Celebrating Summer Solstice With Nude Hiking and Naked Swimming
While the weekend had some gloomy skies, Monday turned out to be a gorgeous, hot summer day. Perfect weather for our day trip into the Ramapo Mountains (Harriman State Park).
We all met up late morning. I took the Gear To Go Outfitters’ “Trail Taxi” van with 7 other people, from NYC to the meeting point at a Lake Sebago parking lot.
A few people had been asking me how many people were going, but I didn’t have an official hike sign-up. While I thought there’d be more people than last time, I was pleasantly surprised to see a group of about 40 people at the lot!
A few late-comers trickled in and then we headed off to the trail. It was a large group to keep together, but the hike in went by quickly. Once we were far enough away from “civilization,” some removed a few or all of their garments to hike nude.
We only encountered a handful of other people throughout the day, which is typical for a weekday. Other hikers or campers are usually fine with our lack of clothing, if not a little bewildered. However we are always ready to quickly cover up on the trail to avoid causing alarm. Since it is legal for men and women to hike topfree in NYS, we just had to make sure to have a towel or something handy in case we needed to cover up below the waist. The funny thing was that this time, every time we spotted other hikers and covered up, it turned out to be other fellow free hikers or people who there looking to meet up with us!
After maybe 45 minutes of hiking, we reached our first skinny dipping spot. The water was calm and refreshing. To get in you have to maneuver carefully down some slippery rocks. Some went in up to their waist and others immediately swam out further into deeper waters.
We only stopped for a short 10 minute rest, and then it was time to get to our final destination at the other lake. It is possible to camp around here, and a family of three (two adults, one child) were spotted doing just that from the trail. They didn’t seem to be bothered by us one bit.
Upon reaching our hang-out spot, we saw a couple fishing. I didn’t talk to them myself, but someone else did and they seemed cool with the nudie group invasion. Proper etiquette in these situations is to approach the people who were there first and ask if they’re okay with people skinny dipping. This is what we did when skinny dipping around Ithaca, too, and happily for us, nobody complained.
The afternoon sun was beating down. Luckily, the cold lake and strong breeze coming off the water helped keep us cool. People sprawled out their towels on the grass or rocks and lounged while periodically taking dips in the lake. So passed a pleasant, relaxing afternoon in nature.
On our last hike two years ago, the mountains were covered in Mount Laurel flowers in bloom with a brood of cicadas buzzing around. This year, however, they were already gone (and it could be another 17 years before a new brood of cicadas comes out!). The forest was much greener. You could still spot bright yellow mushrooms and wildflowers if you looked for them. Many butterflies fluttered by, and mosquitoes or insects were not a problem. One person found a tick on them, but I don’t think anyone else did.
Around 3:00 pm, most of us packed up and headed back down the mountain. A few decided to stay behind to enjoy the sun and water a little longer. As we hiked back, a timber rattlesnake was spotted on the trail, but he slithered off into the brush before I could see him… The snakes there scare off pretty easily!
Back at the lot we said our goodbyes to both old and new friends. We climbed back into the van for the ride back to the city and so ended another beautiful day of nude hiking and skinny dipping in southern New York!
We don’t have another hike scheduled at this time, but for those who’d be interested, Gear To Go has some guided skinny dipping hikes on their calendar. They’re going to a swimming hole in the Catskills on July 12 and August 16. (I may join the August trip, but not sure yet.)
Much love to my fellow hikers reading this and hope we get to meet again!
This review of the YNA nude hiking and naked swim day trip was published by – Young Naturists & Nudists America