No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow –Lin Yutang
Through traveling, I have really developed a love of hiking, mainly because it allows me to explore the natural beauty of a place. While I have been traveling for years, doing hikes in Australia, South East Asia, and Europe, it was not until this summer that I decided I needed to start exploring my own home of Long Island, New York.
Through meetup.com, I was able to join a great hiking group called Long Island Trail Enthusiasts (LITE). What really amazes me is just how many great hiking spots Long Island, as well as upstate New York, have and how much I have been blind to growing up. And for this reason, I got up super early (7 am!) on a Saturday morning to meet the group at Cedar Creek Park for a 10 mile hike out to Jones Beach and back!
This is a great hike for people who want a leisurely experience. The terrain is flat, being that you are walking along the highway. However, if you have trouble breathing or cannot walk for long periods of time, you may not be able to make it the whole way there and back so just keep that in mind.
For the first bit of the hike there is not much scenery aside from the motorcycles and cars flying by you at 80 miles per hour, and the cyclists and joggers shouting at you to move over so they can pass. However, about a mile or two into the hike we began passing some beautiful landscape. Crystal blue water calming lapping up the shore, flocks of birds creating patterns in the air, and happy boats sailing out at sea paired perfectly with the bright sun and cool breeze we experienced during the hike. Stretches of lush greenery, rose bushes and tranquil lakes added to the aesthetics of the hike.
My companions and I snapped pictures nonstop as walked on and the natural beauty of Long Island continued to grace us with its presence. I could not resist also taking some photos of the road and traffic on my other side, thinking it an ironic contrast to the peace and serenity that existed just to me left.
In the end, the hike ended up only being 8 miles because some people in the group were unsure if they would be able to do the entire 10. While I was a bit disappointed, I still was happy to discover a place I had not known about before and it was a great way to start my morning. In fact, I did not regret missing out on the extra sleep one bit!
For anyone interested in doing this hike, the address to Cedar Creek Park is 3340 Merrick Rd Hempstead, New York 11793. From there, it is a straight path out of the park to Jones Beach. Enjoy!