The discovery of Stewart State Forest Park was a late bloomer for me. Years ago, I briefly stepped foot in it, but it was October and hunting season. I pulled up next to a guy who slung his rifle on his back and started walking into the forest. I always gravitate to the mountains further to the west and north, and I did not seek it out again until 2020 happened.
A friend told me about all the trails, and with the COVID 19 restrictions and the lure of biking, I went to check it out. Within, to my amazement, I discovered a haven of trails to explore in this expansive 6,700 acres size park. I am still exploring countless trails there with my family and friends. It is a unique park with a fantastic diversity of wetlands, fields, and forests, and the animals within ranges from bobcats and wild turkeys to salamanders and turtles. It is becoming rare even for Hudson Valley.
I appreciate the inventiveness of the trail names, such as Cactus, Fiesta, or Pine Roots, to name a few! It makes exploring and trying out new trails exciting for children when we try to guess their names! On some of these bike rides, I brought what has become my to go camera, the Fujifilm x100f. I only wish I had brought it with me more often. I love this camera for its small size, and I will continue to shoot once the hunting season passes. The only regret is missing the fall foliage at its peak with hunting season.