North Country Druid: Zenda Farm Trail

One of the many benches at the Zenda Farm Trail. This one happens to have a great amount of shade in the late afternoon. Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2014.

In an effort to exercise more, as well as easily and safely enjoy nature with our toddler, we took another nature walk on a local trail. If you’re spending time in Clayton, NY, be sure to stop by the Thousand Island Land Trust’s Zenda Farm Trail.  (Officially, I guess the trail is called the LoisJean and John MacFarlane Trail, but that’s a mouthful.)    It’s called a farm trail because it literally was a farm.  The well-maintained gravel walking path loops around a pasture that has returned to a vibrant, ecologically diverse meadow, an excellent habitat for a variety of song birds and insects.

We went in the late afternoon/early evening.  Since it’s summer, the sun was still out.  It was quite warm and wasn’t much for shade on this trail.  Definitely dress appropriately and bring plenty of water.  Even though it’s short, you’ll want it!  There are plenty of benches around the trail, but, unfortunately, most were out in the sun, so sitting in them at the time we went was completely undesirable.  I imagine they would be more comfortable places to take in the scenery and relax when it’s cooler out.  Perhaps an autumn walk, when you want the sun’s warmth?

There was a bench near the heavily forested section, and that was perfectly shaded when we were walking.  We stopped there for a bit so that I could meditate.  I only did some breathing because, with a toddler along for the ride, I’m very likely to get interrupted.  So I just focused on my breath and let the smells and sounds of nature fill me.  It was really relaxing.  I imagine it would be a great place to do deeper meditation provided you didn’t mind the possibility of other people staring at you.  (There were a couple women also walking the trail with us.)  I don’t see myself doing any rituals here, but I could see basic prayer and energy work done on my own or with a few people – nothing that involves a lot of obvious tools.  Something about the trail strikes me as a very quiet, and open place.  I like some privacy.

One thing that really struck me was the sky energy there.  Because the trail loops around an open field, the sky is very prominent.  Song birds, dragonflies, bees, and other winged creatures arched through the air from one end to the other.  It is a great place to contemplate that energy.

Nearby, there’s the Zenda community garden and a play area for kids featuring natural wooden stumps to climb and balance on.  This is a shaded area.  If you bring a blanket, it would be great for a family or group picnic after a nature walk.

For mor information about the Zenda Farm Trail and Preserve, check out this pamphlet.

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