Ben, Bandit, and I took off for the exciting region of Bergen County, New Jersey, located about an hour west of New York City, for Labor Day weekend. Labor Day weekend gets crazy in our neighborhood, so we made a kind of last minute decision to do a quick getaway. We found on AirBnB a lovely large house (there were rooms we didn’t even touch) for a reasonable price. We weren’t looking to stay in Bergen County, but anyplace that was close to NYC. We wanted to spend more of our time relaxing and less of it driving.
The house was very hygge; the three of us spent many excellent hours napping on the comfortable sofa snuggled under an extraordinarily soft down-filled comforter. At the end of the long weekend, Ben remarked with great satisfaction and he had some of his best naps of his life in that house. LOL. I like to imagine Ben with a list of his top ten naps that he has had.
When we weren’t napping (or eating), we went out running. Much to our happiness we found two nice running paths near where we were staying.
Overpeck County Park in Leonia, NJ
It’s a cute little park with a very nice equestrian center, a lake for canoeing/kayaking, baseball/softball fields, dog run, playground, amphitheater, tennis courts, and five miles of pedestrian/bike paths. The multi-use path is heavily used by walkers so I wouldn’t recommend it for cyclists unless you can on going very slowly. The landscaping around the path is lovely, but with all the foot traffic, I would recommend only using this path for short easy runs unless you come out very early in the morning. Ben and I showed up around 8:30 and there were several people already there enjoying their day. Since we planned on taking it easy and slow, we didn’t mind doing a little people-dodging. We enjoyed the easy run there and I loved the views of the lake and pretty wildflowers along the path. Free parking is available at different locations in the park and also at the equestrian center.
Saddle River County Park in Fair Lawn, Glen Rock, Paramus, Ridgewood, Rochelle Park and Saddle Brook, NJ
Saddle River County Park is a linear park that stretches across six different communities connected by a six-mile multi-use path. It’s a great asphalt trail used by walkers, runners, and cyclists with rave reviews. There are multiple access points with free parking. We parked at the southern most end in Rochelle Park. I wanted to do a 12-mile long run and Saddle River Multi-use path was perfect! Six miles out and six miles back. What could be easier? Hahahaha, if you know me and my horrible sense of direction.
Ben offered to shorten his run so we could have Bandit with us. He ran four miles out with me and then turned back walking with the idea that I would run two more miles out and run back to catch up to them and we would finish the run together. In total Bandit did about 8 miles. That distance would have been too long if we made her run the whole way, but we were going at a slow enough pace that she did a brisk walk for most of it, plus because I got lost (more later), she got a nice break in the middle.
Saddle River Path is just a fantastic path for running with distance markers every .1 mile. It’s pretty much flat with lots of shade and there are restrooms and water fountains available along the path. And if you need to do a longer run than 12 miles (out and back), there are side paths available to increase the distance. It would be very easy to do speed work here too, thanks for the markers.
The reason why I got lost is precisely because of one of those side paths. I accidentally made a right when I should have gone left and it took several minutes before I realized what I did wrong. But it wasn’t for nought because I got to see even more deer. Anyway, for the most part, the multi-use path is pretty straightforward and they have signs at every turn-off, so I shouldn’t have gotten lost. I just have a horrible sense of direction and a tad absent-minded.
When I finally caught up with Ben and Bandit, Bandit gave me a piece of her mind. She barked herself hoarse telling me how worried she was and that we needed to stick together as a family, I can’t go off by myself, Daddy was no good because he didn’t seem concerned at all for my safety, goodness gracious this family would fall apart if she didn’t actively look out for us, don’t I ever get lost again, and on and on and on.
Once she calmed down, we finished our run together.
We’re not the only ones who think Saddle River Pathway is a great place to run. There’s a Racefaster Half Marathon taking place at that pathway this weekend. If they had that half last weekend, I would have definitely entered.