Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Hiking Jacques Cartier State Park



Hiking Jacques Cartier State Park
#1000islands #ThousandIslands

We were surprised when we realized that the Jacques Cartier State Park had a couple miles of hiking trails. We have driven by this lovely park which is just a few miles west of Morristown on Route 12. We knew it was a beautiful waterfront park with a gorgeous view of the river in addition to its camp sites, picnic area, and beach. But we were truly shocked when we hiked into the deep woods and experienced its amazing hiking trails.  If anything, we felt that even the park itself has downplayed the beautify and uniqueness of their trails.  

They do have a trail map one can look at on their website:



The two main trails are the Freedom Trail and Krooked Kreek, and it is easy enough to combine them into one longer hike.  They are all well maintained and marked.  The Freedom Trailhead can be accessed by a small parking area immediately after entering the gate.  It is a beautiful hike through the woods on fairly level ground. It splits and can either end up back on the road, or continue on, crossing a small creek and following other trails that end up in the camping area.

Our favorite trail is the Krooked Kreek trail. While it is not long, it winds through the woods, over a creek (by hopping stones), past a small waterfall, back over the creek (this time, logs and stones), more wandering through a beautiful forest, and then back out to the main road.  Because of those interesting creek crossings, we would say it is a little more advanced trail (though, we managed it several times without ending up in the creek). 

After the hike, one can go back down to the waterfront and enjoy the meticulously maintained beach and picnic area, and facilities.  We loved the trails at Jacques Cartier so you might just see us again there someday, crossing Krooked Kreek!

Be sure to see...
Hiking the Thousand Islands...Introduction

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Abbé Picquet Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Carnegie Bay Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Cerow Recreation Park Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Chaumont Barrens Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Chippewa Bay Preserve Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Coyote Flats State Forest

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Foster Blake Woods Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Grand Lake Reserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Grass Point State Park

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Jacques Cartier State Park

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Keewaydin State Park

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Lonesome Bay State Forest

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Macsherry Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Maple City Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Morgan Island

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Morristown Red Barn Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Otter Creek

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Pulpit Rock State Forest

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Redwood Hill Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Sissy Danforth Rivergate Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Wellesley Island State Park

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Zenda Farms Preserve

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Hiking Zenda Farms



Hiking Zenda Farms and the Lois Jean and John MacFarlane Trail
1000islands #1000islands #ThousandIslands




We have driven by Zenda Farms countless times when traveling from Clayton toward Cape Vincent. We always thought it was a neat looking place but it was only after we got serious about exploring as many river hiking trails as we could find, that we figured we had better stop in sometime. We are so glad we did.  Zenda Farms is located at 38973 Zenda Road off of Route 12E just a little over one mile past Clayton. There is a parking area on the right for the hiking trail.




Zenda Farms is another preserve now owned by the Thousand Islands Land Trust (TILT). Their website gives a very interesting history of the property including the fascinating story of how it got its name. They also explain the importance of keeping this land as an important preserve and habitat for grassland birds. There is a community garden on the property and it is used to host several different events throughout the year. But of most interest to us hikers is the Lois Jean and John MacFarlane Trail which runs around the perimeter of the meadows. It is a 1.5-mile-long trail for jogging, hiking and cross-country skiing. The trail encircles the grasslands that seasonally are filled with nesting birds. New this summer, TILT has planted several trees along the trail. In coming years, this will add even more variety and beauty to the trail.




We were admittedly a bit skeptical about hiking around an open field but ended up having a  
delightful and melodious hike. The birds seemed extremely grateful for the open meadows and were singing their hearts out throughout our walk. There were an extraordinary number of butterflies as well.




And the prize, for us, was the magnificent work of art at the back of the trail in front of the woods. We almost hate to give it away.  But pictures aren't as impressive as seeing it or sitting on it. 







There is talk of an additional trail system with the possibility of an observation deck at some point in the future. We'll keep you posted.












Be sure to see...
Hiking the Thousand Islands...Introduction

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Abbé Picquet Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Carnegie Bay Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Cerow Recreation Park Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Chaumont Barrens Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Chippewa Bay Preserve Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Coyote Flats State Forest

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Foster Blake Woods Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Grand Lake Reserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Grass Point State Park

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Jacques Cartier State Park

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Keewaydin State Park

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Lonesome Bay State Forest

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Macsherry Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Maple City Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Morgan Island

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Morristown Red Barn Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Otter Creek

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Pulpit Rock State Forest

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Redwood Hill Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Sissy Danforth Rivergate Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Wellesley Island State Park

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Zenda Farms Preserve