Summer and fall are ideal times for invigorating and scenic hikes in Central New York. I've listed three of my favorite places to hike!

Black River Wild Forest

Google Maps

I had the opportunity to hike this gem in the Adirondacks not too long ago, and I can't wait to go back! You certainly won't run out of scenic sites to feast your eyes on while you're here,  the Black River Wild Forest consists of more than 120,000 acres of natural beauty. If camping in the wilderness is your idea of a good time, there are 9 lean to's to rest up in before you hit the trails again. Be sure and bring your binoculars, the last time I was there I actually saw a bear momma and her cubs!

Directions:  From Alder Creek, take NY 28 north to just past the bridge over the Black River/Forestport Reservoir. Turn right onto road toward Forestport, then right at the bottom of the ramp onto North Lake Road. Take North Lake Road into Adirondack Park.

Rondaxe Fire Tower on Bald Mountain

Google Maps

There are two really positive aspects to hiking this mountain; first:  If you don't have time to spend the entire day outdoors it's less than a mile to the top, and it will take you less than half an hour to hike. Second: Once you arrive at the top, the views are breathtaking! I usually pack a lunch and admire the tree top views once I get to the top. Usually there are plenty of other hikers to chat with too.  When I want to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, this is the first destination that comes to mind.

Directions: North of Old Forge off NY 28. Turn left on Rondaxe Road. There are many signs for the trailhead. This is a very popular hike, so the parking fills up quickly.

Ha-De-Ron-Dah Wilderness Trails

Google Maps

These hiking trails are just as fun and challenging as the name sounds. There are 16 to choose from and several of them will test your stamina and endurance. Brown's Tract Trail is nearly 7 miles long and has plenty of crazy twists and turns. Middle Settlement Lake Trail is 3.7 miles long. I jogged this trail once, and really enjoyed the rugged terrain and challenging hill climbs. If you're looking for an easier hike, Blackfoot Pond Trail is only a mile long and there's plenty of beautiful scenery to admire on route.

Directions: Take Rt. 28 to Old Forge, and look for the signs!

On this morning's Just Jen segment we talked about the "Share a Coke" tour that's coming to Sangertown Square!