compass rose.png

A few years ago, I put Pennsylvania down as one of the places I wanted to explore, and I decided this summer

would be the time. As I worked out a route, I realized I would be within spitting distance of New York City, so I put together a walking tour covering everything I wanted to see. Then, because I was going to be in town, I figured I would go see the new West Side Story. (I even thought about visiting the area where the movie was filmed, but there's nothing to see there now.) However, because of Covid-19, all of the theaters are closed until September.

Then, after looking at the map some more, I decided I should visit upstate New York, especially the Catskill Mountains because that's where Washington Irving set his story "Rip Van Winkle"  and worked out a nice little route for the area.

I also realized that the neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant (from the Billy Joel song) was right across the Brooklynn Bridge. I added that to my itinerary, then added Flatbush (The Lords of Flatbush). By then, the New York City visit was going to take two days. Luckily, there's an RV park at the end of Long Island that has a few tent sites.

I finally went back to the Pennsylvania route, my original destination, to finish it up, and realized I was trying to do too much. (Note: I'm already taking five days just to get to Pennsylvania.)

Consequently, I'm going back to my original plan and will save New York for another time.

Day 1 | League City to Culture ETX (Lufkin) to Lake Bistineau State Park 

Day 2 | Lake Bistineau to Lake Lurleen State Park 

Day 3 | Lake Lurleen to the Blue Ridge Mountains (campsite TBD)

Day 4 | to Rocky Knob Campground, Blue Ridge Highway 

Day 5 | Rocky Knob to Loft Mountain Campground and the Appalachian Trail

Day 6 | 

Day 7 | 

Day 6 | 

Day 9 | 

Day 10 | 

Day 11 | 

Day 12 | 

Day 1 | 6 hrs

League City to Culture ETX (Lufkin) to Lake Bistineau State Park 

Lake Bistineau Park Trail Map

A former student and her husband own a fancy restaurant in Lufkin. I'll go there first (4 hrs) and then head on into Louisiana and Lake Bistineau State Park (2 hrs).

I should get there early enough to set up camp and hike a few trails.

Schedule

9 - 2 Lufkin and lunch

2-4   Lake Bistineau

Day 2 | 6 hrs

Lake Bistineau to Lake Lurleen State Park 

 

Schedule

8-2 drive time

 

Again, plenty of time to arrive, set up camp, and hike.

Day 3 | 6 hrs

Lake Lurleen to the Blue Ridge Mountains

 

Upper Chattahoochee River Campground is up a windy mountain road but it's closed.

Cherokee Campground is a possibility.

Frank Gross Recreation Area/ Campground - No reserve, 9 spots

Deep Hole Recreation Area/ Campground - No reserve, 8 spots

Mulky Campground - No reserve, 11 spots

Toccoa River Sandy Bottoms Recreation Area - No reserve, 4 spots

 

Schedule

8-2 drive time but arriving in the middle of the day make getting a spot more difficult than arriving in the AM.

Day 4 | 6 hrs

to Rocky Knob Campground, Blue Ridge Highway 

Rocky Knob Campground is located at Milepost 167.1 on Blue Ridge Parkway, 1.8 miles south of the intersection of the Parkway and State Route 8, about 8 miles (13 km) from the town of Floyd, or about 90 minutes south of Roanoke by car. Visitors are advised that directions from resources like Google Maps and GPS devices are not always correct and should be double-checked.

Schedule

8-2 drive time, set up camp, explore

Day 5 | 3.5 hrs

Rocky Knob to Loft Mountain Campground 

The Appalachian Trail loops around this campground.

Plenty of time to hike 10 or so miles of the Appalachian Trail

Schedule

8-12 drive time, then hiking

Day 6 | 6+ hrs

Loft Mountain to Hershey, PA, is 4 hrs

 

Hershey to Hickory Run State Park (boulder field) is 1.5 hrs

Schedule

8-1 drive time to Hershey and lunch

1-3 drive time to campsite

Day 7 | 3 - 5 hrs

 

 

Schedule

8-11 drive to Allentown and Bethlehem

11-1 drive to the Port Authority Bus Terminal

1-4 Stage One of New York visit (5 miles)

Typically, it would take about two hours to walk five miles.

