Sunset at Haleakala Crater—January 2005 © David Brotsky



BBQ/Boating/Hiking/Beach, Bonfire & DIY Camping*


Sunday August 10 2014

 at Wawayanda State Park , near Upper Greenwood Lake, NJ


EARLY BIRD DEADLINE                 Midnight Thursday, July 31





Main Event Page   Directions     Pictures



The park we are going to is Wawayanda State Park, in Northern NJ, near the border with NY. Its about a 75 minute drive from Manhattan.


The park has a beautiful lake which is long and has several islands in it to explore. It’s a very special place, as you can see from the pix below—I visited several other parks before choosing this one, which has a large number of potential activities we can do. All of these pix are within a 10 minute walk of each other, in fact!



The park has the following possible activities, all of which are within walking distance of the picnic/BBQ area we will be at:


Hiking – 3 levels of hikes—

i) Strenuous/Advanced—7—8 miles, 6+ hours, 1200 ft of elevation

ii) Moderate 5—6 miles, 4+ hours

Iii) Short ( 2.5 mile to a nice pond—90 minutes) hike that anyone can do. 


We have kids on the short hike and one year we saw a BEAR!


Boating/Fishing – Canoes, row boats, electric motor boats & a very limited number of kayaks/double kayaks. The lake is stocked with Salmon. You do need to purchase a fishing license in advance. You can do so on this state website. Just make sure to bring your fishing gear and any bait you want to have. They do sell worms at the boathouse, if that suffices for your needs.


Paved roads for Rollerblading trails + Mountain Biking areas ( if you bring your own gear!)


Volleyball/Frisbee/Kites/radio controlled airplanes – anyone have a good volleyball set they can bring?


Playground with equipment – for young children


Beach – for relaxing, with a lifeguard for swimmers


BBQ/Picnic areas




Here is how things will work – this is a little complicated, so please read carefully, and help us


Leave by 7:30 AM/8 am


You will need to leave no later than 8 am from Manhattan & NJ ( 7:30 AM from Brooklyn, Queens and LI) and get to the park NO LATER THAN 9:30 AM. The park has already closed its doors to cars on busy summer days by 10:00 am this summer, so if you are late, you might not be able to get in until as late as 3:30!… Last year some people missed out because the park closed. We will be in the park till about 6:00pm, which means you should get back after 8pm, though people may leave earlier.


4:00 PM—6:00 PM BBQ

 If you want, you can also come just for the afternoon session/BBQ - be advised that you will unable to enter the park before 2:00 to 3:30, depending on how crowded it is that day...there will be no rides or vans organized for this option. Call the park office after 1PM to see when you can get in or just show up at 3:30, which is when they should certainly re-open from past experience. The park office’s number is (973) 853-4462. They sometimes


Bonfire—6:00 PM—???


Join us for a lovely Bonfire right near the lake, in our camping area—we hope to have music, stories, etc. Stay as short or long as you like...


Limited rides – minivan solution

Because of the large numbers I expect for this event, rides will be limited and may not satisfy the demand. Also, buses are not allowed into the park. If there is enough interest, we will  organize people into 15 passenger vans, hopefully from a few areas. The ride will cost about $25 to $35 per person, for gas and the rental. If you are willing to be a driver of one of the rental vehicles, you will also get a reduced rate to the event. We might send a list of drivers with phone numbers out in advance, but if you need a ride, assume you will have to go in one of the vans.


For those who do manage to get a ride, pay the driver $15 when you enter the car. They are doing you a favor, so please have the money available in cash.


Organized activities vs optional activities


There are some activities we will organize, others that you can do on your own with your own rentals or equipment, and then join us at the BBQ


We will help organize folks into the following activities—please indicate your choices on the  RSVP form


Long and short hike

Boating – canoes and very limited supply of kayaks ( ie 4 regular kayaks)

Volleyball/Frisbee/Kites ( anyone have any nice kites to bring?)

BBQ, Bonfire


All of these activities leave from the same area, right next to the boating area.




Helping Out -

 As at all of my events, we ask everyone to assist with things at the event. We are all in this together, so help when asked, volunteer to do things, clean up after yourself since we are not your maids, and things will go much quicker and smoother for everyone. Thanks in advance!



There will be two or 3 hikes depending on interest – all but the short PM hike will leave in the morning around 10 am. We ran hikes at both times last year.



We are still determining the length of this hike, but it will be 7 to 8 miles in length and may  be partly along the Appalachian Trail or the nearby Bearfort Ridge. This is a level 7 hike, with 10 being a very hard hike. Its for intermediate and experienced hikers only.


