Somehow these past couple of rainy Wednesdays have granted us a reprieve right at Wacky Wednesday Walks time. This week we were at East Irvington Nature Preserve, a 32-acre space maintained by the Westchester Land Conservancy.There is just under a mile of trails, past a brook, around a pond, through the woods and up a road to a water tower. Along the way there are wonderful boulder-configurations to climb and woodland nooks to explore. The little preserve is replete with wildlife from various birds and water fowl to little spring peepers, big bullfrogs and hidden salamanders.
Joining us as a special guest on our hike today was Jane Daniels, author of the newly released book Walkable Westchester. This from the publisher:
Walkable Westchester is the seven year labor of love of long time New York – New Jersey Trail Conference volunteers, Jane and Walt Daniels. Although there are some hiking guides to the metro area that included some trails in Westchester, they decided to write one devoted exclusively to Westchester County. When they started in late 2001, based on information obtained from not-for-profits, the Westchester County Parks department, newspaper articles, and the Internet, they figured that there were about 70-80 parks, preserves, and sanctuaries with about 200-250 miles of trails.Quickly they realized that their original estimate was wrong. By 2005, they knew of 150 places and by 2008, the list of parks to be included had grown to over 180. Twenty-two parks did not exist when the project started. Jane and Walt have hiked all of the almost 600 miles of trails in Walkable Westchester. They hiked many of those trails multiple times.
It was lovely to chat with Jane during the walk and to get some of her ideas for future Wacky Wednesdays. In the meanwhile, the kids did what they ususally do–blazed the trail for the parents, stuffed their pockets with nature treasures, dug for worms, balanced on logs and tested their boots in the ponds.
Then we all went home hungry and dirty. Another good afternoon.
Note: Walkable Westchester is available from Amazon at the following link. It is an amazing resource.http://www.amazon.com/Walkable-Westchester-Jane-Daniels/dp/1880775573/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1240633236&sr=8-1