Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Recent Kid-Friendly Hiking Adventures in the South Bay

The kid is enjoying longer and more difficult hikes (for the most part – I would lie if I said there was never any complaining, but it’s rare…), which has been awesome. Hiking, especially hikes with some steep parts, is definitely my favorite way to get those daily steps!

On Labor Day, we did a 9-mile hike in Henry Coe Park in Morgan Hill. It’s quite a drive to get to the parking lot as the winding road leads you 10 miles up the mountain. The trail we followed was beautiful, but there wasn’t a lot of shade and it was quite steep at times. Since it was 90+ degrees on the day of our hike, it was not the ideal hike to do on that day. Plus, we didn’t bring enough water – a big no no.

Here are some photos from the hike:

A few months ago, we hiked in Castle Rock State Park in Los Gatos. It’s a beautiful hike with plenty of opportunities to climb on some rocks, which the kids loved. The longer hikes there are great for kids 6 and older.

Rancho San Antonio in Los Altos is a favorite with the locals and parking can be a challenge. Deer Hollow Farm – a working farm with chickens, pigs, goats, sheep, a cow, plenty of herbs and vegetables, and more –  is about one mile from the parking lot and many families walk there on the weekends. If you are lucky, you may even be able to buy some farm-fresh eggs from truly happy chickens (they run out quickly though). There are many trails to choose from throughout the park, and you can do anything from a leisurely walk to the farm to more challenging trails, including the - at times - quite steep 8-mile PG&E trail.

Some hiking dos:
  • Bring enough water – you’ll probably need more than you think! We learned that the hard way last week!
  • On hiking days, make sure you are well hydrated, even before you start your hike
  • Wear hiking shoes that provide stability – since I have a weak/previously injured ankle, this is an absolute must for me
  • Bring sunblock and a hat
  • Pay attention to your surroundings – this past weekend, a 6-year-old boy was attacked by a mountain lion in the Santa Cruz mountains – read the warning signs at the trail head and know what to do when encountering mountain lions, snakes, etc.
Questions: Do you like to hike? Do you have a hiking bucket list? For now, I just want to explore more of the awesome trails in our immediate area, but I also would like to explore the Pinnacles sometime soon.

Be well,