Intermediate Hike

Based on interest, we might offer an intermediate hike, 5—6 miles in length, 4+ hours. If you can help lead the hike then let us know!



This is a 2.5 mile easy hike, to a nearby pond, and some very pretty trees – possibly one of the few virgin hemlock tree pockets in this area of NJ. It has minimal elevation, and is suitable for all ages, including young children. Its more like a nature walk…we might have this hike occur more than once – let us know your preference below. We have had families with young kids ( even infants) do this hike and they were fine and enjoyed the hike.



Because of the limited supply of boats, we will organize 2 or 3 groups for 90 minutes each on the lake, leaving at 10:30, 12:30 and 2:30 PM.


DIY Camping Option—For those wishing to camp, there are limited spaces  for camping and you must have your own transportation and bring your own food and gear. We will put all the campers in touch to coordinate some of the details and there is a $15 per person fee - you must prepay for this on the RSVP form, either by paypal or check and spaces are limited!


Fruit Picking Option—Depending on interest and available transport, we will have a group go fruit picking from 1:30—3:30 PM at nearby Ochs Orchard, ( 5 miles away at 4 Ochs Lane Warwick, NY). They should have peaches available then, and might still have nectarines, plums, blueberries and raspberries in limited quantities. There is no additional charge for this option—you just pay for what you pick.




We will also be camping nearby, a 5 minute walk away from the BBQ area, in a location where you can drive your car to for dropping off your gear. The BBQ will begin at 4:00 PM. The bonfire will start at 6:00 with singing, stories and musical accompaniment. Let me know if you can bring an instrument! We will have plenty of food, for vegetarians, fruitarians (ever have grilled bananas? They are a house specialty), and omnivores. Let us know on the RSVP Form  if you have a special diet. 


All of the food at the event is from reputable hechshers. The BBQ is being catered by  Executive Caterers, under the Vaad of Flatbush.


For camping, we will first pack up the BBQ stuff and then head over to the camping area, a 5 minute walk from the BBQ area. Those camping will be able to drive over to the area and start setting up tents around 6:30, and we hope to have the bonfire starting around 6:00 PM for those who want to stay around. On Monday, we  intend to do a hike and/or boating in the area.





The following are optional activities which you can do on your own

Swimming at the Beach

Fishing (with a permit—see above for details of how to get a permit).

Biking/Rollerblading/Mountain Biking (bring your own equipment—they do not rent these in the park)

Boating – any boats other than canoes or limited numbers of kayaks


If you want to swim, fish, bike/rollerblade, you will need to bring your own gear for this. You can also rent your own boats if you don’t want a canoe, such as paddle boats, electric motor boats and row boats.  The prices are below for these optional boats, but its first come, first served at the boathouse.


What do I need to bring?


Everyone - hat, suntan lotion, comfortable shoes, lunch


Long & Moderate Hikers – same as All plus 3 liters water, bug spray, backpack or bag for your lunch and stuff

Short Hikers – same as All, plus 1 liter water, backpack or bag for your lunch and stuff

Boating - hat, suntan lotion,  1 liter water, and clothes and shoes that are ok getting wet, eyeglass retainer/cord to hold on glasses

Bonfire - If anyone has musical instruments, please bring them and let me know - they add a nice touch to the bonfire!
Camping—for those who are interested, we may have a bring your own option to camp out after the Bonfire, at a low cost - it will be for those who bring their own supplies ( including food!), tents, etc—let us know on the form your interest in this option. If offered, the staff for the event will not be around and will leave at the end of the bonfire, so you will be on your own!


Directions - see my detailed instructions here. Please do not use GPS exclusively – it will get you only close to the park and not to the right place within the park, so print and follow along on the directions. Please note that there is a $10 per car entrance fee for the park, which is included in the ride fee when you offer to take 3 passengers or the van fee.


Leaving Times

Manhattan, Northern & Central NJ – 8:00 AM

Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island – 7:30 AM

Teaneck, Monsey – 8:15 AM




In order to complete your reservation, you must pay for the event in advance either  via check (postmarked by the deadline) or via paypal by the deadline at the top of this page. Failure to pay may result in your being unable to attend the event.




You may pay in one of two ways, via check or via paypal.


Via Check:


please send the full payment, made out to “Davetrek LLC”, and mail it to:


Davetrek LLC

c/o Sharon Zavodnick

325 North 3rd Avenue

Highland Park, NJ 08904


In order to complete your registration, you need to have your payment postmarked no later than Wednesday, 8/6/14.  Failure to do so may mean you will not be able to attend the event.


