2019-11-30 - Palisades Interstate Park Loop
For the first posted hike since restarting my EverWanderWhy Meetup group, my friend Neil and I decided to attempt the Palisades Interstate Park Loop. We started around 7:30 am from the beautiful Ross Dock Picnic Area and walked the flat Shore Trail north between the Palisades cliffs west and the Hudson River east. I enjoyed the interplay of leaves, grass, and rock underfoot. We passed trees and geese, streams and waterfalls, beaches and docks, decrepit historic buildings and informational signs.
About 9 miles in, we encountered the Giant's Stairs, a one mile section of scrambling over huge boulders. Although the going was slow, it was a lot of fun. Neil had never seen it before and seemed to love it, speeding on ahead.
After the scramble, we passed by what used to be a private beach and picnic area and ascended steps curving back around south on the Long Path towards the wonderful open-all-year-round State Line Cafe. Neil and I rested here for about 30 minutes, refilling our water bottles and having some food before continuing on south on the Long Path. The original plan was to complete the entire Long Path section to Fort Lee Historic Park and walking down the Shore Path to our vehicles but the southern exit of the Long Path was closed so we took a shortcut back to the Ross Dock Picnic Area instead. It cut off a bit more than 2 miles from the hike but both Neil and I were tired and happy to do it. After Neil found someone to help jump start his car, we bid each other good bye and headed towards our respective homes.
Overall, it was 23 miles and 2100 feet elevation gain over 8 hours 17 minutes including breaks.