Sometimes it just happens. You’re in the car. You make a turn, come up over a rise or cross a stream. Often some water feature is involved. You feel unusually alive! The Celts called this The Fifth Province, “the Land of No Land.” It may be the light, the time of day, your mood or a mix of it all. Let’s start collecting and sharing those mini road trips around Orange County. I asked several friends – Jim, David, Russ, Jerome – to help me out. Here are three special roads you can take as dreamy detours to where you are going.
Johnson Road, Goshen/Chester: This is off Route 94 just outside Chester. It’s a left turn into the middle of a working farm – the Johnson Farm; then a dead end onto Craigville Road. It’s left to Goshen. But a right takes you by all those old houses perched on the edge of Seely Brook and you end up back at Route 94 (the old Lenape Indian route). It’s left to Washingtonville or right back by the beautiful Roe’s Orchard and Farm Stand. If you’re there at the right time, do smell the apple blossoms or drink the cider.
Mineral Spring Road, Cornwall: This is the middle part of a road with three names. It starts off on Route 32 in Central Valley as Smith Clove Road, then it’s Mineral Spring Road, then it turns into Angola Road before ending again at Route 32 after passing through Black Rock Preserve. The detour onto Old Mineral Spring Road is worth every bump. (Stop at the falls if you have time.) Then past the Hudson Highlands Nature Museum and Jones Farm, one of the county’s best family farm stands.
Brady Road and Bowen Road, Warwick: If you’ve found this intersection, no words are needed. Look, there’s Brady Mountain and the Brady Farm and that stone wall. Then down Bowen to the lowest point where it crosses Fuller Brook and gives easy access to the 255-acre Fuller Mountain Preserve with two trails including one-and-three-quarter-miles through a ravine and up to stunning vista of the Warwick Valley.
And you? What’re your favorites? Share at dirt-mag.com, click on Special Spots, then Thin Places.