A perfect view on a perfect day — but getting there is what it's all about.
"Nature just relieves stress,” says Mike Radomski, “and you feel good out there.”
Radomski is what you might call an avid hiker. He has a website to chronicle his adventures and runs the Western New York Hiking Challenge, which has become quite popular during the pandemic. Makes sense. You're outside, there's a lot of social distance, and you get to see all kinds of views.
"Western New York has a bunch of different terrains. Here in Zoar Valley we have this beautiful gorge. There's a few other nice gorges. The Niagara Gorge. Letchworth State Park,” says Radomski.
And you never know what you'll find along the way. A rocky cliff. Don't try to scale it. Some colorful mushrooms. Don't try to eat them. Or a beautiful waterfall. Zoar Valley features one called "Skinnydip Falls." Don't ask.
But if you want a truly majestic view, you have to put in the effort. Pyramid Hill certainly lives up to its name as it might feel like you're climbing one of the pyramids. One-hundred-and-twenty feet up and quite steep in some places. But once you make it to the top, you'd better have your camera ready. The amazing view is the payoff.
"It's about the journey up the mountain. It's never easy but when you get to the top you're always rewarded with a spectacular view,” says Radomski.
Of course you eventually have to make it back down, but you head back with a sense of accomplishment and a sense of peace in these uneasy times.
"The sound of water trickling, it really puts me at ease,” Radomski says. “Takes the stress away and get a little bit of exercise in."