Sunday, September 10, 2006

Sandy Hook in September

Saturday was a beautiful day and we spent the morning walking along the new Multi-Use Pathway (MUP) at Sandy Hook. The pathway is a fairly level five mile long paved trail intended for foot traffic, bicyclists and in-line skaters. It winds through maritime forests passing dunes, salt marshes, ocean beaches, bay front areas and historic sites.

There was quite a bit of activity at Sandy Hook Saturday morning, especially at the northern tip of the peninsula. The parking area at Gunnison Beach was full at 11am, probably do to the naturists. Many people parked in the more southern lots and walked or rode on the MUP to Gunnison Beach.

On the MUP, we passed many walkers, joggers, bicyclists, and one lone in-line skater. The pathway is perfect for all of these activites. We parked at Lot E and easily found the pathway. We then headed north through the Holly Forest. The holly trees are filled with berries yet to ripen. It will be interesting to go back later in the season to see the colors of the berries. The bayberry bushes were also loaded with berries. There are many wildflowers along the way that add interest to the scenery. Of particular note are the cactuses that grow among the holly trees. I don’t usually think of New Jersey as a place to find cactus growing wild.

There is no fee to park at Sandy Hook from Labor Day to Memorial Day. The MUP is a very level easy walk or ride appropriate for most any age or level of fitness.

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