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

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LI Greenbelt Trail: Boys Hiking Weekend Pt. 2

I guess we were inspired from our 6 miles on the trails at Muttontown Preserve yesterday and instead of running this morning Brandon and I completed a 5.5 mile section of the Long Island Greenbelt Trail just South of the LIE.  Brandon wrote yesterday’s post on his own and those are so much more interesting than mine, but he’s tired so we are sharing the responsibility tonight 🙂

We started off at Lakeland County Park and hiked through Connetquot River State Park Preserve ending at the South entrance in Oakdale.  We have been to the Preserve several times in the past year – I’ve run the Blue Trail (well, most 6.5 of 8 miles, lots of soft sand that I’m not great running on), passed through the Preserve last Sunday running from Lakeland Park to the South trailhead of the LI Greenbelt in Heckscher Park.  Also, we’ve gone to Frog Night at the preserve and held toads and frogs from the Main Pond.  The kids have gone a few other times as well on the shorter trails; enjoying the horses and checking out the reptiles and amphibians in the main office.

This first photo below is from last week and already the colors have shifted to a less colorful shade.  The light and dark green, yellow, brown and reds of the woodlands surrounded us and Continue reading

Bluff to the Beach Hike

**Story by Brandon, Sofia and Mia**

From Brandon, 10:  Yesterday me and 2 of my sisters went on a hike on the Long Island Greenbelt Trail.  We started at the Kings Park Bluff and hiked all the way to Sunken Meadow Beach.  Along the way we walked through the woods, going uphill and downhill, and also got to look out over the Long Island Sound.  I saw chipmunks, squirrels, a lot of birds including Bluejays.  There were a few people on the trail; some running and some walking with their dog.  But a lot of the time it was just us.

When we got to Sunken Meadow State Park we reached the trailhead for the Greenbelt Trail just over a bridge.  We went to a playground and there was a high school cross-country race and lots of people cheering!

After awhile it got cold so we started back.  Even though we followed the white tree blazes for the Greenbelt on the first part of our hike, on the way back to the Bluff we went left onto the Yellow Trail for a little while and got closer to Continue reading

LI Greenbelt trail: Where am I?

I took the photo below 3 miles into an 11 mile run on the Long Island Greenbelt Trail this morning. I have no idea what town I’m in at this point and that’s just how I like it :-). I started at the Lakeland County Park in Islandia and crossed over the LIE first.

Map of my run:

Now that I’m home and can look on the map I can see I had just passed through the Islip County Preserve. The Hamlet Windwatch golf course was on my left and I was in Hidden Pond Park. I also ran through Hunts Pond Preserve, looped part of Miller Pond, and went North through Blydenburgh Park across the Continue reading

Long Island Greenbelt Trail: First Blaze

Before I took Brandon and Sofia to National Parks out in Wyoming and Montana this summer, I wanted to make sure we were prepared to spend some substantial time hiking.  The easy part was purchasing all the gear we needed; hydration daypacks, solid hiking boots, wool socks, layers of clothing to start the cool mornings, compass, binoculars, cameras to start.  It’s always fun to explain to  a 7 year old how delicate a digital camera is; only to turn around and they start swinging it around like a lasso 🙂

The other crucial part of our preparation was to get some miles in on trails around Long Island; both for our legs and to break in our boots.  My older kids already are used to logging some

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Greenbelt Trail: 32 Miles from Long Island Sound to Great South Bay

“Daddy, can you take 6 months off from work, take me out of school too and can we hike the Appalachian Trail together?“.

This request came from my son Brandon, 10, during a 6+ mile hike around Stump Pond while camping in Blydenburgh County Park on Long Island, New York.  If you don’t know, the AT starts in Georgia, finishes in Maine and is 2186 miles long.  Thru-hikers, if they complete the trek, start around April and finish in Continue reading