By Michael Seyler
For my snow day makeup assignment, I decided to write about my many hikes at the Ramapo Reservation. As a student at Ramapo College I like to take advantage of the reservation that is basically located across the street. This year I hiked many times in the fall and spring and even once in the winter while there was snow on the ground. Hiking in the three different seasons helps you really see the changes in the environment.
While hiking in the fall you notice how much lighter the leaves are, but you also see how many of them have fallen from the trees as winter approaches. The weather in the fall and the spring is very similar, but the environment has a very different look during the two seasons. Spring, the leaves return to the trees and they are very colorful.
During my hikes at the reservation in the fall I notice a considerable amount of wildlife. You see many squirrels, rabbits, birds, sometimes deer and even racoons if you go later in the day. There is also fish and swans in the lake during the fall. In the spring most of these animals return, but in the winter it’s rare if you see any wildlife. The reservation has a much different look in the winter than the fall and the spring. There are absolutely no leaves on the trees, no animals in sight and snow everywhere.
Hiking in the winter can be very dangerous because of the ice, so I mainly stick to the main trail if there is snow. When it’s snowing it’s usually very frustrating to hike, but I do really like the look of the snow on the ground and on the mountains. I think winter has a more interesting look to it because it’s so different from the other seasons. I always miss hiking when I return home for the summer because South Jersey doesn’t have many interesting nature areas.