Via Paypal



When you complete the  RSVP form selecting your activities, you will be directed to a paypal page and will be asked to log in and pay at PayPal’s site. Once  you complete the RSVP form and pay via paypal, you will be considered fully registered.



The balance of any monies you owe is due at the event. Please bring cash or checks (preferable)  made out to “David Brotsky”. When you arrive you will need to go through registration complete any payments for the event.


Extravaganza includes the BBQ + Bonfire (Dinner – 4:00 to 6:00 PM), Hike, Volleyball/Frisbee)


Extravaganza with canoe/kayak – any other boats are items that you can rent on your own at the park, on a first come, first served basis. Kayaks are limited ( we may have as few as 2 per session), so indicated below if you want a kayak and won’t boat if you don’t get one.


If you are a family who wants to go boating, please email me for a custom price – it depends on what you rent and how many kids are in your party.


DIY Camping Option—For those wishing to camp, there are limited spaces  for camping and you must have your own transportation and bring your own food and gear. We will put all the campers in touch to coordinate some of the details and there is a $15 per person fee - you must prepay for this on the RSVP form, either by paypal or check and spaces are limited!



Time of registration – calculated from when we receive your reservation on the RSVP Form.


You may cancel until Monday 7/28. Afterwards, you may either substitute a friend for your spot, upon our approval, or receive a credit for a future event. NO cancellations after Monday 7/28.


Price Per Person


Early Bird Pricing - Valid until Thursday  7/31/14

Standard Pricing - Valid until WEDNESDAY 8/6/14



Because of the variety of events, I anticipate that this will be one of my largest events of the year.


As such, several people are already helping me with this event. If you would like to help out and get $20 off, we might have spots for a few more folks for help the day of, so let me know via the RSVP Form if you want to help out, and we will contact those folks we need for any extra help. We also need some help from folks to buy and transport some of the food, chiefly drinks since we will have more than a car load full just of drinks when we are done, so let us know if you can help with that in the questionnaire.


Here are some answers to common questions.



Kids as young as 3 can do the nature walk, and younger children can start the walk and then go back with their parents when it gets a little harder. There is also a children’s playground right next to the beach.




 I supply stuff for vegetarians and meat eaters – we grill vegetables, fruits, hamburger, hot dogs and some chicken and minute steaks (limited quantities), plus have salads, chips and salsa, etc – you won't go home hungry I suspect…For those camping out, we will have breakfast and pack lunches that you will make yourself.







Yes, we always have plenty for the vegetarians, such as vegetarian hot dogs, hamburgers, grilled vegetables like portobello mushrooms and even grilled fruits such as bananas, apples, etc. all prepared on pareve grills,




We buy all of the items with the standard recognized hechsers such as OU, OK, etc. All of the meat/chicken is purchased from local kosher markets such as Brachs in Queens, Glatt Mart, Costco, which now carries OU certified meats in many locations and other similar establishments. The BBQ is being catered by executive caterers under the Vaad of Flatbush. All other equipment used are my personal items or equipment that we use only for these types of events.



Camping and Hiking – On Sunday Night , we will be camping near the area where we are BBQ’ing, but you will need to drive there after the BBQ. We will do some hike in the area the next day. For those camping, we will be providing a light breakfast and a pack lunch of sandwiches that you will make yourself.



 At the BBQ site there is a normal bathroom with running water. At the camping site, a 5 minute walk away, there is a bathroom, but no showers – the bathrooms are what I call 'hi tech backcountry toilets' – they are clean, they have a seat like any toilet you are used to, and reasonably pleasant - they don't have running water, so we supply handwipes/purell…camping is limited to 25 people on Saturday Night and 40 people on Sunday night.








Rate Category

PM Arrival/ BBQ & Bonfire only (come as of 2pm or later)

 Sunday All Day  Hiking/Beach/BBQ/Bonfire      Base Price

Canoe/Hike/Beach/ BBQ/ Bonfire 2 to 4 per boat (kids only for 4 in a boat)

Kayak/Hike/Beach/ BBQ/ Bonfire

Adult (13 and above)

$31 - early bird rate

$39 - base price early bird

$65- early bird

$80 - early bird





$39 - standard rate

$49- base price -  standard

$75 - standard

$85 - standard

child (5 to 12)

$20 - early bird rate

$20 - early bird

$35 - early bird

N/A children must be 13 or older in order to kayak - there are no double kayaks





$25 - standard rate

$25 - standard

$40 - standard


Child (under 5)



N/A - children must 5 or older for canoes