Some friends and I went on a beautiful hike in Mt. Tam this weekend. Just a few miles over the Golden Gate Bridge and you’re immersed in nature, and on this particular hike, a heavy forest filled with Redwood trees.
Whenever we decide to go hiking in the Bay Area, one of the first things I do is pick up my trusty book, 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles, to decide on a park and a trailhead. This time we decided on a 5 mile loop that started across from The Mountain Home Inn.
We started down the steep Ocean View Trail and within the first mile we spotted an owl: a Spotted Owl. (See it on the branch up there?) And it was obviously used to hikers because it didn’t seem phased by us being only a few feet away.
We continued on towards Bootjack Trail and found ourselves at the back entrance of Muir Woods, so we took a detour and walked through—it had been a while since I’d been there. And as usual, it was super crowded with tourists.
We then followed the Troop 80 Trail back to Alice Eastwood Rd (a steep climb out, with lots of stairs) and finished our hike. With the little detour through Muir Woods it ended up being over 7 miles, and we definitely worked up an appetite. Fortunately, the hike ended back at the Mountain Home Inn where we had lunch on the back deck and enjoyed this gorgeous view.
Well, hello again. I just finished working at an on-site job downtown, so my days haven’t been as flexible as when I work from home. First thing I did after it ended? Call a friend for an early morning walk at Land’s End.
Hope you had a Happy New Year! It’s been a while since I posted here as I’ve been suffering a bit of computer burnout lately. But it’s time to get back into a routine.
After spending the holidays in Buffalo (where we endured a rainstorm, ice storm and snow storm in six days), I was reminded of how lucky I am to live in the Bay Area. Bad weather rarely dictates my life here, and I was able to get a few hikes in after coming back last week. We spent New Year’s Day at Tennessee Valley—which I’ve done dozens of times—but never with a huge coyote staring me down!
I have lots of getaways already lined up this year, and am looking forward to the adventure in each: tame or wild.
Some of the best things about San Francisco are the beautiful views. So when friends and family come to visit, the first thing I want to do is take them on a hike: it’s the best way to show off the Bay Area. Unfortunately, most people don’t want to pack sturdy sneakers, let along hiking shoes! So if sightseeing from the car (or double-decker bus) isn’t your thing, there are still some great trails you can hit that don’t require much technical gear.
The first is Lands End: an easy car (or bus) ride away. Just head west along Geary Blvd. towards the ocean, about as far as you can go and you’ll see the Lands End Lookout Visitor Center. Park here and find the trail above Sutro Baths. This is one of the most scenic hikes you’ll ever do—you’ll almost forget you’re still in the city. And aside from some sand, you won’t ruin your city shoes.
P.S.: Don’t miss the hidden trail which brings you to the labyrinth!
Another great place is the top of Mt. Tam, just over the Golden Gate Bridge. You’ll need to drive (or bike if you’re hard-core) up 101 north. Follow the signs to the mountain and keep going UP until you can’t go any further (you’ll know it when you reach the parking lot). Surprisingly, there is a very short and easy trail to get you to the very top of the mountain. It can be a bit rocky, but I did it in a pair of Tom’s and my boyfriend’s niece in a skirt and oxford sandals. Not ideal, but better than not doing it at all. And with amazing 360 degree views of the entire Bay Area (including San francsico) you’ll be happy you got out of the car.
As much as I love hiking, I never think to do it when I’m back in Western New York visiting my family. But on this trip I actually had someone to go with, so we decided to search out some nearby places based on my cousin’s recommendations. We ended up at Golden Hill State Park in the little town of Barker, NY (mainly because there’s a lighthouse). We weren’t at all prepared for a big hike, so this was a perfect stroll along Lake Ontario.
As soon as we got out of the car I remembered why I never hiked much growing up there: BUGS! Next time I’ll know to bring some spray as it was pretty relentless. But it was nice to get out and explore an old familiar area, in a new way.