This gives me an extra hour to take pictures and sightsee.

 

  1. Port Authority Bus Terminal

  2. Times Square

  3. The Dakota and Central Park

  4. The Chrysler Building

  5. The New York Public Library

  6. The Empire State Building

  7. Back to the Port Authority

  8. to campground on Long Island

Port Authority to Smith Point is 1.5 hrs

Port Authority to Battle Row is an hour.

Need to find out check-in time since it will almost be 6 when I get there.

Battle Row Campground has 12 tent sites

Smith Point County ParkCamping Map (280 spaces)

While in New York, I want to see the new version of West Side Story but the Internet says Broadway is closed until September.

Day 8

Five hrs of driving (3 hrs in the city, 2 from the memorial to the campground. It's takes 1.5 hrs just to traverse Long Island.)

Smith Point County ParkCamping Map (280 spaces?)

  1. 8:00 - 9:30   |  Flatbush (1.5 hrs)

  2. 9:30 - 10:00 |  Into Bedford-Stuyvesant  (30 min drive  Billy Joel, in his song You May Be Right (I May Be Crazy), sings about walking through Bedford-Stuy alone.  here's a McDonald's at 1531 Fulton Street, a mile from the Boys School that Isaac Asimov and other famous people attended.

  3. 10:00 - 11:00 | Walk through Bedford-Stuy

  4. 11:00 - 12:00 | Drive to NYC College of Technology, park, and walk half way across the Brooklyn Bridge, and back.

  5. 12:00 - 1:00 | Drive across the bridge to Battery Park and look at The Statue of Liberty view point 

  6. The 9/11 Memorial and Museum

  7. Kenneth L Wilson Campground

While in New York, I want to see the new version of West Side Story but the Internet says Broadway is closed until September.

Day 9 | 5.5 hrs

Kenneth L Wilson Campground

https://www.discoverupstateny.com/blog/8/70/a-visit-to-hunter-mountain-area-has-much-to-offer/

1. Kenneth L Wilson Campground through Woodstock to

    Hunter Mountain Resort. The lift to the Rip Van Winkle monument 

    costs $70!!! and only seems to run at 12:30 and 2:30???

2. Hunter Mountain to North/ South Lake Campground

    to check out its trails.

    https://www.nynjtc.org/map/catskill-destinations-kaaterskill-falls-trail-map

    https://cnyhiking.com/North-SouthLakeCampground.htm

    https://hikethehudsonvalley.com/hikes/north-south-lake-north-point/

    

3. Kaaterskill Falls and Bushnellville Creek Falls are right around the corner and it may be possible to hike from the Campground to the Falls.

4. Drive to Dutchman's Landing on the Hudson River in Catskill, NY.

5. Out to Mine Kill State Park for a big waterfall, but no camping.

6. Max V. Schaul State Park for the night.

Explore the area, Rip Van Winkle monument, 

Day 10 | 6 hrs drive time

then drive to Seven Tubs Nature Area (2.5 hrs)

and on to Ricketts Glen State Park (1 hr)

There's a trail in Ricketts Glen that goes past 21 waterfalls over just four miles!

explore the 21 waterfalls trail (4 mile loop)

to Pine Creek Gorge (the grand canyon of PA) (about an hour drive)

then two hours to Penn State

then three hours to camp near Coopers Rock State Forest

Day 11

Coopers Rock to Lexington, Kentucky (5 hrs)

                         to Nashville, Tennessee (3.5 hrs)

Day 12

Nashville to Memphis (3 hrs)

                 to Little Rock (2 hrs)

                 to Texarkana (2 hrs)

Day 13

Texarkana to Lufkin (3 hrs)

                   to home (3 hrs)