Sunday, October 26, 2008

over the river and through the woods

All week long, we've been itching to be in a more natural setting. We finally got our chance today -- it was 65 and sunny. A beautiful day for a hike. So we hopped on the 1 train and took it to the end of the line to Van Cortlandt Park in The Bronx (it only took 25 minutes!).

Before we went to the park, we stopped across the street at Manhattan College. Oh, breaking news! Ian will be teaching an intro to religion course there next semester. It's a quaint, picturesque college with classic East Coast collegiate architecture.

Once we got to the park, we quickly found a trail. It was about an hour-long walk, and we only covered a small portion below the crease on the map Ian is holding. It's that big! The park has all the normal amenities too, like tons of sports fields, tennis courts, and even a big pool, barbecue areas, and a golf course!
The trail we took was in a woods, but it passed by a marshy area and a lake. Much more rustic than Central Park. We were amazed how much the landscape reminded us of our home state. Well, turns out that the Wisconsin Glacier was so enormous that it carved out the terrain here too.
When we finished our hike, we found the Van Cortlandt Mansion, built in 1748. George Washington used this house as a decoy during the Revolutionary War, keeping the fires burning here to distract the British while the American troops crossed over the Hudson River. And a few of the men in the Van Cortlandt family were mayors of New York.

We are really looking forward to coming back here. We plan to burn off some carbs on the Post-Turkey Super-Hike on the day after Thanksgiving, and the mansion is having a Colonial Christmas celebration.

I'm so happy we've discovered a spot that we can escape to if we're feeling boxed in. Do you have a place like that? I think everyone needs one.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

I just found an amazing trail that runs from Waukesha to West Allis and it follows train tracks. That was my serenity place two weeks ago. I road my bike on it, stopped and took pictures and just enjoyed all the fresh air and landscape. When you come back home, we will have to go for a walk on it - after eating some Stir Crazy!