Iris Trail Rock on Lake Rutherford @ High Point State Park, NJ

Easy Family Friendly Trail in North Jersey with Breathtaking Views

Park for Trail Along Rt. 23 Heading into High Point State Park – it’s a trailhead before you get to the maintenance yard on the same side of the road.

Kid & Pet Friendly Wide Easy Walk

Most gravel-path with occasional mud and ice. Might not want to bring any strollers through the rainy snowy winter months. Path might be too hard to push a stroller in.

This is a flat trail since you are not hiking inside the woods; unless you venture off onto side trails.

Trail extends beyond Lake Rutherford where Geocaching is available.

If you have any energy after 1 miles to the beginning of the lake and then back to your car, High Point State park has so many amazing trails and during the summer swimming at Lake Marcia. High Point State Park also has many tables for picnicking.

Trail does extend beyond the beginning of this monstrous lake. All Trails App states this is a 6.2 mile loop.

Make sure to visit High Point’s Monument which is dedicated to New Jersey’s Veterans before you leave!

Take Advantage Of Spring Days AND Plan An Adventure


Soaking Up The Gifts Of Spring

Spring has sprung and it is absolutely imperative to get outside and immerse yourself in nature when we are given the gift of beautiful days where the temps are so comfortable and the sun is energizing the Earth. A lot of people have started their early gardening and spring cleaning but for some excellent exercise try seeking out your nearby nature trails. From someone that never hiked before in her life, something that the year 2020 has taught me is to appreciate nature. Getting out into nature and for walks was about one of the few things that got us through 2020. Not only does this help to stimulate healthy mental balance but easy complimentary exercise comes along with it.

Invest In Your Mind, Soul and Body

There are plenty of apps to utilize to find scenic trails not far from your own home to enjoy the beautiful views. I like checking up on nature, seeing what is blooming and what wildlife my children and I may spot. We just saw a beaver swimming in a stream just 2 days ago!

Seek Out State Parks Close To Your House

State Parks always have so much to offer and currently there is no charge to get in. State Parks usually have water views, nature trails and more. Some parks offer kayaking, paddle sports, trail running, wildflowers, and all kinds of classes. Birding is something interesting to look into – you can always order some birding books from the library to educate yourself and this way it doesn’t cost anything to learn and to go searching. There are apps to help assist you with your birding adventure. Photography is another great hobby to get into as you seek out such beauty.

The All Trails App

This app is super easy and accessible providing directions to whichever route you choose opening up into your apple maps on your iPhone. This app will give you ratings on each trail and you can filter your search results to your difficult level, views, if pets are allowed, bikes etc. I like to search out rail trails or “running” paths this way I know I am not climbing any mountains or hiking in the deep woods – although my boys would prefer the adventure of the deep woods. If you are able to bike maybe seek out all the bike paths near you to conquer.

I Prefer Trails With a Water View

I am the type of person who feels at peace when near water. When there is water you know you’re definitely going to see more wildlife happenings. We have even seen Bald Eagles during the winter when the rest of the birds are south. The sound of running water helps me feel calm and one with the earth. In late Spring and Summer we enjoy seeing picturesque landscapes of butterflies, wildflowers along with a plethora of different kinds of birds near trails with water views. I feel so fulfilled after visiting such tranquility.

Trail Link App

The Trail Link app will provide you with all rail trails – easier to walk or bike on without the worry of having to climb mountains or trek into the unknown of the deep woods. It is also pretty cool to be walking on what used to be a working railroad at one time.

Geocache App

My brother and his family really enjoy using the Geocache app and have been using it for years! You can decide on an area that you would like to explore and use the app to search for a Geocache (“treasure”) and find it there. You can put the treasure back where you found it or place something new in it’s spot. You can also create Geocaches and plant them in obscure places to make the hunt more interested but remember to post your coordinates. This is all completely free and so much fun.

What are you doing to enjoy the season?


Hiking and Nature; Walking Cures Covid Boredom

Nature Views Fill The Void In The Heart

My how life has changed! Back when Covid hit last March, we were all basically afraid to leave the driveway. It was really hard to relieve some of the boredom and mental anguish of what was going on in the world around us. Having Disney World and Disney Land closed made what was happening in the world all the more REAL. Prayers to the 400,000 Americans that have lost their lives to Covid-19. As someone who was always planning their next family Disney World Trip – I knew I was in for a real struggle, and some real emotional damage. I was someone who not only was planning an upcoming trip, but a trip for the following year after! In 2019 we traveled to Disney World three times! I am forever grateful and thankful for all the wonderful trips we have had, not just in Disney but all over. We went in April 2019 and stayed at Port Orlean’s French Quarter. August we stayed at the Wilderness Lodge and New Years Eve through the first week of January 2020 we stayed at the mother of all DW resorts The Grand Floridian.

I knew then that things were not going to be the same for a while so I needed to find some ways to help my whole family – and also as an outlet, a way to keep myself sane! We needed something we could do together while getting exercise all at the same time. So my sister-in-law introduced me to the All Trails App.

It is difficult to put into words how the time walking outside each day really affects and lifts my mental health and wellness. It gives me something to plan with my family. I know they have said it has been proven that nature cures depression – yes! I am telling you it works. As someone who loves, lives and enjoys to plan – I find myself battling so much sadness. I feel grateful and blessed that we are all OK, & healthy and that we have survived Covid but I still feel this deep sorrow… to be missing out on such precious time traveling with my children; while they are still “small” yet not so small. You know really where I would love to be with them.

Being on the “go” 24/7 came to a screeching halt. I was working at an elementary school, (now on leave) and was able to work around the kids being at school. I would pick them up from school and each night of the week we had a different sport, or club that they were running to. In the beginning of the quarantine, it was nice to have a break, but being the very social person I am, has made it a heavy burden to bear. The scenic views we discover while on the trails are absolutely majestic and soul-warming – reassuring that it will be ok. It will be ok even if we don’t see our family, our friends and our favorite mouse for a while.

We even spotted a frozen waterfall about 2 weeks ago at the Wallkill Valley Wildlife Refuge – picture above.

The only way my children have been staying connected with friends is by playing online, and of course they are online for virtual learning all day. I find hiking to be my only way to disconnect from electronics and find special time with them. I love going on a hike into the woods, only to find a beautiful clearing with water! In the spring and summer these water ways are filled with butterflies, turtles, birds and more. Since it has been winter here in North Jersey it has been a little rough to hike in the cold, but it is still interesting to see what we might find when we venture out.

Additionally, when the kids are finished with school each day we go to our local park which has a beautiful track to walk. This is about a 40 minute walk and we all seem to really look forward to it. We can disconnect from school embracing the good vibes of nature. The movement forcing our blood to flow and fresh air helping lift everyone’s moods and focus. Amazing conversations can happen – most of the time. My youngest is still 10 (who suffers with POTS and EDS) so sometimes he still has a meltdown here and there. We have been lucky enough to spot some wildlife here and there on the park track like snakes, deer and most recently a Barred Owl!

Barred Owl

I have also gotten really excited about the sunsets we see while walking at the park after school as well. There is just something about it that is so beautiful & it brings this calm peaceful feeling. This spring I hope to find pretty flowers and butterflies to photograph while out and about exploring.

Bald Eagle

Hiking is FREE. Hiking is safe: outside – safe and distanced from people. It makes you feel like you are “away” almost on vacation. You never know what you are going to see!

What are you doing to safely pass the time during the pandemic?

Do you have any plans of an adventure into the unknown? Click here for some Walt Disney World Planning Tips