Did you know New York has little lizards with electric blue tails? I surely didn’t until I hiked Anthony’s Nose [Intersection of Route 9D & Route 6/Route 202, Cortlandt Manor, NY – Parking on Route 6]. This is a popular trail. The tiny lot was packed so we parked up the street at the end of the line of cars. We cautiously walked along the busy road to the trailhead. The trail map which wasn’t super helpful – so just be aware you’re taking the Camp Smith trail, follow the blue blazes heading towards the left which initially cross a tiny stream. It’s a short hike, 2.6 out and back beginning with a pleasant stroll in the woods – where we saw the lizards!
Two of them to be precise, and they were so swift I could barely get a picture. When we spotted the first one I couldn’t believe my eyes so I made up the scenario that a child snuck his pet lizard on the hike and it squirmed out of his grasp. I lamented that the beautiful creature would never survive the winter. Then we saw the second one, and I thought – wow! This kid brought both of his lizards? How did the parents not notice…So my vignette was a bit farfetched, and upon a bit of research I discovered that the vibrant lizards are actually indigenous to New York, not an exotic pet, and they are called the five-lined skink. Live and learn! Happily we hiked on and moderately upward, and were soon rewarded with our first views.
This may be the highest elevation, but don’t dare stop here! Continue on just a bit further scrambling your way down the rock wall and onto an unmarked path. Keep heading forward and towards the left and before you know it you’ll see the flag flying high, and probably have a lot of people to share the view with.