"All good things are wild and free." --Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

2 Upcoming Hikes: San Bruno Mountain and Pescadero Marsh

Despite a hiatus from the group walks through Hill Babies, I'm looking forward to the next two: Saddle Loop Trail on San Bruno Mountain, and Sequoia Audobon Trail at the Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve. Both of these hikes are about 2-3 miles, flat, and in beautiful settings--the first on a mountain, and the second by the sea. Come with babies, kids, friends, family of any age, or just yourself. I go at a pace that a two-year-old or three-year-old could manage; you are welcome to go as fast or slow as you like. It's just nice to walk together. All hikes have the same timeframe:

  • Meet between 9:30-9:45 am
  • Walk starts at 10
  • Picnic lunch at 11:30 or 12 (or whenever you want).
  • Return to starting point afterwards 

Sunday February 17th, 2013--San Bruno Mountain's Saddle Loop Trail

One view from the Saddle Loop Trail
San Bruno Mountain, just south of San Francisco, is one of my favorite places to walk close to home. The Saddle Loop Trail is wide, flat, and has amazing views of the city, the bay, Oakland and points east, Mount Diablo, Mount Tam, and the Pacific Ocean. The trail is 2.7 miles, but there is a shortcut back to the parking area should you get tired.

Some special critters to keep an eye out for include butterflies (it might be a little early in the season) and raptors (kestrels, hawks, Great Horned Owls, and many more). We'd be so lucky to find a fox, coyote, or even a garter snake, all residents.

Parking at the lot costs $5 per car, which supports San Mateo County Parks. At the starting point are bathrooms, picnic tables, and water fountains.  Parking is secure.

Meet at the San Bruno Mountain Picnic Area off of Guadalupe Canyon Parkway (by the bathrooms), between 9:30-9:45. 

To access Guadalupe Canyon Parkway from 101 or 280, simply google it. The parking lot is on the north side of the road, with easy-to-see signs, and you will need to pay $5 at the self-pay station there since it is a county park. 

Bring your bag lunch and water bottles, and maybe a sheet or blanket to sit on as we will eat on the ground at a place where there is a view.

Strollers are welcome, but I don't recommend those with small wheels as the path is gravelly.

For more info on San Bruno Mountain and/or the Saddle Loop Trail, you can visit:
--the Hill Babies entry about it from 2010
--Bay Area Hiker article
--San Bruno Mountain Watch
--Bay Nature piece on Saddle Loop

I look forward to walking with you and yours! :-)

Cheers, Jessica

PS If you have questions please email me: jericahahn@hotmail.com

"San Bruno Mountain Picnic Area" Map--click on map to get directions from wherever you are coming from, or Google "San Bruno Mountain Picnic Area." You can see the parking lot in the map, below.

View Larger Map


Sunday March 3rd, 2013--Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve's Sequoia Audubon Trail 

Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve
This wonderful hike is a 40 mile drive south of San Francisco, so if you can carpool, please do. It is an incredible place that you won't want to miss, and there is a good chance that wildflowers will be blooming in March (though your chances will be even better in a month or two). No matter what month, there is so much wildlife here at the junction of preserved marshland and ocean--countless birds, turtles, fish, snakes, wood rats, deer, and more.

The walk is flat, 2 miles long, and completely enjoyable. However, do not bring a stroller as stretches are sandy and impassable even with the most rugged stroller (sorry!). Dogs are also not allowed.

Meet between 9:30-9:45 am. Travel south on Highway 1 for approximately 40 miles from San Francisco. Once you cross the bridge over Pescadero Creek, take an immediate right into the first parking lot for Pescadero State Beach. Meet at the sign in the lot that says, "Marsh Hikes Meet Here."

 As a group we will walk to the north side of the bridge on the pedestrian walkway, and take the sandy trail under the bridge, continuing a short way up the bank of the creek to where there is a sign reading "Sequoia Audubon Trail."

Bring lunch and water bottles. There is a bathroom at the parking lot, but no running water. We'll either have lunch at Turtle Pond, or along sandier banks of Pescadero Creek. Maybe bring a sheet or picnic blanket if you don't want to get sandy.

Pescadero State Beach parking lot is just over the bridge in the map below. Park in the first lot to the right once you cross the bridge over Pescadero Creek. 
Meet by this sign
in the first parking lot

View Larger Map

For more info on Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve, please see:
--Hill Babies article about it (coming by February 8th)
--Coastside State Parks Association 
--Bay Area Hiker article
--Weekend Sherpa article

I look forward to being in the sun and sand on this early spring day with you and yours. Please email me (jericahahn@hotmail.com) if you need help with carpooling, or more information.


P.S. If you have never visited the town of Pescadero, consider going before or after our hike to Duarte's Tavern. Kid's pancakes are $2.50, and if you go for lunch, try their artichoke soup and ollalieberry pie, neither to be missed. Also, on the way back to San Francisco, check out the general store in San Gregorio, a little north of here.