Hike & Nude Swimming on a HOT Summer Day
Guest blog by: Christopher Walter
Smurfs and Snappers and Bears! Oh My!
When the weather forecast calls for lots of sun, high humidity, high temperatures in the mid 90s, and a heat index up to 107 degrees, just how crazy do you have to be to hike up mountainous terrain and across a high ridge, just to jump in a lake? On this day, seven and a half smurfs decided we were crazy enough for the challenge, err…well, on the other hand maybe some of us just didn’t quite realize what we were in for. We set out on a Friday morning to hike up into the Jersey Highlands and find Surprise Lake for some nude swimming.
With the cars parked, Mama Smurf (aka Beth Nolan) led us down the long steep road to find the trail head. About two hundred yards down the road Mama Smurf decided to lead us back up the hill to find the trail head. When we found the trail head (10 feet from where we parked the cars) we ducked into the woods as quick as we could to escape the sun and immediately came upon a stream with small rocky waterfalls and wading pools. Already dripping with sweat some of us joked about jumping in the water and calling it a day, but we carried on.
The first part of the trail proved the toughest part of the hike on our legs with well over 600 feet of incline in less than a half mile of distance. But we stopped two or three times to catch our breath.
“So, it’s not far from here then Mama Smurf?”
“We have to cross the top of the ridge first then we will be there,” replied Mama Smurf.
Onward we set across the ridge. A few minutes later we heard a large crash through the brush to our left and we all stopped to see what it was. A large black bear stopped about 40 yards away to look back at us for a few moments. I got a quick look at him, but he turned to go and hide before I could even think about a picture. Maybe he was just camera shy.
“How much farther Mama Smurf?”
“We’re about half way there,” said Mama Smurf.
A little farther on, profuse sweating…check..fatigue…check..chills and goose bumps…check. I knew my body was over heated when I started getting goose bumps in 90 degree temperatures. The ridge was covered with spots of tree coverage and open areas. Every time we hit an open area the sun beat right down. By then everyone needed a good rest, so we made an extra long stop.
“Is it much farther Mama Smurf?”
“YES IT IS!!!!” yelled Mama Smurf.
Mama Smurf didn’t really yell at us, but before we were done I think we all nagged her at least once. Given the horrible temperatures it was quite a trying two miles across the ridge and we were all over heated and exhausted. When we finally made it to the lake, none of us thought twice. We stripped off our clothes and jumped right in.
During our lunch break in the shade, a very inquisitive snapping turtle came right up to visit us. It was huge; its shell must have been over 15 inches in diameter. He stayed for quite a while posing for our pictures. After he left, we went for one last skinny dip with some trepidation. Suffice it to say, some of us were less than enthusiastic about offering up a wienerschnitzel snack to our friend.
With two guide books among us, we found there was a shorter trail back to civilization. So we started hiking back. The sun was still beating down. As we came over a hill top I spotted a rock ledge. “Oh boy, I saw that rock ledge and thought it was a road. I thought we were saved.” I said. “So did I,” laughed Mama Smurf. “The mirages must be setting in!” We trudged along when the new ridge opened up to a spectacular view. A beautiful panorama of Greenwood Lake was below lined with lake front mansions and boats zipping up and down the lake. Without thinking we all stopped to take in the view. Finally we continued on, and before long we made it back down the slope to the world.
Despite the sore legs, minor heat exhaustion, and a certain muddy backside the efforts of the day proved worth the challenge. After all, how often do you get to see giant snapping turtles, wild black bears, and scenic views from atop a mountain ridge? And don’t forget the nude swimming too!
For those who never watched the Smurfs, here is the classic scene:
About the Author (Author Profile)I'm Felicity, author of Felicity's Blog and co-founder of Young Naturists America. I write about nudism and naturism in today's world along with issues like top-freedom and body acceptance, and various naked topics. Enjoy, and please leave a comment when you've got something to say! :)
I read about these great places on here all the time, but it never tells where they are or how we can get there to enjoy them too.
You should have hiked naked & you would have sweated a lot less & any streams you come to you will be ready to skinny dip ;)
A very fun and challenging hike. We smurfed it good. We tried to coax Yertle but he wouldn't come out of his shell. Thank you Beth, Chris, mini guide Hadley and Michael's dad.