Hike 30: Cedar Ridge Preserve

The Cedar Ridge Preserve was one of the many spots I found during everyday driving – I’ve had a keen eye for trailhead signs since starting my 52 Hike Challenge and spotted the Cedar Ridge parking area while heading to a friend’s house.Cedar_Ridge_trailHike 30 stats:
Date: August 14, 2016
Weather: 85°F, sunny
Distance:  2.01 miles
Time: 1:03
Total Ascent: 106′
Highest Elevation: 306′
Highlights: butterflies, huge oak tree, hawks
Cedar Ridge PreserveThe hike starts along a large meadow and soon enters the woods – the trails are pretty well marked and were easy to follow.Cedar Ridge PreserveAfter pushing through a section of trail that was really overgrown I came to an interesting trail marker – after posting the picture on Instagram I learned that locals to the area move this ‘marker’ around the the preserve quite a bit.Cedar Ridge PreserveI moved passed, what I think was a goat skull, and continued on into the forest. As I neared stony brook I came to a great big oak tree near the water.Cedar Ridge PreserveI continued along the trail and soon came to a large field – as I hiked through the cut path in the field a large red tailed hawk flew overhead. I’ve been seeing a lot of hawks lately so I was happy to see it cruising overhead.Cedar Ridge PreserveCedar Ridge PreserveCedar Ridge PreserveAfter heading back into the woods I almost tripped over a large box turtle before making my way back to the meadow where the trail started.Cedar Ridge PreserveCedar Ridge PreserveCedar Ridge PreserveCedar Ridge PreserveCedar Ridge PreserveOne of the major highlights of my 52 hike challenge has been discovering places like this that I normally would have just driven by – Cedar Ridge is a cool little ecosystem tucked into Hopewell’s preserved land and I’m glad I found it.