We hiked a big loop trail in Chestnut Ridge Park on May 17th. Three named and well-marked trails comprise the 6-mile loop: Orienteering (blue), Ward-Hill (yellow) and Boy Scout (orange). We accessed the trail from the Newton Rd parking lot.
From the start of the hike, we took our time to enjoy the beautiful forests, spring wildflowers, waterfalls, and streams. Shale Creek was crossable, permitting access to the rest of the big loop. The soothing sound of Shale Creek Falls could be heard from a distance. Once there, the rushing water flowing over layer upon layer of thin shale rock is a sight to behold.
Some of the wildflowers we saw included Jack-in-the Pulpit, Big-leaved White Violets, May Apple, Partridgeberry and Solomon’s Seal. But the most spectacular sightings were Pink Lady’s Slipper Orchids and Giant White Trilliums. What a treat!
We highly recommend hiking this big loop trail based on its natural beauty and trail quality. Also, it’s a fun way to clear your mind and get some exercise!
– Janet and David Kowalski