On Sunday June 7, we took it light. I was still feeling tender from the bike fall, so we just went down to the Bay Trail and walked along the bay. We walked about two miles total, it was a simple walk down the mixed use path. It was windy! I didn't bring my camera, so no photos. The Bay trail is paved and goes for miles - I know a lot of bike commuters that use it to go between the city and the south bay. I enjoy how close and uncomplicated it is. It's great for walking to clear the mind, as it requires very little concentration.
Sunday June 14 I decided to hike at Mills Canyon Nature Area. My decision was based on needing it to be close to home and fairly quick, as I slept in a bit and had plans Sunday afternoon. The parking is free, it's on a residential street. It's a mix of shade and exposed. It's not a difficult hike physically, but some of the trail requires full concentration on the footwork. Some of the stairs are very narrow tread (too small for my foot to rest on) and are weathering out, making it a bit odd to walk down. The trail is quiet - I only encountered one other person during the thirty minutes I was out.
The hike: There are some really beautiful bits. I turned a corner and found these gorgeous rocks. I can see why the local community would be attracted to this park as a quick place to get to for a lunch or chat. But - as Bay Area Hiker noticed - they are leaving their trash behind. I came across sandwhich wrappers, plastic bags, cigarette packs, cigarette butts, water bottles, etc. Very disappointing. People! if you pack it in, pack it out! (the good news - it usually weighs less on the way out!)
Seriously, some of the walk is so scenic. This view with the gently curving trail, the stairs, and the view of the creek - I couldn't help but think I'd turn the corner to find a couple of massage therapists and tables there.
The creek is low, but I adore walking by water.
The path follows the creek, with delicate bridges and plenty of stairs. Most of the stairs are boards set into the dirt trail. There seems to be no consistency on their construction. Like I said - gotta keep your eyes open on this one.
Banana slug! I heard a few scrub jays, saw a rabbit, and a squirrel.
The view up part of the trail. Instead of stairs - the tree roots are the stairs.
I'm really glad I read through the Bay Area Hiker blog on this one - there is a lot of other trails on the loop that break off. Her advice was perfect: stay to the left! The trail markings are very clear at some junctions, and less clear in others.
Once the trail leaves the creek, it goes up up up quickly to a grassy hill.
It's a short trail, but it did get my heart rate up and get a little sweat going. The views from the hillside are great.
There's plenty of gorgeous homes up there.
There's a good amount of wildflowers, and I was interested to see blackberry flowers just beginning to bloom. Sunnier trails have berries on them, but the heavy shade and fog has slowed their pace.
Another charming part about the trail is the signs through the walk that have the plant identified on it. I appreciate that sign #1, at the start of the trail is identifying Poison Oak. ;) Well thought out!
Just before the end of the trail, there's a great place to sit.
It's a quick and easy way to feel a bit of connection with nature. The big minus for this park is the rubbish. The loop trail measures in at 1.07 miles, and with loads of photo stops, it's easily done in about a half hour.
Overall, two boots.