U R B A N
M I C R O
A DV E N T U R E S
Image by Keith Morrison
A Walk in the Woods is a Short Train Ride Away by Regina Baker
idweek madness. A quick check of the account balance shows a small allowance for the weekend, maybe brunch and a movie or something of that sort, although that sure sounds a lot like last weekend, and all you want is a getaway, even if just for the weekend. Just some time separated from the screens, the sirens, the people. Just a breath of fresh air, a walk in the woods. Getting back to basics, back to Earth. It’s not as daunting as you may think. You gave up the convenience of a vehicle and the ease of travel to a nearby trail when you became a resident of New York City, but little did you know that you actually have access to some of the best hiking in New York even
without the wheels. So, do you want to rethink that $30 you were about to spend on brunch? It’s time for a day trip to Upstate New York. ................................................................ Let’s start with the packing list. A Camelbak will suffice as a storage unit for the necessities such as your map, snacks, cash, ID, keys and water. It’s no longer summer, so be sure to wear layers that can easily be stripped and tied around your waist or latched to your pack when you get warm on the trail, and be sure to dust off those old hiking boots. Next, check the train times for your
destination, which are all under two hours from Midtown Manhattan. To the east of the Hudson River, you have the Appalachian Trail, Breakneck Ridge, Mount Beacon and Bull Hill, which are all accessible by Metro North. Take New Jersey Transit for trails west of the Hudson, such as Schunemunk Mountain, South Mountain Reservation and Harriman State Park. Grab a map, hit the trail, catch your breath at a local dive bar, and return to the city by dark. It doesn’t take much, and it’s well worth it to stray from the beaten path to take in the natural sights right outside this wild city.
Hiking to Eagle Rock Los Angeles, CA
ski, depending on conditions. In the winter, part of the road is blocked off for cross-country skiing and groomed weekly. About four and a half miles from the edge of the trail, the Utah Nordic Alliance maintains a yurt in Mill Creek, so even though home is just a quick journey down the road, you can still sleep out in the peace of the wild.
Images by Sarah Knapp and Laura Stade
D iscovering T he O utdoors Within City Limits by Sarah L. Knapp
t can seem tough to balance your adventurous spirit with city living, but these micro adventures all exist within the city limits to bring you easy access to climbing, hiking, snowshoeing and cross country skiing. .................................................................
Rock Climbing in Cragmont Berkeley, CA
Views of Los Angeles on one side and the expanse of the Pacific on the other greet you when you reach the top of Eagle Rock in L.A.’s Topanga State Park. Just 25 minutes from Santa Monica, you can start your trip at Trippet Ranch and follow a six and a half-mile loop up to the summit and back. The trail winds in and out of the mountains, providing views of the surrounding Topanga Canyon, and a fairly mellow trail is accessible for both hikers and trail runners. All you need is a good pair of shoes, water and a sense of adventure for this quick jaunt in nature. Pro tip: there’s a backcountry campsite if you have extra time to explore.
It may feel strange to walk through a residential neighborhood to get to the Crag, but in the Bay Area, this is how you find local climbing. Cragmont Park and nearby Remilliard Park are quietly tucked into the suburban sections of Berkeley with dozens of climbing and bouldering routes to explore. Most of the climbing can be set up as top rope, meaning minimal gear is needed, and even less is required CrossCountry Skiing in Mill Creek Canyon Salt Lake City, UT for bouldering. From San Francisco, a mix of BART and bus will bring you to either park in about an On the edge of Salt Lake City, Mill Creek Canyon hour, while driving across the Bay is only a half brings city dwellers unbelievably easy access to hour. And of course, in true San Francisco style, the mountains. Starting in downtown Salt Lake, you can always Uber there for less than $45. drive just 15 minutes to the base of the canyon where you can hike, snowshoe or cross-country 33
Snowshoeing Rock Creek Park Washington, D.C. Just 30 minutes by bus from downtown D.C. lays one of the nation’s oldest and largest urban parks, Rock Creek. This swath of almost 2,000 acres has been protected since the 19th century and during the summer, it is consistently filled with hikers, cyclists and horseback riders. Yet, when the snow falls, the crowds dissipate, making it a perfect time to go explore in relative solitude. Grab your layers and take the S4 bus to I Street NW at the eastern edge of the park to pick up the Valley Trail. Do an out and back on the Valley Trail for a quicker trip, or connect to the Western Ridge Trail for a full 10-mile loop of the park.
Issue Four - Winter 2016