Yesterday, May 18, was the Skylands Manor hike. I was so looking forward to this hike because in my mind, I pictured touring the garden, snapping pictures of all kinds of huge blooms on a sunny day.
Did not quite turn out like that. We started out walking down the crabapple allee (missed the blooms on this one) and then pondered the 4 Continent statutes. Had to look on the plaque to find out which one was Asia, Africa (we got right – the lion helped), Americas and Europe and we argued a bit on why each one had the name it did.
Next came the hike. Through sodden paths, lush greenery, the sounds of birds chirping and oodles of photo ops.
Our plan was go hike the white trail to the blue trail and head back to the manor on the green trail. What we did not account for was the fact that lots of trails were closed, there was a pipeline being constructed through the middle of the woods, a big gash on the lush greenery, spoiling ….well, making that part of the forest damaged and wounded looking. A blight on the land.
We ended up getting lost, trying to figure out where the blue trail ended and the green one began. We took the wrong path because the new green trail was green on white squares and instead we followed the old dark green trail markers painted on the trees. So add about 3 more miles on our hike.
By the time we reached the Manor house and gardens, it had started to drizzle and we did a quick detour through the gardens, instead of slowly walking through and enjoying each garden spot.
I do intend to come back at a later date and mainly stay in the gardens and forgo the hiking trails…..P.S. 50 Hikes in New Jersey does mention how confusing the trails are and says to get a good map which our group did not do.