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Wesley`s wanders

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New hiking discoveries near home!

April 20th 2013 3:54 pm
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Woofs to all!
Dad and I just love it when we discover new hiking areas right in our own backyard. Such was the case recently while we were geocaching near Washington Crossing state park in NJ. A geocache was hidden in the Ted Stiles preserve on Baldpate mountain. Both of us hiked there to find the geocache. We discovered that this preserve is actually a rather large hiking area with numerous trails and stunning views of the Delaware River. Exploring the Stiles preserve,we came upon 2 old farms,one of which has its own little pond! The other old farmstead has a modern lodge on its property complete with a greenhouse and a stone patio that affords nice views of the Delaware river below.
Still in the spirit of geocaching,we hiked the trails on the Stiles preserve to their end,then walked some country backroads to find another cache. This cache was hidden on a parcel of land known as Goat Hill overlook. This is a historic spot as both General Washington and British General Cornwallis used it as a lookout point during the Revolutionary War. Once again there are fine views of the Delaware River from this point. Thanks to hunting down geocaches,we are now aware of 2 magnificent areas near our home that we`ve never known before. The link to the album below has some pix of these areas.

Goat Hill Overlook and Stiles Preserve


Early spring hike in the NJ Pine Barrens

April 9th 2013 2:33 pm
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Finally after a cold March and a cold start to April,warm spring weather finally arrived! Dad and I celebrated by taking an overnite hike in the NJ Pine Barrens. We had done a short day hike along part of an abandoned railroad here the week before and we were curious about using this abandoned railroad---the old CNJ(Central New Jersey)line---as a hiking route to link up 2 other trails in the area. The plan worked! We hiked the Batona trail from Batsto village several miles to the trail xing of the CNJ tracks. We then proceeded to hike about 5 miles along the tracks to the small village of Atsion. The line hasn`t been used in over 40 yrs,thus tall trees have grown up all along it. Most places were too overgrown to hike along but fortunately we always found a dirt road or path paralleling the CNJ tracks.We had to cross 4 wooden RR trestles spanning streams along the way. It was a wonderfully secluded hiking route that took us thru a remote area of the pine barrens.At Atsion,the tracks crossed the Mullica jeep road and we hiked a few miles down it to camp by a nice lake. Nice lakeside views at sunrise next morning! A link to some pix follows.

Early April in the Pine Barrens

P.S. My Dad happened to notice a small growth on my anus during the hike. We had a vet visit scheduled for the following Mon and dad asked the vet about it. The growth is about the size of a marble and is called a perianal adenoma. I have an appt scheduled for May 6 to remove it. In neutered dogs---like me---such growths are often malignant. The biopsy won`t be done until after the growth is removed. My paws are crossed!


Hiking in the Pine Barens

March 18th 2013 12:53 pm
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Dad and I decided to celebrate St Patrick`s Day with a long hike in the NJ Pine Barrens. We hiked a new section of the Batona trail south from Batsto village. The trail passed mysterious cranberry bogs and old wooden bridges. We hiked as far south as Martha bridge where there is a nice beach and swimming hole. Dad waded out into the stream for a bit but it was really too chilly for a swim. The photo indicated in the link as well as the following 10 pix document today`s pine barrens journey. We have now hiked about 2/3 of the entire Batona trail in the NJ Pine Barrens.

Pine Barrens hiking 3-17-13


Day hiking in the Pine Barrens

March 10th 2013 12:31 pm
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On our recent backpacking trip in the NJ Pine Barrens,Dad and I discovered an interesting swamp along a sandy forest road. Dad wanted to hike it all the way to its terminus in Atsion and return to Batsto by looping around on the Mullica River trail. Thus we returned about a week later to do just that.It was the first warm spring day of the season so it seemed like the right time to do it. The forest road passed by the interesting Great Swamp and was a bit challenging to hike as there were numerous deep pools of water along it that had to me circumvented. The day was warm,but we didn`t want to get our feet wet in the still chilly water. the forest road ended in Atsion where we connected with the yellow blazed Mullica River trail for the 8 mile hike back to Batsto. In Atsion,we discovered an old church and cemetary. There were some old graves there,people who had died back in the 1880`s. Some pix with descriptions are in the link.

Hiking in the Pine Barrens


Backpacking in the NJ Pine Barrens

March 8th 2013 1:31 pm
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Dad and I recently took a 4 day hike in the NJ Pine Barrens. This is a mysterious area of dense pine trees,sandy forest roads,and tea colored rivers and streams. Hiking here gives one a sense of total seclusion. We hiked the Batona Trail from Batsto Village out thru the cranberry bogs and then back again. Our trip included 3 nights of camping out in this secluded wilderness. Some pix with descriptions follow.

Backpacking in the Pine Barrens


OBX Trip`s End

February 14th 2013 1:26 pm
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Dad and I had originally intended to journey straight home from Florida at the end of our trip. However we fortunately encountered unseasonable warm weather as we journeyed thru the Carolinas so we decided to visit the Outer Banks and do some last minute hiking. This was the very end of our fall trip and a great way to wind things up!

OBX Trip`s End



February 11th 2013 3:36 pm
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All good things must come to an end or so they say. Our West trip of 2012 was winding down when we stopped in Florida to visit with Dad`s sister for Thanksgiving. While there,we hiked a few sections of the statewide Florida Trail. It was even warm enough to do some kayaking in the everglades! just amazing considering that it was late Nov! Some pix with descriptions follow.




February 10th 2013 12:05 pm
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This winter in the Philadelphia area has been rather snow free,but late on Fri nite,it did snow. Wasn`t much---about an inch,but the walk thru the park next day was a beautiful experience. A fresh snowfall can make even the ordinary seem magical! A link to some pix follows,there are several after the first pic.

Pennypack Park in the snow


Prison camp and Kansas Prairie

February 8th 2013 1:22 pm
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After the Great Sand Dunes,we left Colorado and proceeded into Kansas. Leaving Colorado,Dad needed a place to stop for lunch. He saw a sign for a camp and pulled in thinking it was probably a boy scout camp or something. It turned out to be the site of a WW-2 Japanese internment camp. We explored the place for a bit. Most of the buildings were long gone but signs indicated what had once stood there. Echoes of the past here!

Entering Kansas,we stopped in Dodge City,a town that looms large in the lore of the Old West. dad and I hunted down a few geocaches here. We then proceeded on to the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve,a unit of the National Park Service. A vast stretch of the prairie that once covered much of the state is preserved here. Good place to hike in solitude. It reminded Dad of the old movie "Dances with Wolves". Some pix with descriptions follow.

Prison camp and Kansas prairie


Colorado Great Sand Dunes

February 5th 2013 2:22 pm
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Dad and I traveled on into Colorado. We were headed for the Great Sand Dunes National Park in south central Colorado. Here prevailing winds have pushed massive sand dunes up against the Sangre de Cristo mts. It was cold and a bit snowy in the days that we hiked here,but we had some wonderful views! Pix with descriptions follow.

Great Sand Dunes

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