This past Sunday I went on my third hike with Outdoor Bound . You may remember my 9-mile hike this past May and my 5-mile hike, swim, and wine-tastingin July! So far I’ve loved every single Outdoor Bound trip! It just so happens that my friend Angela happens to know Kirk, the owner of Outdoor Bound. We all met at one of Angela’s parties and decided to plan a blogger hike! Kirk was nice enough to treat me, my sister, Dori , Angela, and Kristine to a free hike! Unfortunately Angela got called into work and was not able to make this one. You were missed Angela! We decided to go on the6.5-Mile Surprise Lake Hike.
This beautiful trail is notable for some steep and rocky sections that provide spectacular views. There is a wide variety of fascinating vegetation and terrain along our loop route, which includes a section of the Appalachian Trail. We hike around lovely, secluded Surprise Lake, where we will stop for lunch. In summer, bring or wear your swimsuit for a dip in the lake!
We will cover 700 vertical feet of elevation during this adventure, and the majority of the climb is in the first two miles. After joining the Appalachian Trail for a short distance and learning about the world-famous journey that AT hikers undertake, we will follow an undulating mountain ridge for the next 2.5 miles. Our loop trail will take us through rhododendron groves and lush and mossy woodlands and we’ll scramble up craggy ridges to spectacular views.
One of the best things about Outdoor Bound is that they provide transportation to and from the hike. We all met in the city and drove in a van about an hour and a half away. I know we were somewhere in New Jersey but I never know exactly where! I do know that it was a beautiful ride with boats and pretty houses along the way. The weather was absolutely perfect for a hike. The picture below is most of the people from our group:
I have to give credit to Dori for all of these photos! She was the designated photographer of the hike!
Dori and Kristine
Me and Kristine!
This hike was a lot more challenging than the last one I went on! We had to rock climb for a lot of it! I loved the challenge even if I did fall over on more than one occasion.
I think my backpack weighed about 20 pounds from all the water! Don’t worry; I made it up that rock eventually.
Kristine was very proud of her cool string backpack.
At one point I was in New York and New Jersey at the same time!
Dori got serious with her downward dog!
I pretended to stretch? I think I was ready to collapse.
The scenery was especially gorgeous on this hike!
I was not kidding when I said we had to rock climb.
I needed a real stretch break after that!
Eventually we found the surprise lake!! This meant it was time for lunch! My turkey sandwich never tasted so good! We had already hiked about 5 miles by this point! I think Kristine was ready to jump in the lake!
Most people swam after lunch but the 4 of us decided to lay out and get some sun. It felt so good to just lay there after such an intense workout.
Apparently some of the people who went swimming got attacked by Mr. Turtle.
The hardest part of the hike is always right after lunch. We were all exhausted by this point. Luckily we did most of the hike in the morning so we only had about a mile and a half to go after eating. Everyone just zoned out and got super quiet.
The end of the hike was amazing. Look at this view! It felt like we were on a tropical island somewhere!
This was definitely my favorite hike so far! It was great to have 3 friends there with me. The hike was hard but so beautiful. We plan to go on another wine tasting hike next! There is nothing better than relaxing with alcohol after a day of hiking! Thanks again to Kirk and Outdoor Bound for such an amazing day!