Taking on the Edge Challenge With a Nature Hike

Being a member of the Edge Fitness brought about a surprise opportunity to explore local nature along trails at Ridley Creek State Park. I had been wanting to see more of it for a long time. So when I first heard about the hiking excursion, I was all in and couldn’t wait to take on this new-to-me outdoors trek.

Early on Saturday, October 26, Edge Challenge members had a final weigh-in before our group exercise class. I was up slightly from the
previous day’s weight, but that hike right after working out sure took care of a small gain! I’ll save more on that for the end of this post.

The hike was to begin at a mansion in the park, but I hadn’t been to the particular spot where it was located. So I followed my trainer to an entrance and parking lot near the old estate and a few moments later, several others from the gym arrived. One of them led the hike, as she is also a leader for other such outings through L.L. Bean.

While walking by the Jeffords / Hunting Hill Mansion, we were told some of its back story on the way to getting out in nature. I only
snapped a few photos of the historic structure, so I’ll have to go back another time for more; it’s an enchanting site!

Check out some of my favorite nature scenes captured along the way.

Our route took us past a couple of old structures completely reclaimed by nature and I almost couldn’t see one of them.

There was a crazy tree branch jutting out along the trail and its appearance reminded me of a forest scene in “The Village” (2004) It’s when Ivy Walker (Bryce Dallas Howard) uses a tree as a marker and eventually, to trick the red-cloaked “creature.” I didn’t get a photo, but will have to next time hiking that route.

Much of the ground was covered not only with fallen leaves, but with tree roots that made for rugged terrain. This was on flat ground, as well as up and down hill. Some spots were also a bit rocky.

Just after talking about them, we came across a tree covered with those pesky spotted lantern flies. Our trail guide said the particular tree was being studied for the effects of these insects on their surroundings.

Near the end of the hike, we crossed another small wooden bridge that led us to going over a large drain. Next, our small group was going
through a tunnel. These were surprising to encounter in the middle of the woods; it felt like a mix of urban element in the setting. I loved the little bridges we arrived at on several occasions along the way, looking out over streams filled with autumn leaves.

The excursion was interesting, as we learned about what to look for in the way of symbols for any hikers taking on the park trails. Arrows in white, yellow or blue marked direction to go and what path someone is on. On the last leg of our hike, we crossed an enchanting stone
bridge. At least in terms of looking like a fairy-tale scene, it reminds me of the ornate bridge in Central Park, with the oval detail.

Once I was back home, I was curious about any weight loss following both an hour group exercise and the outdoor adventure. I had dropped five pounds; a record for me in one day’s time! Out on the trail, I commented to my trainer that I would probably reach or go below the next milestone. So it sure was a surprise to see that I at least reached it. I went back up several pounds since the hike, but my next InBody scale weigh-in reflected that as being due to muscle gain.

Also, I have another success with the ab machine that I wrote about in past Edge Challenge blog posts. Before my classes on Sunday, November 3, I went through my usual six to seven set of 10 reps on it. This time, however, for the seventh set, I tried one weight level higher.

Because of the particular weight setting, I was extra careful by splitting my rep count in half and taking it slower. It was surprising to get through using that weight at all, so it’s not going to be my new usual setting for a while. But it was a positive give-it-a-try moment.

About caroldwyer

A freelance photographer and blogger, I'm also a non-traditional graduate of Cabrini College with a B.A. in communication, minor in English and concentration in film studies. As a student, I was a staff writer, photographer and copy editor for the Loquitur. In my final semester, I assisted in promoting campus literary events for Woodcrest Literary Magazine. I love travel, historic places, nature, wildlife and the arts. I hope to be involved in some way with one of those areas throughout my media career. Currently, I'm pursuing my M.F.A. in creative writing and publishing. Read my film blog at http://cdwyerfilminspired.wordpress.com - and my literary blog at http://cdwyerbookishgrad.wordpress.com
This entry was posted in Autumn, Diet, Edge Challenge, Edge Strong, Exercise, Health, Hiking, Historic, History, Nature, Pennsylvania, Ridley Creek State Park, Scenic, State Parks, The Edge Fitness, Travel, Weight Loss and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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