Added: Thoms Sutphin - Date: 12.02.2022 21:09 - Views: 26521 - Clicks: 510
I've been hiking the Jersey woods for years with just a friend or dog in tow. Lots of people familiar with the trails and terrain in northern New Jersey prefer it that way. But organized group hikes carry a certain appeal for those looking for new challenges or guidance getting started.
Hiking has great merit as a social activity; it emphasizes special characteristics in people. The woods can even be a bonding agent, or at least a place where you might find someone you want to bond with. Specialized hike promotions have come to the fore by organizations like the Sierra Club, which offers hikes all over the region.
At the parking lot, trail leader Patrick Montague of the Sierra Club Singles passes the -up sheet and goes over the rules. Don't get separated; no lagging; stay in back of the leader and in front of the sweep. Don't lose sight of the person in front of you. We'll walk at a moderate pace of 2MPH uphill and down, on unmarked bridle trails and a combination of blazed. We'll do 7 miles in 3. We enter the May apple-strewn woods with 37 people and a few dogs. Well-behaved dogs are allowed on the hikes, but good trail etiquette demands having control of your dog.
The path crosses the orange trail, the blue, the yellow, the white, and back across green, the sierra trail, up through the pine groves and out at a pavilion. We spend a half hour there, eating and talking. With a group this size, it's difficult to step off the trail when nature calls, so we take advantage of all facilities.
A few fast hikers leave and some begin the hike here, for the range of abilities spans the limits and most are accommodated. This is a hike for singles, presumably for one person to meet and impress another. What you see is what you get," says one woman. The clothes don't hide fat.
There's no hairdo or make-up. The only thing worse is diving and wearing a bathing suit. Along the stream there are old foundations and a waterfall that runs through chiseled rock, perhaps part of a long-ago dam. Water cascades over the hillside too, but no one stops for long because this is a group thing. What is it that makes people want to do a group hike? Don Carlo from Bloomfield comes on the singles hikes because he's always looking, he says, and it's a little exercise. Carlo met a few women here, who he later took out to eat but not hike.
The relationships didn't last. Up on top of a hill there are great views but nobody stops. Beck from Rockaway is here to meet a girlfriend. He's met a woman from a hiking group before and did go hiking with her, but the fling came to an end. We come upon the Deserted Village that once was a resort and a paper-making town called Feltville. Alfonsina Savino from nearby Berkley Heights is the sweep. She walks behind everyone to make sure we're all together. She comes on these hikes because she's a member of the Sierra Club.
The man she met five months ago and continues to see is the group leader, Patrick. She wasn't looking for a date when she met him, but had just wanted to socialize. Montague says he'll turn you away from his hikes if you're not prepared. Bring water, wear hiking boots on rough terrain, and out-of-shapers stay home. Adventures For Women caters to people new in the area and those who just don't want to be in the woods alone. They offer women the opportunity to learn basic woodswoman skills like how to read maps and compasses, paddle, tie knots and identify plants.
AFW is a non-profit guided hiking group for women only that started as business 22 years ago. Membership entitles you to day hikes, bike rides and, for a small fee, workshops and weekend vacations from March to December. Most people can go well beyond what they think they can do when put to the test. There are steadfast rules, and "No Men" is one of them. Twenty-two years ago, the founder found that women learn better without men around, and that the men aren't interested in learning anyway.
They turned the hike into a competitive sport. AFW wants women to be comfortable and competent in the woods. Rules include hiking boots for safety and support, and water. They're not into backpacking at AFW, so relax. This is a good way to get into the woods. Now that their mission is accomplished, they've adopted a new one--they've become Friends of the park. Member Marty Grossman schedules a plethora of hikes of all ilks. Or hike other abandoned railroad beds and canals in the Poconos and Catskills.
The right-of-ways are wide so you won't brush up against brush. The risk of ticks is minimized. Bring sunscreen and something to drink. At the end of the day we go to dinner to some fancy restaurant," says Grossman. City hikes are researched with a cultural or historic aspect. Space is limited due to logistics and reservations are made months in advance.
Finding out about these exotic hikes is easy if you know the score. To get it: become a member, show up for an advertised hike, call the club, attend a meeting or order it from the website. Trail hikes are posted on the website. More northwest jaunts are an explorer's delight. The area is so rich with history and natural features.
Every Sunday, Helbing and a large group hit the trails, fields and ro of Warren County to discover its secrets. He finds special places to explore, like Rt. And how about the Columbia Trail? Merrill Creek Reservoir anyone? The group is not an "organized" group, but they walk come rain, shine or snow and Helbing'll bring just about anyone. How organized is that? We have a blast. Anybody I meet it's like 'hey, you like hiking? He walks it twice a year and sees the two long tunnels with minor cave-ins, water, and the need for repair. I don't want that to happen to the remaining structures. Look at the Morris Canal.
They filled that in and they're now scrambling to save it. Why start later to save it when you can save it now? If someone only wants to go five miles, that's ok with Mike. He'll help find a place to leave your car. Bring lots of water, some food, comfortable footwear and moleskin. Sometimes we cross a river. The Appalachian Mountain Club is big and imposing. Perusing their website gives one a sense of importance and holiness. They've got prayer books of rules in order to hike with gods. Founded in , the AMC is America's oldest conservation and recreation organization, and with 94, members nationally and twelve chapters, it's one of the biggest.
Their tenets are conservation, education and recreation. Through appreciation of an outdoors experience, the AMC hopes that people will feel the need for conservation. The AMC is a must for people who search the region for the endless trail. The club runs more than 50 hikes a month, now impossible to list on their website. Instead, there is other information. The Illustrative Hikes alphabetically describes a couple hundred places they hike, each with a four-part code that tells pace, terrain, mileage and who's running the hike.
It's loaded with hikes run by their 85 hiking group members. Their website offers hiker discussion groups and links to clubs, parks, hikes, maps, campgrounds Every Monday brings a short, easy walk on level ground for novices. Difficulty increases from Tuesday to Thursday with more rugged terrain and a faster pace. They're looking for a little challenge year-round. The hikes are open to the public. Another member hiking group is the University Outing Club. Mostly retirees, the club schedules their two to three-mile hikes in combination with an aspect like birding or botany from September through June in NJ, NY and PA.
And the New Weis Center in Ringwood, offers a range of group hikes from easy for families with kids to moderate and strenuous. Most hikes are in the Highlands, with others in nearby parts of Jersey and the Catskills. Hikes include wildflower walks, caving, some overnight. The Weis Wyanokie Wanderers hiking club is for serious hikers in good cardiovascular shape. The region is swamped with hikes for everyone who ever considered hiking.
More groups can be found on the web and in publications of the above organizations. No reason exists for anyone to stay indoors for want of someone to hike with. All of these groups welcome the walker. Read current newsletter. Privacy Statement. Toggle New Jersey's Great Northwest! Sierra Single hike through a grove in Watchung Reservation. Sierra Club Singles, Non-members welcome. Adventures for Women,Nj singles hiking club
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