hiking the manitou point preserve

I love hiking. It is one of my favorite things to do. I had given it up a few times in the past due to knee and foot injuries and that hurt my soul. One thing that I have learned from my recent diagnosis with Endometriosis is that I can’t let anything hold me back from doing the things I want to do NOW because someday I might not be able to do them. Live in the moment.

I made a loose plan to take the Metro North train to Manitou Point Preserve to go hiking on Sunday. I almost miss my train at Grand Central at 7:40 am because they are filming a movie and the entire crew is taking up the entranceway to the main terminal. I have to run and the ticket guy says I have 3 minutes to catch my train! OH, 3 minutes is plenty of time to get a cup of coffee!

The train ride is only an hour north, but the train only stops at Manitou twice in the morning and a few times in the afternoon so timing is critical. The Manitou stop has no stores, restaurants, or public bathrooms – nothing. There is just nature and that is all I need today.

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I get off the train and look around. On one side of the tracks is a little rocky beach area along the Hudson River and on the other side of the tracks is a small road with a spectacular view of the Bear Mountain Bridge past the marsh land full of cattails and bluffs. I great place to learn to paint a memorable landscape to hang on your wall.

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It is a warm early summer day with clear skies and the sounds of frogs in the marsh area are wonderful to hear! It’s been a long time since I’ve made a trek up north to go hiking.

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I continue down the road and see this sign to my left. I find out later that this is the back trail to the Manitou Point Preserve. Most of the land is now private properly and it clearly marked as to where hikers are allowed to go.

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I get a few feet down the path and see a few abandoned buildings, most of the roof and some of the walls are gone so it’s an easy place to explore and fun to photograph. I see a lot of these little orange salamanders on the ground. I’m glad they are bright orange so I don’t step on them because they never move out of my way.

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There is only approximately 4 miles of trails in the Manitou Point Preserve, but there are several trails to take to make it an entire day hike. I want to be on the blue trail because it extends along the Hudson River giving us a great view of the mountain region. The trail is dense and secluded and I enjoy the 4 miles through the woods. The trails are all clearly marked and easy to navigate on your own. It’s a great solo day hike if you are searching for a quiet break from the city.

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The path winds around until I get a view of the Hudson River – it is amazing! The path is literally on the edge of the river bank with drop offs close to your hiking boot. I can see the water hitting the rocks down below. I sit and catch a snack and some water and enjoy the view.

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You are looking at the The Taconic Mountains or Taconic Range, running along the eastern border of New York State, going northwest to Connecticut to western Massachusetts, north to central western Vermont. Some of the summits of this range are quite magnificent to view in Vermont. It is part of the Appalachian Trail also. 

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I continue on the blue trail which is starting to lead me back into the woods, towards the railroad tracks. The path goes over a small bridge where you can see the Metro North train from above. I start to walk up the other road and see a small waterfall and stone bridge. There are large brown salamanders all over so it’s hard to sit and eat my sandwich.

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I walk further up and find the parking lot and main entrance to the Manitou Point Preserve. There are a few cars in the parking lot but I only saw a few people along the trail in the 4 hours I was out there. I felt like I had the entire place to myself.

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I hike back down to the train because there is a train at 1:40 pm and 4:40 pm only and I need to catch it one of those trains. I had finished the hike much faster than expected. Well, I didn’t know what to expect. I had just planned to go somewhere I had never been and explore.

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I have plenty of time to sit on the rocky little beach I saw earlier and eat my lunch. I had packed a sandwich, snacks, and plenty of water because I knew there wasn’t anywhere to go. If you hike this area make sure you are prepared. I always pack more food than I can eat. If you hiked with me you know that I am always eating on the trail.

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The view of the Hudson River is wonderful here! If you want a simple day hike with an amazing view then come to Manitou Point Preserve!

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Well, the train came on time and I was sad to leave. I had a great day hike. I estimated that I hiked approximately 8 miles total and my knee was a bit tight and sore later on that night. All good. I am looking forward to my next hike!

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