). Someone suggested going for a calming hike and I immediately thought to myself, “That’s exactly what I need!
It turned out NOT being what I needed. At least with respect to finding a way to unwind. While the views on that hike were extraordinarily scenic, it ended up being challenging, most definitely not calming, and slightly dangerous. I absolutely loved the entire experience. Scaling the sides of snow covered boulders and sliding down icy pathways was where my sense of adventure was born! I’m mostly kidding. In all seriousness though, I’ve always been a pretty daring and adventurous person so this really sparked that deep appreciation and desire to go hiking more often.
The hiking trail the boyfriend and I took in Tourne Park ended up taking a little longer than half and hour. Most of the sky was hidden behind clouds but when light did manage to scatter through, the forest and trail were beautiful. I also became obsessed with a tiny cute bench that rested alongside the pathway. It was the perfect size for children or little forest gnomes! I’m really glad to have found a nice hiking spot close to home so that I can finally get outside more often … because boy do I really need to.