The Woodpecker Games
From Brandon, age 11…
On Sunday we had some time before dinner so my dad and I got to go on a cool hike around Miller’s Pond in Smithtown. When we got there our car almost went into the shallow edge of the pond when my dad got out of the car without putting the car in park. I jumped out of the car and my dad jumped back in and hit the brake. It was scary at first then but after it was funny.
The pond had a lot of ducks in it. It also had 1 swan. There were people fishing and a lady reading a book in her car. We started hiking around the pond along the Greenbelt Trail, which is 32 miles across Long Island. You can start at Sunken Meadow and finish at Heckscher Park or the other way around. We were somewhere in the middle. When we were on the trail we saw lots of birds, trees that had fallen down and then cut and moved off the trail and some flowers starting to grow. After walking through this part of the trail, we crossed over
When you cross the street, to get back on the trail you have to walk through someone’s driveway and you see trail markers on two posts with white paint. After that as we kept walking and talking about things that we saw we heard a woodpecker. When we stopped and looked for it, the woodpecker would stop making noise. Then when we started walking the bird started pecking the tree right away. It was playing a game with us!
We also saw a lot of tulips growing a bit off the trail and other vegetation starting to grow because Spring has started. Someone also had put pine straw on top of any large areas of mud so hikers could stay on the path. There were also loose wood planks to help us cross over wet and muddy areas and then there were small bridges over water that were built by both eagle scout troops and also members of the LI Greenbelt Trail Conference. There was also a bridge made from loose wood planks that when you stood on one side the other side would go up like a see saw. I tried that a few times!
After 2.17 miles we turned around just before we reached Hunts Pond in a preserve area and headed back because the sun was setting and we were hungry. We had a gps watch so we knew how far we went.
At the end we had gone 4.2 miles in 1.5 hours. It was a really fun hike and I have completed even more of the Long Island Greenbelt Trail. Now I’ve finished 11 of the 32 miles!