Walking Nearby Trails Offers a Chance at Tranquility


by Heather Suraci

The D&R canal has beautiful views along the path that are sure to wow.

Heather Suraci, Editor-in-chief

Stress is inevitable in high school. There are various expectations and deadlines to keep up with  as well as the responsibility of maintaining one’s mental health. One option to combat the stresses of high school is to sometimes disengage from daily pressures and responsibilities.  One relaxing way to do so is by walking along a tranquil and quiet nature trail amongst flora and fauna. It is easy to unwind and relax as you walk along trails and tune out your obligations for a little while as you take the focus off yourself, and pay attention to the big and little happenings occurring in nature. 

There are various local trails in Somerset county that are accessible to the public. One of the trails that you can visit is located in Chimney Rock Park. The park has various trails that can be used for both biking and walking. The trail is outlined by paths, however, they can be hard to follow, so it is important to pay attention to where you are walking. In addition, to the trails, if you walk far enough through the trail you will be rewarded by eventually finding a beautiful waterfall to explore and to even splash around in.

Another trail to visit is the D&R Canal. There are many nearby entry points to the trail including  Hillsborough, Manville, and Rocky Hill. The trail runs parallel to the D&R canal, and is very pretty to look at especially on an early morning walk. This trail is on loose dirt and can potentially get either muddy or dusty depending on the weather, so be sure to bring proper foot wear. At one point, the trail leads to a bridge that connects the path to Colonial Park’s garden.  So if you want to veer off the trail for a while, you can enter into the garden full of various types of beautiful flowers; depending on the season. All in all, the canal is very pretty and exciting. You never know if you are going to see a frog jumping from a lily pad, a family zooming by on their bikes, or a bunny hopping right across the trail.   

Another place full of trails and walking paths to explore is Duke Farms. Duke farms has many  possibilities for walkers to use as well as bike riders. If you are interested in history, the trails have various old buildings along them with signs that clarify what they are and indicate what their purpose was to the Duke estate. One attraction is the visitors center; originally stables for the Duke estate.  The center is loaded with interactive activities and ideas to assist with exploring the Duke estate. Another beautiful and historic landmark on the estate is the abandoned foundation for the estate was supposed to be built, but never was. Often these trails are crowded in the afternoon hours, so if you are looking for a quieter walk going in the morning is the best decision. 

Overall, each of these walking trails are unique and offer different types of experiences depending on what you are in the mood for. Taking time to focus on your mental health and clear your mind through walking is very effective in terms of being a better you. You are able to relax and unwind while partaking in nature’s beauty.