Some of us at Sebago do keep paddling all winter, but not everyone's got the inclination (or the cash, a drysuit can be a very expensive addition to one's paddling wardrobe). However, most members are still very interested in spending time outdoors in pleasant company, so one of our members, Frank F., has volunteered to organize some hikes over the off season. I joined in on one of these yesterday.
It was a really nice hike, about five and a half miles in the Manorville Hills County Park. We started out with a couple of miles along the Paumanok Trail, and here I'm just going to share the little writeup that clubmate Dottie left on my Facebook version of the gallery I'll link to at the end of this post:
"The Paumanok trail is a 125 mile trek through wilderness, where you can encounter glacial kettles and erratics, rolling hills with panoramic vistas, parabolic dunes, coastal plain ponds, White Atlantic Cedar swamps, Dwarf Pines, Pitcher Plants, Painted Turtles, fields of Reindeer Lichen, maritime grasslands, Harbor Seals, Harrier Hawks, Olive Hairstreak Butterflies, Cedar Waxwings, and more. Long Island is an island of great natural diversity and the Paumanok Path visits much of it."
We didn't see too much wildlife because we were all talking, catching up with each other as we walked, but that was half the fun. The scenery wasn't as dramatic as some hiking areas but it was very pleasant. It was a pretty quick drive, we had people along who knew a lot about the area's geology, which always makes a hike more interesting to me, and the gently rolling hills made for some very nice hiking, not boring but not too hard either. Another good point that Frank pointed out about this park is that it's got a pretty extensive network of trails, so it can actually handle a lot of hikers without feeling crowded. There were a number of cars in the parking lot but except for a couple of gentlemen who were doing trail maintenance for the county, we didn't see anybody else all day!
I'm just at the point in recovering from a nasty cold I'd come down with the weekend after Thanksgiving (why do we say "I caught a cold" when it's more the other way around? This was an office bug that I'd managed to evade for 2 weeks before it finally got me but when it did, ugh!) that I really felt like it was time for some gentle exercise. if it was summertime, this would've been when I would've go joined my open-water swimmer friends out at Brighton Beach for a slow swim and some basking in the sun - this time of year, though, this hike was just what the doctor ordered.
It was hard to get myself out the door in the morning - I got a ride from my neighbor Beth (blue jacket and big smile in the picture above) so I only had to walk a block to meet her, but our meeting time was 7:30 am and it was sooo chilly outside - but I'm very glad I did.
Click here for a photo trip report!
Cross-posted at the Sebago Canoe Club blog.