For the past six months I’ve been working non-stop on an interesting digital media publishing project with a fine group of creative folks. Gobs of office time, cross-country travel and head-down focus. But the project went on a brief hiatus, leaving me some time to pursue other endeavors. Yesterday I took full Autumnal advantage, spending the day hiking through a massive set of trails in Staten Island.
Yes, that Staten Island. While it might sound shocking, the little island of Staten abounds with opportunities to escape the crush of urban life, thanks to the Staten Island Greenbelt, a 2800-acre tract of parkland and preserves. It’s not exactly getting off the grid or going full-bore backcountry. But if you’re looking for a hiking getaway 20 minutes (by car) from Brownstone Brooklyn and/or Lower Manhattan, the Greenbelt is worth considering.
My dog Sophie and I put in a few solid hours on the Yellow Trail, which is the most challenging pathway in the park (in terms of climbs and terrain). We started the day by bagging Moses Mountain, a man-made peak built from rubble dug up to build the nearby freeways (and named for Robert Moses). From there we headed through Reeds Basket Willow Swamp, winding our way among tall elms, spruce and maples. Sophie enjoyed every pond and waterway she passed. We saw a few people, but for most of the journey we were alone, just a man and his dog, and a large bag of sunflower seeds.
I grabbed my camera before I left, but we were on the road when I realized that the only lens I had was the 50 mm. As a result the photos are not panoramic. Deal with it. The first photo is the view from atop Moses Mountain. The rest are a random assortment of trail shots and failed attempts at naturalistic artfulness. But do keep in mind–this is Staten Island!!