Thursday, March 1, 2012

My Favorite Northern California Hikes

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I love the outdoors. I try to hike in the areas surrounding each of my assignments. My past two assignments in different parts of northern California have provided excellent places to enjoy nature. Because some of you may share that same love of paths trod and untrodden, here are a list of my favorite hikes in northern Cal.

Marin County
Point Reyes National Seashore has two GREAT trails I would recommend:

(approx. 21 km / 13 mi.)

This trail includes beautiful forest

and spectacular coastal hiking.

This is a hike with about 5 different microclimates and terrains. Just lovely! This is one hike where you want to make sure your camelbaks are full!


This is one beautiful hike within Point Reyes National Seashore, south of the Woodward Valley Loop. You spend a lot of time on the cliffs above the Ocean, and at the end, you can climb down the cliffs to the beach. I have to admit, by the time my friend, Rob, and I did this hike, the holds had worn down and it was very sandy and steep. Rob, who's 6'2", made it to the beach, and I didn't. I couldn't muster the courage to potentially fall and injure myself.

I have a great memory of standing in a grove of trees and breathing in eucalyptus. Hhhhmmmmmmm. Yes. Nice memory.

 Napa County


I did this hike with my friend, Lew, on a misty day, and it was gorgeous from the highest point. This hike requires some reaching up and climbing over large round rocks. Best to carry a trekking pole!  There are some steep sections. There are not a lot of places to stop and have a picnic, except for one..right at the top with a view of the Lake around which passing cars look as tiny as ants!

 Sonoma County


This park is built on the former private land of author and adventurer Jack London (who write Call of the Wild).  You can visit many different things on the grounds of this property, including Wolf House remains (a huge house he built in 1913 that burned down just before they moved into it), the House of Happy Walls (built by his wife Charmiane London), trails, barns, a manure pit, and an unusual pig central feeding house designed by London.


Such a lovely walk for an easy outdoor day. The trails are covered with blackberry bushes. One of my favorite memories of Sonoma County was spending a Sunday afternoon with one of my best friends from high school who lives in the Bay Area - we met up with a picnic and spent the afternoon picking berries and talking about old times.

Isn't it great how friends can transport us to another place and time!?

Mendocino County


I absolutely love this park. It's not really a long hike, but the perfect place to take a Sunday picnic. Right up to the water.

It has five wave-cut terraces that you walk down onto the beach. There's a pygmy forest there with knee-high trees that are decades old. Pretty cool and unusual!

Get out there.....explore!!

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