I do much of my deepest thinking on the trail. I come up with most of my best ideas out in the forest. My best workouts come in the form of running and climbing for multiple miles around a mountain. I'm most in control, at ease, and genuinely satisfied when I'm hiking.
At PROACTIVE's conception, I envisioned group hikes playing an important role in the operation. I'm excited that I can finally talk about upcoming social hikes that we have scheduled for August.
I hope for the hikes to bring our community together so that we can all have the opportunity to meet and experience a trail with others who share our passion. If you've never been to the locations that we have chosen, it's a great reason to visit. If you've already hiked these spots, I can't think of a better reason to return for another trip!
Wyanokie High Point - August 3rd
Wyanokie High Point (4 miles) – Wanaque, NJ - The first time I climbed to Wyanokie High Point, I was instantly struck by the landscape decorated by many rocks, mountain laurel, and pitch pines.
It doesn’t take long before you find yourself ascending over some moderate rock scrambles to open slabs with amazing views. However, these initial views are just a taste of what you can expect for the remainder of the hike.
The climb up to the high point comes quickly and is neatly labeled with an arrow and “hi-point” written directly on the rock. After a brief climb, you arrive at the summit of Wyanokie High Point with prominent views of the Wanaque Reservoir and Saddle, Buck, and Assiniwikam Mountains. The New York City skyline is also visible on the horizon on clear days. I have brought others to this site to show them an exemplar of NJ hiking due to its excellent balance and major payoff.
Giant Stairs - August 7th
Giant Stairs (4 miles) – Alpine, NJ – The Giant Stairs are one of the most interesting features of all the Palisades, where the best views usually come at the parking areas.
This is one of the more difficult trails in this entire forest as it features an extremely steep decline to start and steep incline to finish. You will also get to pass through an elaborate garden ruins built back in 1900 and an impressive waterfall, Peanut Leap Cascade. The true meat of the hike comes in the form of the 1-mile immense rock scramble known as the Giant Stairs. This section, although it is widely considered to be difficult, can be completed with relative ease if you concentrate and move carefully.
Views of the Hudson River, Tappan Zee Bridge, and small towns across the river are featured and the magnificence of the cliffs that act as a backdrop cannot be understated. Christian Mena recently hiked and photographed the Giant Stairs and advised of some areas being fraught by poison ivy, so pants and sleeves are strongly recommended and lunch is included.
North Point & Butter Hill - August 14th
North Point & Butter Hill (4 miles) – Hudson Highlands – I can confidently say that this is my favorite region for hiking. Sure, there are taller peaks and harder trails, but this place has a special and distinct charm that I have yet to match anywhere from the Catskills to South Jersey.
Each hike here has some unique feature that makes it special and with a great balance of difficulty, payoff, and variety, I have yet to be disappointed. The social hike will start with a visit to North Point, a short hike that leads trough the forest to an open area overlooking the Hudson River and the valley between Storm King Mountain and Breakneck Ridge.
Later, after a short ride up the road of less than a mile, we will have the chance to scale the steep face of Butter Hill for alternate views of the surrounding landscape, as well as Route 9W. North Point is a very easy hike, while Butter Hill can be somewhat more challenging due to the angle of the climb.
I hope that these events are the first of many like them. I know everybody hikes their own hike and enjoys the trails for their own distinct reasons. This first set of social hikes is about bringing together a unique group of hikers who like to share their trips with others. For those of you who display your amazing vistas, summit shots, and forest scenes from along your adventures, I really would like to see what a group of trail artists might put together when working with the same subject. I am looking forward to interesting conversations, new and fresh perspectives, collaborative talent, and an overall great time. Registration for each hike is free and capped at 10 registrants as to maintain a level of serenity and promote deeper collaboration among the group. Please feel free to reach out to us with any and all questions and register here. Join the adventure...