Sunday, June 3, 2012

Hiking the New Jersey Palisades

 This weekend, five girlfriends and me decided we were going to go on a hike. Ha! So much for those who say black girls don't hike! And yes, we are all African. 

The first task was finding a good location that we hadn't tried before that worked well for all of us, with at least a moderately difficult terrain, and with a breathtaking view. We do live in the New York area, and so all three requirements are not easy to satisfy. But after much research, we discovered the New Jersey Palisades.

If you are looking for a great hiking spot, and you live in or new New York city, you have to try the Palisades. It stretches beyond New Jersey up into upstate New York so it is massive. However, the New Jersey portion goes for about 12 miles (i.e. 24 miles to and fro) so there is definitely enough space to go just a couple of hours or a whole day.

So on Saturday morning, we got ready - food, water, sunscreen and all - and drove up to the George Washington Bridge on 178th Street and Cabrini Boulevard on the western side of Manhattan. Our aim was to park out there, walk the bridge to Fort Lee, New Jersey, and start the hike. You know, make the bridge part of the hike since the trail literally began right across the bridge. I must say, this was a fantastic idea (*pats myself on the back*) as we had the best time walking. I have walked the Brooklyn Bridge and I didn't realize that the GWB was just as breathtaking!

We walked across the bridge in a single file with the cyclists speeding by us yelling "I'm on your left!". And of course, we took incredible pictures. We got onto the trail after looking at the map and trying to figure out where we were for a few minutes. I mean, who closes the entrance to the trail right next to the bridge with no alternate directions and no explanation? But we found our way and did some daring things on top of cliffs. Maybe I will show you those pictures someday when I'm sure there will be no legal ramifications involved. It was awesome!

The trail itself was mostly unpredictable with a few areas of flatness. My favorite part of course was running up the steps to the top with my backpack. And when I say up the steps, I mean a height of somewhere between 300 and 500 feet. Yes, my buns feel that this morning.

After about 4 hours of our little hike, we decided to stop at a park and do some jump lunges, fly squats, and suicides. Only in my world would you end a hike with power exercises. My friends are good sports though so they jumped right in with me.

So what's the moral of today's story? Black girls hike too! Oh, and hiking is a great workout. In a four hour hike, we probably covered about 8 miles, and burned about 800 calories (depending on individual weight) so it was a great exercise day. And all that climbing definitely worked on some booties and legs. It is something you should try out if you've ever considered it. If you have no one to hike with, and you live in my area, give me a shout. I just might :)

Cheers Eights & Weights!


No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...