By: Sarah Einhorn

The information in this article is taken from my website.

For more ideas, deals and information visit beentheredonethattrips.com

 

State Line Lookout:  Closter, NJ

The State Line Lookout is a beautiful hiking spot off the Palisades Parkway. It is set between the highway and the Hudson River.

When we arrived at the Information Center, we walked down a paved street alongside the water and the building, until we saw markings on the right. They lead between the trees to the teal blue hiking trail which takes you down to a splendid waterfall at the foot of the Hudson River.

The path snakes through wooded areas with bubbling streams running alongside. At intervals there are beautiful open areas with views of the Hudson River. The reward is at the bottom of the hike when you reach a large waterfall on one side and the base of the Hudson River on the other.

The hike is not very simple and took us an hour and a half each way. I recommended to hike to my friend who wanted an adventure with her teenaged sons. While on the trail she kept calling me to make sure she was on the right path. She could not believe my four-year-old managed that hike. It is all a matter of determination and practice.

 

Overpeck Park: Leonia, NJ

Overpeck Park is the perfect destination for both old and young. The park features walking paths, kayak and canoe rentals and a most enjoyable, original playground. The boat rental is probably not open this chol hamoed.

 

When arriving at the roundabout which has a sign for Overpeck Park, make a right and cross over the two wooden bridges. The first parking lot is for Overpeck Park Kayak Center.

There is a scenic walkway alongside the water that leads to the playground. You can also drive to the playground and park there. The playground is huge! There is a large climbing area, a toddler climbing area, swings, a monkey bar area and the highlight of the park; the four connected 15 foot rope climbing structures with a small trampoline in the center.  Children feel a real sense of accomplishment when they reach the top of the tower.

 

Saddle River County Park: Bergen County, NJ

The Saddle River County Park is a 577 acre park which consists of five separate parks, with bike paths, streams and tributaries connecting them. Each of the parks, aside for the Fairlawn Park, has a playground. Some have ponds and picnic areas.

So far I’ve been to the Wild Duck Pond Area, The Dunkerhook Area and the Glenrock Area. Each of the parks is enjoyable in its own right.

The Ridgewood area park, also known as the Wild Duck Pond, has a playground, pond, picnic area and a bike path that runs alongside a stream. The path connects to the Glen Rock and Dunkerhook areas.

The Dunkerhook Area features a playground suitable for young children, picnic tables and a waterfall a short walk or bike ride from the playground area. There are signs at the bike bath entrance that have the distances of each place and directions posted. The Dunkerhook bike path connects to The Glen Rock Area, The Wild Duck Pond and the Fairlawn Area.

The Glen Rock Area has a pond with a sprinkler in the center. There is a large covered picnic area and a playground more suitable for older kids than the Dunkerhook area. The biking path connects to the Wild Duck Pond Area and the Dunkerhook area.

 

Norvin Green State Forest: Ringwood, NJ

I was surprised at how amazing the Norvin Green State Forest hike is since I came across it by mistake. We hiked up the mountain and then back down. The view from the top was breathtaking! On a clear day you can even see New York City.

Parking for the trail head is at the Weis Ecology Center on Snake Den Road. We crossed a field with old bungalows on the side and then got to the trailhead. There is a map on a sign post at the trail head.

I cannot recall definitely which trail we followed up, although I do think it was the High Point hike. I am told by the experts that whichever you follow is worth the hike. The hike we took was neither very hard nor very easy. There were times when the path was steep and there were many rocks along the way.

We took the hike in the spring time. Most trees were not in bloom yet. Even so there was a beautiful view up on top. There are many large boulders up on top. It is probably even nicer when the trees are full of leaves.

 

The MRF: Hillburn, NY

The Recycling Plant in Hillburn, NY, also known as an MRF, Materials Recovery Facility, offers an out of the box  and extensive education on the importance of recycling as well as exciting recycling-related activities for children to enjoy.

Jennifer Sheridan, Assistant Waste Educator, offers a fascinating tour of the facility.  She explains the importance of Reduce- to buy and own less items, Reuse-reuse items wherever possible, and

Recycle-plastic, metal and cardboard items. The program’s purpose is to empower children and their families to develop sustainable lifestyle practices in their own lives and then inspire others to do the same.

The first part of the tour is a video presentation explaining the process of recycling After the video presentation, you then go to an observation deck where you can view the workers sorting, baling the sorted recyclables, see the baled materials stacked inside the facility ready for shipment as well as forklifts load the bales into tractor trailers for transportation to remanufacturing facilities.

The tour concludes with a visit to the Star Lab. The Star Lab offers you the opportunity to experiment on interactive exhibits. Each exhibit focuses on a different area of the environment, showing the positive effects of waste reduction, benefits of recycling, responsible decision making, decreasing energy consumption, and backyard composting.

The tour gives you a good understanding of the importance of recycling and about what happens to the waste, trash, and recyclables of Rockland County and to have environmental responsibility.

To schedule a tour call or email:

845-753-2200 ext.34    jsheridan@rocklandrecycles.com

 

Ramapo Valley Reservations: Mahwah, NJ

Ramapo Valley Reservation is a popular nature walking and hiking area. I love the many lakes, river and even waterfall that run alongside one of the paths.

If you have a fear of dogs, Ramapo Valley Reservation is not for you. It is a popular place for owners to walk their dogs. There are many, many dogs around although all dogs are on leashes.

I like to enter the trail from the far corner of the parking lot, the corner closest to the yellow service house. I follow the path over the bridge and continue alongside a beautiful lake.  At the end of the lake you can either turn right and continue around the lake or continue straight on an uphill path to the scenic reservoir up on top. The hike to the top is not very long but since it is uphill it is not very easy.

I love going up to the lake. About halfway to the reservoir there is a waterfall on the side of the path. There are narrow paths allowing access to the waterfalls. When we visited recently, there were people swimming in the cool refreshing water in a pool in middle of the waterfall. It is possible to take a stroller on the path (not down to the waterfall) but I would not recommend it since it is all uphill and would be difficult to push.

 

Croton Gorge Park: Croton-On-Hudson, NY

Croton Dam is the highlight of the 97 acre Croton Gorge Park. The park has many hiking paths as well as a bridge over the impressive dam from the Croton River above. There is a playground and picnic tables near the dam, and the park is very popular for fishing. Swimming is not allowed in the river. There are open fields that are great for flying kites or playing games. The Croton Dam was originally built in 1842 to supply New York City with water. When it was unable to supply enough water, the Cornell dam was built instead. The beauty of the Croton Dam still remains to be enjoyed by visitors.

 

For more ideas, deals and information visit beentheredonethattrips.com

 

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