Easy Like a Sunday Morning

Today was our fist of 40 hikes for the American Hiking Society fundraiser. Please consider donating! There are several trails in Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx, NY, and we started with the only west-to east trail–John Muir.

Both trail heads are marked by the information board, and the trail is marked pink. One mark indicates you continue on, two marks mark a turn, and multicolored marks indicate that bit of trail is shared by more than one mapped trail. We started at the stables (red barn) at Mosholu Ave. and Broadway, ended at Cortlandt Park East. Ave. and Oneida Ave, and made our way back along the same trail.

The John Muir trail is one and a half miles long. I’m not sure how long it took us because we have about a half hour walk to get to the trail head, and we wandered off the trail to make a stop at the dog run at the parade field.

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At this intersections, going left keeps you on the Muir Trail or puts you on the Cross Country Trail going the wrong direction. Going straight takes you past the Van Courtlandt Vault to the parade field and Van Courtladt House Museum. The right turn leads you to the parade ground, too, but directly to the dog run.

We weren’t welcome at the dog run as one owner had his two dogs that do not play well with others in the run. If your dog has issues with other dogs, and you’re at a public dog run, what should be the etiquette or protocol when another dog arrives?

No bother. We headed back to the trail. It winds around and crosses the golf courses leading to the left side of Van Cortlandt Park. You can get a map at the south of the parade ground at the outdoor center. They are available if the center is open, or not. Unfortunately, they are copies of the original map you see online and, therefore, not color coded. Online trail map

Today was wonderful. We didn’t run into anyone else once on the east side. The park was ours on a beautiful, sunny cool day without winds. And at 48 degrees, I had to unzip my coat and remove my gloves.There wasn’t much snow on the ground, but enough to play in and to make the trail enchanting.

Some of the best things about this trail include the fact there are bathrooms located at both ends, several other trails connect to it, and it is located in the city. There is street parking along Broadway and a small parking lot at the stables. The terrain changes as you walk across the park and it includes hills in the Croton Woods (center of the trail).

A few things to watch: horse manure–it is everywhere. There is a sign stating horses are not to pass a certain point, but this sign is regularly ignored. Dog excrement–all dog owners do not clean up after their dogs. Not even in the dog run where bags are readily available. Ew. Dogs off leash–owners regularly allow their dogs to run free all over the park including the woods. Be aware. The rush a traffic is almost a constant. The only time that you cannot hear one of the nearby highways is when you are in the center of Croton Woods. Otherwise, it is a constant white noise.

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