It gets a little hard to motivate yourself to go outside and be active when its been raining for almost a week straight and it is still raining the day you planed your trip. Originally hoping to head to Massachusetts, we weighed out the pros and cons of continuing with our original plan and considered the possibility of picking a closer spot. We settled on going to Hempstead Lake State Park on Long Island  instead and traveling out to Massachusetts when the weather and trail conditions are better.

With the decision made, we gathered our packs, stuffed an umbrella or two in, and coxed our mother into coming with us. The drive out had minimal traffic and we arrived at the park in no time. We pulled in parking lot 1 and crossed the road to the trail.  It’s about a 2 1/2 – 3 mile long loop around Hempstead lake.

Along the route, there were entrances down to the lakeside. You are able to complete most of the loop on the inner path, which had some beautiful views of the lake. Also for a small section of the path closest to the parking areas, we could see horse hoof prints on the ground which made us wonder if there were stables you could ride horses near by.

As we made our way around, we came to the conclusion that this spot would be great for trail running and we plan to come back to do just that. We aren’t really sure how busy the park gets during the summer months, but for the time being it was empty enough to jog around without being a bother to anyone else.

For the most part the trail was clean and well maintained, but much to our dismay, a small portion of it had a noticeable amount of litter on it. While most trails and hikes we have been on have had a bottle or two strewn about, this trail had a significant amount of trash collected at a segment nearest to the highway. It is tough to see just how little regard for nature some people have and it is so very disappointing to know that there are people out there who feel as if it someone else’s job to clean up after them. How difficult can it be to leave a spot you have visited with the garbage you have brought with you and dispose of it in the proper manner.  What was more aggravating, is that the park itself had trash bins placed around for this exact purpose and yet it somehow made more sense to leave garbage on the ground.


Unbeknownst to myself when this picture was taken, but in my attempt to photograph this collapsed tree, I also managed to snap a photo of someone’s finished soda can bottle. I could have easily edited out the can and pretended it wasn’t there, but I felt it important to leave in as a hopeful reminder and plea for anyone who reads this to remember to clean up after oneself, not only when visiting parks or preserves but also in everyday life.

All issues aside, the park itself was beautiful and the three of us enjoyed our visit. As soon as we reached the car to leave, the clouds above decided it was time to let the rain flow as we headed off.

Thank you for reading!

Be sure to leave a like or comment if you enjoyed the post and leave suggestions of places you think we should visit next.

Till next week,

The Traveling Trash Pandas

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