How-To-Wear-A-Brooks-Cycle-Backpack-1I’ve always loved being outdoors. I think it’s partly down to growing up in the English countryside: my bedroom window as a child looked out over a farm and the rolling hills of the Cotswolds beyond. My gran and I would take regular walks through the fields and down the country lanes; her poodle, Bruno, not far behind. Sometimes we would talk for hours on end and other times we would walk in comfortable silence. Now, as I sit at my desk writing this, I can close my eyes and feel as though I am right back there in those moments. Much like when I wrote about my experiences visiting Mexico for the first time over on Backpacks blog, The Journey. Having a reliable backpack was important all those years ago on our walks through the countryside, just as it was in Mexico, too. Given my love for hiking and bags, I was excited to team up with Backpacks to explore the countryside surrounding New York City. Click through after the jump to see the breathtaking vistas from my hike in Upstate, NY.

How-To-Wear-A-Brooks-Cycle-Backpack-2Perhaps it’s my love of fresh air and a day spent walking through the countryside that has made me long to visit the Pacific Northwest region of the USA. Or, maybe it’s just that their weather will remind me of the years I spent living in England?! Either way, I was super excited to head Upstate NY on this hike as it felt like a small scale version of what I imagine the PNW to be like.How-To-Wear-A-Brooks-Cycle-Backpack-3I had my Brooks Pickwick 12 Lt backpack with me as I set off towards the central lake in the forest. I thought I was going to be prepared for the vistas that greeted me. It turns out, I wasn’t. Wow! I don’t say this lightly when it look my breath away seeing this lake for the first time.How-To-Wear-A-Brooks-Cycle-Backpack-4I immediately reached into my bag to take out my camera – this was a view that I just had to capture. I loved how the light shimmered over the inky blue surface of the water, which contrasted beautifully against the rich green of the surrounding forest. Color inspiration aplenty, you guys!How-To-Wear-A-Brooks-Cycle-Backpack-5Everywhere I looked there was another incredible vista to take in. Even seeing my first snake in the wild (yikes!) couldn’t deter me from exploring further.How-To-Wear-A-Brooks-Cycle-Backpack-6Not only is the Brooks bag really comfortable to wear but it holds a surprising amount, too. It easily fitted my water bottle, magazine, sunglasses, laptop, camera, snacks and more. Plus, the great thing about Backpacks is that they have a bag for every journey, from mountain trails to Wall Street and everything in between!How-To-Wear-A-Brooks-Cycle-Backpack-7People often say that Manhattan can make you feel small but to me, I find that Manhattan itself feels small because it’s so compact. Standing on the edge of the mountain looking out over the lake and forest I felt much smaller than I ever do in the city. Having that wide open space to breathe felt so good.How-To-Wear-A-Brooks-Cycle-Backpack-8Just as it did to experience the sunset setting over the tops of the trees. The golden hour light felt warm and ethereal – I loved it. Do you like to hike? What are some of your favorite scenic places to hike and see?How-To-Wear-A-Brooks-Cycle-Backpack-9// Creative direction and styling by Will Taylor | Photography by Jean-Laurent Gaudy | Posted in partnership with Backpacks; all views my own


Will Taylor

Will lives in NYC and is an interior design author and content creator. He's been blogging about his love of design, style and travel since 2009. His #MakeYouSmileStyle approach to decorating and dressing has inspired over one million Instagram uploads to the hashtag from followers across the world.


  1. From age 5 to 11 I lived in the Finger Lakes region of upstate NY, so enjoyed reading your post. I’ve never been to the Catskills, but spent all the years since living in NY (mostly in Indiana) dreaming of the fascinating rock formations, gorges, waterfalls, pebbly beaches and more of my childhood. Don’t stop at the Catskills! Move west and find that each Finger Lake has its own fascinating history and geology. My dream vacation is to rent a houseboat and travel along the Erie Canal, stopping off at all the connected lakes. Can’t think of anything more rejuvenating.

    • @Susan – Thank you for the tips on where I should hike next! I’m excited to get back out there again. Love your idea of a dream vacation, too. I hope it becomes a reality for you soon! 🙂

  2. Jenna Falls Reply

    I always love it when you write about your relationship with your grandma! 🙂 these pictures are really beautiful too xo

  3. I need to tell my son about this site he loves hiking. I will share it with him.

  4. Martha's Makes Reply

    Wow!!!! This place is beautiful!! Thanks for sharing it with us, I can’t stop staring 🙂

    • @Martha – My pleasure! Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad you appreciated this amazing natural beauty as much as I did. I wanna go back!

  5. Keep going further upstate … Shelving Rock on the east side of Lake George is amazing (and once the fall colors appear, even more spectacular!).

  6. These pictures are stunning! Despite living in New York my entire life, and going upstate a few times for various things, I’ve never seen this beautiful aspect of the state. Can only imagine how gorgeous it is when the fall foliage comes in. I’m not much of an outdoorsy person but these pictures may have convinced me otherwise!

  7. Great photos! Can’t believe it when you said this natural beauty was in New York. Let’s see if I can visit it next fall with my boyfriend.

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Hey, I'm Will

Welcome to Bright.Bazaar, my make-you-smile style corner of the internet. I’ve been sharing my love of beautiful design, feel-good homes, everyday style, inspiring travel and, pretty much everything in between, since 2009. As well as working as a content creator, I write interior design books and edit a bi-weekly e-newsletter called Smile Mail. I live in New York City with my heartmate and can often be found listening to Madonna’s Confessions album and dreaming up my next home renovation project.