Ringwood State Park

42. Ilgenstein Rock

If you haven’t been to Ringwood State Park, you really need to to add it to your to-do-list.  From all the hiking trails to the botanical gardens and tours, there is something for everyone.  I was on the trail by 5:45 hoping to beat the heat of the day.  This hike was beautiful, with lots to see and I would definitely recommend it to most.  However on this particular day my endurance and love for the outdoors was challenged!!  I did a torturous 8 mile loop that included Ilgenstein Rock which is a summit on the NJ1K List.  The humidity was oppressive, and by the time I was done with the hike the heat was getting to me.  And to top that off, the moment I stepped out of my car, and along the entire adventure, the flies and gnats buzzed around my ears and eyes!!  I had to spit bugs out of my mouth several times and hours later after a shower and a nap I picked one out of my eye!!!!!  It was nasty.  8 miles of buzzing gnats in my ears almost drove me insane.  Oh, actually, I did have a reprieve from the bugs at the summit of Ilgenstein Rock, instead I had a small encounter with a black bear.  The summit was covered in ripe blueberries and I interrupted her breakfast.  She was scared away when I blew the bear whistle that Miller printed for me on his 3D printer.  That got my heart racing more than the climb to the top!  So, I think I passed the test, after all I still love hiking and want to go all the time but, next time there are tons of bugs, I will opt for the shorter trail 🙂


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