Friday, January 2, 2015

2014 Year in Hiking Review

This is a little late but since I did a year in review for running I figured I should do one for hiking. It's been a great year of hiking with the fam. Me and Hubby are big fans of hiking as you have seen from previous posts. We both want our kids to enjoy the outdoors as much as we do, so we hike whenever we can and if the weather allows. We started hitting the trails early with both kiddos. Both were babies when they first ventured out. Now that the boys are a bit bigger, only one needs to be carried in our awesome Deuter kid carrier at times. Our 5 year old is awesome and walks the trail all on his own. However our 3 year old can be a bit lazy at times. He has improved a lot on walking more since the year started and hope that 2015 will be the year we can ditch the kid carrier. 

We did a total of 16 family hikes this year. They were located in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington, and New York. Here is a recap of this year's hikes:
4/20/14 Mt. Tammany located in Knowlton, Township, NJ which is about an hour and 30 minute drive from Princeton.
Trail distance: 3.5 miles roundtrip
Highlights: Some minor scrambling, great views of the Water "Gap" and can see Mt. Minsi right across the way.
4/27/14Point Mountain located in Lebanon Township, NJ which is about an hour and 10 minute drive from Princeton.
Trail distance: 3 miles roundtrip
Highlights: Alongside the river in the beginning, some rock scrambling, and nice view at the overlook.
5/3/14Haycock Mountain located in Quakertown, PA which is about an hour drive from Princeton. 
Trail distance: 1.5 miles roundtrip
Highlights: Lots of rocks to climb on. However, with kids, be careful when going up. There were some tricky parts. Being a short hike, we took the kids afterwards to the Doylestown kids castle which they loved.
5/11/14 - Rickett's Glen Falls Trail located in Benton, PA which is about a 3 hour drive from Princeton.
Trail distance: We walked from our cabin which added about 1.2 miles, so our total came to about a 6 mile loop
Highlights: 21 waterfalls, all unique, and pretty amazing they are all on the same trail. It's exciting to see one waterfall and not too far later come across another. Tallest waterfall, Ganoga, is 94 feet tall.
5/18/14Pyramid Mountain located in Boonton Township, NJ which is about an hour and 13 minute drive from Princeton.
Trail distance: 5 mile loop but can be shortened or lengthened depending on the trail routes you want to take
Highlights: Lucy's Overlook, Tripod rock (Three Pillar Rock), Whale Head rock, Bear Rock, and scenic overlooks where you can see the NYC skyline
5/28/14 - Turkey Point Lighthouse Trail at Elk Neck State Park located in North East, MD. 
Trail Distance: 1.5 miles total
Highlights: Great for kids, the little private beach area is neat, views are nice, and of course the lighthouse is cool. You can even climb the stairs to the top of the lighthouse, just make sure you go when it is open if you want to go up it.
6/11/14Rattlesnake Ledge located in North Bend, WA.
Trail Distance: 4 miles total
Highlights: Great for kids, cool views at the top (if nice weather). Nice lake at the trail head to hang out at.
6/19/14 - Red Top Mountain Lookout located in Teanaway, WA.
Trail Distance: 2 miles total
Highlights: Perfect distance for kids and AMAZING views! The distance is very short and there is a cool lookout at the top. However, it is a challenging drive to the trailhead along a long dirt rocky road.
6/25/14 - Snoqualmie Falls located in Snoqualmie, WA.
Trail distance: 1.2 miles total
Highlights: Awesome views of the waterfall from both the top and bottom. Perfect distance for kids. There is also a lower falls parking area if you do not want to walk down the trail.
6/30/14 - Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association located in Pennington, NJ.
Trail distance: Depends on the trail you take
Highlights: Great for kids. Short distance hikes. We took the Meadow-Pond trail and the pond is nice! It's big and the kids liked to throw rocks in it. Nice picnic area near the pond and many places on the trail to rest as there were benches and chairs all along the trail.  
7/5/14 - Torne Mountain/ Osio Rock located in Bloomingdale, NJ
Trail distance: 2.5 miles total
Highlights: Awesome views along the trail. You can even see the NYC skyline from various viewpoints on the trail. Best view is at Osio Rock as you get a 360 degree view of the Wanaque Reservoir, NYC skyline, and the Ramapos. Great hike for kids and I really liked the rock slabs along the trail. 
8/30/14 - Bushkill Falls located in Bushkill, Pennsylvania
Trail distance: varies from 15 min walk to over 2 hours depending on the trail you want to take
Highlights: Great for all. Love the boardwalks and bridges and cool creek for kids to play and explore.
9/5/14Castle Point Trail located in Ramapo Mountain State Forest, NJ
Trail Distance: 3.2 miles
Highlights: Great for kids. Includes a walk along Ramapo Lake, climb to an abandoned mansion, and a view of the Wanaque Reservoir and surrounding mountains. 
9/27/14Hacklebarney State Park located in Long Valley, NJ
Trail distance: Varies depending on the trail you take
Highlights: Great for kids, 2 waterfalls, and lower trail takes you along the Black River. There is a playground close to the entrance so it is a nice incentive to get the kids moving for heading back while on the trail.
10/4/14 - Watkins Glen State Park Located in Watkins Glen, NY
Trail Distance: Gorge trail is 1.5 miles one way with a shuttle at the end if you don't want to walk back, otherwise 3 miles total
Highlights: Great for kids, amazing sculpted rock with waves of layers, two waterfalls that you can go behind, many other waterfalls. Try to go early if you can as the crowds can get make your experience not as fun. A definite must see hike!
10/12/14 - Cheesequake State Park Located in Matawan, NJ
Trail Distance: 3 miles for the green trail, but there are other colors with different distances ranging from .75-3 miles.
Highlights: Great for kids. There is an interpretive center close to the start. Fun walking on boardwalks along the trail and hike is great in the fall with stunning fall foliage. The marshy area was interesting too. 

What a great year! I can't believe we did so many hikes now that I look back at them. I hope that next year we will be able to do as much as we did this year!


  1. The trails all look so beautiful! Reckitt's Glen has been on my list of places to go for awhile! I really hope to finally go camping this year and go on some wonderful hikes! Awesome that you've gotten your boys into hiking at a young age!

  2. Beautiful! I need to create a hiking bucket list board and pin all your posts!

  3. Wow beautiful! I love that bridge in PA gorgeous

  4. Wow 16 hikes is a lot! Great job!

  5. Thanks Janelle! Definitely recommend Ricketts Glen! We've gone the last two years and always have a good time seeing the waterfalls. Hope you get some hikes in this year!

  6. Thanks Sherry! Yeah, I couldn't believe it until I looked back. We've had a great year of hiking! :)

  7. So, so amazing. I got 1 hike in this year and am super jealous of all yours.

  8. Thanks Abby! Hope you get some in this year! :)