It seems that every time we decide to go hiking, it’s a trail on the Appalachian. It makes sense though, given its proximity to NY. One of these days we’ll plan a longer trip, one that’ll take us a little farther from NYC. But for now, we’re off to our neighbors to the west, New Jersey.
Let’s talk about the main attraction for today. The main goal and reason for coming to this trail was the waterfall; that’s where the “falls” in Buttermilk falls comes from. Buttermilk or not, it was bittersweet seeing the falls. Why? Usually the waterfall marks the end (or technically, the halfway point) of the hike. You work for a few hours and you get to your final goal. In this case, Buttermilk falls is right at the head of the hiking trail. Drive down a bumpy road and you’re greeted by the, kinda unimpressive, waterfall. So you’re rewarded off the bat, and then you still have your hike to do. Well technically, if you take the route we did, you’re rewarded by the lake at the end. But anywho…
For those of you who’d like to take on the challenge, N41 08.221 W74 53.350. Also, when I say bumpy road, I mean it. The road had HUGE potholes, so drive carefully.
We’ll discuss the trail now. Before setting off for NJ, I conducted some research of course. Many people thought the hike was difficult, especially because of the steep climb at the beginning. You have a staircase and then a mile or so of semi-steep climbing to do. That beginning climb is why people think this hike is difficult. I’ll be honest, since I was fasting (no water or food for over twelve hours at that point, already) I got tired very quickly. However, it really isn’t that difficult. Nowhere near the difficult hikes I’ve been on. Even if you take your time and take breaks, you should be done in less than an hour.
Once the trail starts to level out, it’s smooth sailing. Also, the trail leveling out tells you you’re close to Crater Lake. The great thing about the route we took is that it’s a loop-type. As in, you hike in and around in a circle, instead of out the way you came in. Well, you come out down the steep incline, but it’s easier coming down. You eventually come to a clearing, with a view of the lake. I noticed picnic tables around, and there were a few people setup around. There were kids splashing by the edge of the water and people kayaking further in. We settled down by some rocks and everyone had lunch. Well, except me and Rauful since we’re fasting. By this point, I’m starting to feel exhausted. Hiking for an hour and a half would normally be a breeze, but no water made me feel an unquenchable thirst. I want going to let that stop me from enjoying the view though.
This time, I remembered to bring my drone AND charge its batteries. It was time for a little bit of DJI Mavic Fun. I used the Mavic as an expensive selfie stick for a group picture and then I took it around the lake. I edited up a clip on my phone of the footage around the lake. You should be able to see it on my IGTV (@onethingoneweek_). Once I was done playing and everyone finished eating, it was time to finish the trail.
As we made our way back to the beginning, we got lost at every fork in the road. The problem was, the lack of signal made it hard to accurately track our positions on the map. Every time it loaded, it showed us just slightly off the path we should be on. At several points, we walked a couple minutes in the wrong direction before realizing it. We came to a point where we had to make a decision. We could either go left towards another lake/pond or go right towards the first one. The left path was almost twice as long as the right, and since we needed to break fast soon, we opted for the right. Also, by this point even Mantou was getting tired. We essentially retraced our steps, climbed down the steep incline, down the stairs, and back in front of the Buttermilk falls. We got in the car and drove off back towards NYC.
I think it’s about time for reflections now. In terms of difficulty, I give it a 4/10. The only real challenge was the beginning incline, the rest was a breeze. It get more like a 6 or 7/10 while fasting though. I bet if we ever go back, it’d be no challenge. Of course, I don’t really like doing hikes more than once, so we’ll probably never go back. The best part was just pushing through with friends, working together. Also, I finally got to practice some nice drone shots. For this week’s #onethingoneweek, grab some friends and go out and push yourself. Just remember to have some fun.