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Exploring NY state parks

Stacey Tromblee - Director, Livingston Manor Free Library
Posted 8/10/21

A recent online article from the BBC News talks about cerebral blood flow and the unhealthiness of standing. We all know that walking helps your heart pump your blood effectively, but how about …

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Library Corner

Exploring NY state parks

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A recent online article from the BBC News talks about cerebral blood flow and the unhealthiness of standing. We all know that walking helps your heart pump your blood effectively, but how about this?

For every minute we walk on an unpaved trail, we make hundreds of micro-adjustments to our foot position and pace. These adjustments stimulate the hippocampus of the brain which helps our memory formation and retrieval. Translation: there is no better time to start exploring the flora and fauna of New York State.

After a ten year hiatus from exploring New York’s rural routes, our weekend ramblings have begun again. I started planning my summer forays into other counties when the frost was thick on the fields and my husband and I were walking the rail trails with the temperatures requiring an extra layer of clothing. Since then, I have added the picnic lunch, and we bring our bicycles in an effort to capitalize on our time in peaceful forested areas.

An Empire Pass purchased online for $80 will give access to any NY State Park for the day and is good for one year from the date of purchase https://parks. ny.gov/admission/empire-passport/. Instead of weekend shopping, restaurant queuing or yardwork, we lace up our well-worn hikers and pack that faded swimsuit with our lunch and try to find some of those blue historical roadside signs on our way to the chosen park.

I had forgotten my old habit of picking up a couple of the I Love New York Travel Planners at the New York State rest stops and keeping a reference copy in our car (plus one to give away). Visit your library and borrow a NY state trail guidebook. I recommend Trails with Tails by Russel Dunn and Barbara Delaney which covers hiking, history and geology in five regions of the Empire State.

While the romantic crowds visit the waterfalls found in the Catskill Region Waterfalls guidebook by Russell Dunn, the quiet seekers can plan a picnic, hike or bicycle ride and wrap up the day with a swim in over half of the New York state parks.

Guidebooks provide an outline for visiting an area and help the reader find their perfect hike or stroll. Two sources in the Ramapo Catskill Library System are 50 Hikes in the Catskills and 50 Hikes on the Lower Hudson Valley by Derek Dellinger.

Whether it is flora or fauna, swimming or bicycling, these lakes, canals, parks and rail trails await you, perambulatory pathways to peace and wellness.

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