Hartshorne woods park

Over the years I find myself repeating a recognizable pattern. I end up romanticizing the shinier grass on the other side, while letting some mountains and monuments and lakes and ponds slip past my blindspot. I fell for the novelty of the faraway lands. There are parts of life I fantasize, where many a sunny evenings I spent watching the Qutb Shahi tombs disappear into the twilight and a few nights I spent watching the mad night traffic glitter as rubies on the necklace road while the city fall into a slumber and the foggy Bangalore mornings that I looked down upon from atop the Nandi hills, while the reality of many a weekends I spent buried deep in my bed with my laptop, procrastinating, drag me down into a large mound of regret like quicksand.

Long beautiful summer days are here finally. This would be my fourth summer in the United States. During one of the Buddhist teachings on happiness that I attended (long story, don’t ask), a key point was about trying to be a tourist of wherever you live, and treat every other day like a vacation. This summer I make it my mission to be a tourist of where I live and be a well informed Jersey resident. That’s enough prologue I suppose. So here comes the first in a series of Jersey destinations.

Hartshone state park –

I haven’t even reached the park but I had my expectations set, given the park is very conveniently located overlooking a gorgeous Atlantic Coast. If you’re driving from the south along the jersey shore in the ocean avenue, stay left at the fork in route 36 instead of getting into the sandy hook (Ah, sandy hook! That’s for another post) the park is right around the corner. I did not mean this as a comprehensive driving direction of course, find your navigation.

The park has multiple trails catering to your different hiking or biking needs. Definitely do not go looking for any strenuous knee shattering hike though, not the place for that, but it’s definitely a summer evening stroll you wouldn’t regret.

Rocky point trail seemed like the best option considering it goes along the ridge overlooking the coast.

I couldn’t have picked a better day. It just rained the day before. If you have observed what a rain does to a lush green landscape you would know the significance of the rain here. Calling it just the green without any adjectives would be a terrible injustice, it is the color of life, the color of hopethe color of new beginnings.

The trail beckons and I go weak at the knees. I might crawl along the curves if I have to.

I like to believe the oak trees walk around when no one is watching. At some level I do believe.

If the woods ever get claustrophobic, you can always get off the trail –

Trivia: This used to be an artillery site during the WW II due to it’s strategic location overlooking the coast. Hence the bomb proof military bunkers along the trail.

If hiking isn’t your thing, may be you should take your bike for a spin and sweat it out.

(Rocky point trail goes on)

Further up the rocky point trail, comes the pier at the black fish cove. Pretty good spot for fishing.

Get back in the loop trail to go further up the rocky point and let the gorgeous coast take your breath away.

Hiking down from the rocky point, heading back towards the parking lot, I hit the cross roads. The grand tour is a 3 mile loop in the western section of the park, away from the coast and more into the woods. I still had a long summer evening to kill and the trail was inviting, I had no choice.

Sometimes running behind money doesn’t make much sense and then I come across a house in the woods. Damn! Why am I not rich already?!

The grand tour was a bit less engaging than the rocky point trail. I need to make up for it with selfies.

I had to say I overdosed a bit on the tender spring leaves, that the blue skies and the road into the horizon was a refreshing change on the drive back home. If in the jersey shore and have an evening to kill, definitely head to the Hartshorne park. You won’t regret. I might be there again sometime with a casting rod and bait a few striped bass.

Stay tuned for more NJ destinations.

Posted in NJ

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