I’m not a runner. When I hang out with my friends that trail run, I am almost always pinning it while they are effortlessly chatting and I can barely hear them over my heavy gasping. When I hike, I love going up steep sections and really just enjoy the scenery and feel my body react to the ups and downs of the trail. For me, it’s a nice break from riding my bike even though I sometimes think of the lines I’d take if I were cycling, especially in a particularly rooty section. I guess I see being on foot as a way to go slow, so I’ve never pushed myself to go beyond that.
However, we just moved near a trail network and I’ve been hiking at least once a week, maybe twice since daylight savings sprung forward.
It doesn’t hurt that the trails are majestic and well maintained.
Mostly dense redwood canopy, these trails boast some second growth redwoods, madrones, oaks and plenty of moss, mushrooms and irises.
Yes. The flower went out of focus, but what you will see is poison oak.. which I realized I was almost touching while getting this shot..
The trails here are short in mileage, but intense in grade. In a 2.4 mile stretch, you can ascend over 800 feet. A recent hike of 4.5 miles, my ascent was 1500 feet of elevation gain, which took me almost 50 minutes. Recent storms made for some good rainfall which filled the creeks to capacity. It was timely, however, as my endurance increased just as I was able to clear a creek crossing, so now I have to try to go farther into the trail.
This is a rather steep pitch after a switchback that eventually leads to Big Ben. I tend to walk this section so I can conserve energy.
It tends to be a bit chilly in the early morning but inevitably, you warm up. The creeks and canopy keep everything cooler in here. In winter, it can be a chilly 40-degrees, so it pays to layer up and wear gloves. For me, I’m usually clamoring over felled trees with my hands, so to have better grip, I sometimes wear mountain biking gloves.
Morning stair climb..
Early sunrise run.
I hope you get a chance to visit these trails since they are beautiful. The trail markings are not always clear and connecting trails aren’t marked at every crossing so take a snap of the system at the trailhead if you can ahead of time, especially if you’re new to the area. Today I made my first ever running loop! Intense! 6 miles and about 1450 feet of elevation gain.
There was a little creek crossing I didn’t clear so my shoes were sloshing about the last mile or two. Otherwise, it was a beautiful run/hike.