I live in northern California, and October is the perfect time of year for a hike: the summer heat has given way to cooler temperatures, but the winter rains haven’t yet made a muddy mess of the trails.
When most people think of hikes, they assume they need specialized hiking boots, a day pack and some sense of direction in the wilderness. Sure, there are plenty of those trails out there, but not every hike is as strenuous as the Inca Trail to Macchu Picchu.
The kind of hikes that I’m talking about are basically nature walks on local, unpaved paths. There are short, fairly flat trails that can accommodate kiddie hikers — or even kids riding in jogging strollers — and there are more challenging hikes that can leave even regular weekend warriors breathless and a little bit sore the next day.
Some pretty hikes in the Bay Area include the Sunol Regional Wilderness, Angel Island State Park (I ran to the top of the island as part of the Angel Island 12k race on August 28) and Muir Woods National Monument, a low-impact path through an old-growth coastal redwood forest. And while I don’t often make time for a hike when I’m traveling, I did have a chance to take a nice loop through Red Rocks on my last trip to Denver. The Trading Post Trail is fairly short and stays close to the main road, but seems much more isolated as you’re surrounded by birds, bunnies, deer and of course the red rocks and blue skies.
So if your weather permits, go take a hike. It’s a great way to get out of the house and enjoy fresh air and exercise.