This week’s letter is ‘K‘ for Kittatinny Valley State Park
Now, what is a good word with a ‘K’ – hmm, a kiss maybe? While I love that word I will rather concentrate on something else. Since summer is here and the wind has left us and our windsurfing activities stranded, we wanted to find some other outside weekend activity. And though kayaking is a widely spread sport around here, we have only tried it once so far this year. While my nieces were visiting we drove up to Delaware Water Gap and spent a wonderful afternoon kayaking downstream on the Delaware. You can read up on it and see some more pictures here. While kayaking is fun and directly connected to water, one of our favorite elements, the drive is rather long, so nothing for every weekend.
Instead we removed the dust from our old bicycles, cleaned them and then took them for a test ride around Whippany back in June. Since that went very well and we had a lot of fun we decided to look for alternative routes, away from busy roads. We rode the trails around Randolph, NJ and while they are really beautiful in the woods and away from roads they were at times a little too much for my touring bike. So, we looked up ‘rail trails‘ and found one about half an hours drive away from us. It is in the Kittatinny Valley State Park. ‘Rail trails’ were real rail tracks until they got closed down. Some of these old trail lines got dismantled and then transformed to tracks for hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, you name it. In the Kittatinny Valley State Park is a multitude of trails to choose from, varying from concrete to cinder to completely off-road. These trails are shared between pedestrians, bicyclists and equestrians. I think every time we have been there we have seen horses. I love horses! And there is also the New Wawayanda Lake, where we have seen kayaks as well as SUPs cruising around. Of course, there is also fishing, birding and apparently hunting in the park. And they even have an airport. The Aeroflex-Andover Airport, where we frequently watched small planes taking off and landing.
While this multitude of possible activities might seem somewhat loud and crowded, in fact it is not. When you are on the tracks every now and then you will encounter other people, but for the most part you are by yourself and you can listen to nature. Or in my case, even watch snakes slithering away. Yep, I have seen a couple again when preparing to take a photo. Unfortunately, or rather, fortunately for me, the snakes hid too fast in the grass to snap a photo. But they were garter snakes, here are some nice photos if you want to see those. Otherwise I will leave you with a few more of my photos taken in the Kittatinny Valley State Park.