In February 2018 I signed up for the 52 Hike Challenge.
52 HIKE CHALLENGE IS A GLOBAL MOVEMENT EMPOWERING YOU TO TAKE A PERSONAL JOURNEY TO DISCOVER THE PHYSICAL, MENTAL, AND SPIRITUAL BENEFITS GAINED THROUGH HIKING ONCE A WEEK FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR.
THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE ALL AROUND THE WORLD ARE TAKING THE CHALLENGE TO HELP CHANGE THEIR LIVES IN A POSITIVE WAY, ONE STEP AT A TIME.
I love hiking and I saw a friend posting on IG about hikes she was doing for the 52 Hike Challenge. I was looking for something to do with my family during the off-camping season and I looked up "52 Hike Challenge". Before I knew it I was reading some of the most inspiring posts and signing myself up for the challenge. I love it so much! Thanks to the resources on the 52 Hike Challenge website I have located so many new hikes I never knew about. I am now planning camping trips around what trails we will hike.
I signed up for this challenge thinking I would do it on my own and if my family could join me that would be great. So far they have been on every hike! We started off small and we did some local hikes and got ourselves used to the prep we needed for a hike. We learned what clothes worked and what didn't work. We learned we never had enough clothes to keep us warm at first. We have learned how to pack our backpacks with water, snacks, dry socks, hats, gloves, extra clothing, flash lights and over fun nick knacks to have on the trail. Oh and we learned how to break trekking poles. Thankfully we have better ones now.
Most importantly I have learned how to use the AllTrails APP and I can stay on the trail! Something I was not so good at in the past on our hikes. Sometimes one mile hikes turned into 8 miles. Oops. We are all much better trail readers now.
I wanted to write this little intro to let you know about the hikes we are doing and why. Here are our first hikes we did. Most of them were short due to work schedules and weather conditions. But we have really stepped it up recently.
Hike 1- Sea Girt Beach
2/10/18 Sea Girt Beach, New Jersey
We walked for one mile and we did some metal detecting on the beach, but we didn't find anything. We learned from this hike we have to dress warmer!
Hike 2- Monmouth Battlefield State Park
2/18/18 Monmouth Battle Field State Park, NJ (click for AllTrails map)
We hiked the connector trail. It had snowed the day before and the ground was muddy and snowy in parts, but otherwise the trail was great. We enjoyed the visitor center and learning a bit of history. This was my first hike with my new Keen boots and I loved them!
Hike 3- Arrow Acres Farm
2/24/18 We hiked at my parents farm in Wall, New Jersey. This is the farm I grew up on. I took my kids back through the woods and we did some metal detecting. We enjoyed the pond and visiting the alpacas.
Hike 4- Belmar / Lake Como St Patrick's Day Parade
3/4/18 We hiked in a parade! We were asked by my husbands aunt to march in the 2018 Belmar / Lake Como St Patrick's Day Parade. We counted this 1.8 mile march as our hike for the week and we enjoyed having all the company with us as we walked! It was an honor to march with the Deputy Grand Marshal (aka Aunt Patty) and the 2011 Grand Marshal (aka Uncle Bob).
Hike 5- Wells Mills Park, NJ
4/2/18- Wells Mills Park Estlow Green Trail 3.4 miles / 124 ft elevation / 2 hours / loop
I included a link above to the Green Trail, but we really did the Yellow Trail which runs pretty much the same path as the Green, but there wasn't an AllTrails link to it. If you go to the visitor center they have a map of the trails at this park.
My father-in-law joined us for this hike! He also marched in the parade with us the week before so I guess I can say he hiked with us two times!
This trail was very nice and easy to hike. It was very well marked. It wasn't very challenging so my youngest son decided to whine most of the time. I find hikes that are more challenging keep him from complaining about how long we have been walking. I think he also likes the in and out hikes instead of loop trails.
Like I said we have really been enjoying this challenge. If you want to know more about the 52 Hike Challenge you can check it out here.