Archive for the ‘California’ Category

Mt. Whitney Trip Report

Written by Jared Smith

First time Whitney Hiker and Trip Reporter here…so take it easy! ūüôā

My brother and I hit the trail at 5:30 am on Sunday the 24th. This was a first time for both of us so despite looking tired, we were really excited about this! We got a late start because of an evening of bear encounters ,but now we were ready to roll!

Read the rest of this entry »

North Shore Tour # 2

This will be the second and last of my California post (at least for a while). ¬†Once again I will just be sharing some brief thoughts on these places and how they compare with Kentucky trails. ¬†So during this post I will cover Annadel State Park # 2, Angel Island, and Mount Tamalpais State Park. ¬†As in the first Cali post I will add a link on each place so if you want to research more for trip planning or whatever you can do so. ¬†Let’s get started.

Annadel State Park

ANN Lk Ilsanjo pano3.jpg (no description)

Once again my brother and I embarked on a five mile trail run which led us to Lake Ilsanjo which is the body of water that you see in the picture above.  The trip to the lake was all up hill for about 2.5 miles which made it tough for running but the views offered as forest turned into grassland and as you reached higher elevations and could see most of Santa Rosa down below.  As far as wildlife goes, Turkey and Deer will be the most common but on occasion Jackrabbits and Rattlesnakes will make their presence known.  The lake makes for a perfect midpoint as it would be an excellent place to stop and eat or do a little fishing.  The return trip relied mostly on a fire road but never lost that trail feeling.  This part of the trip is all downhill and can be completed really quickly.  How does this area compare to Kentucky trails, well, it offers a lot of different trails which makes it comparable to areas like Daniel Boone National forest.

Angel Island State Park

The largest island in San Francisco Bay once used for military installations now is a haven for hikers, bikers, and boaters in the bay area.  This trail leads to the top of Mt. Livermore which provides amazing views of the city, Alcatraz, and Golden Gate Bridge.  The hike up started with a lot of stairs which can be tiring but soon turned into a peaceful, gradual climb that did not serve to be much of an obstacle in making your way to the top.  At the top they have picnic tables and benches in a marked off area that allows for time to rest as well as getting in some great pictures.   We returned the same way we came up to make it about a 4 mile hike,  not too bad allowing us to finish in a little over two hours making it back down in time to catch the ferry across the bay.  All in all it was a good trail, not my favorite of the trip but it did provide me with some great views and even better memories of the area.

Mount Tamalpais State Park

Mount Tamalpais

After seeing this mountain all week driving north and south on Highway 101 my curiosity eventually got the better of me. ¬†On my last day my brother and I took a little time to head to the top of this mountain. ¬†With an elevation of 2,571 feet it may not be the highest peak around but you will be hard pressed to find better views from the top. ¬†I was able to see Mt. St. Helena (which is 52.4 miles to the north) and Mt. Diablo (40+ miles away) to the south. ¬†All typical icons of the bay area can also be seen as long as the weather permits. ¬†It is a climb to the top at times crawling over open rock to keep with the trail and then at the top you will find dizzying heights as you look down to the bay area below. ¬†This one is not for everybody as I would list it as a difficult trail. ¬†Kentucky trails don’t match the elevation change as many places in Kentucky start from a much higher elevation above sea level.

As this is my last day in California I will return to posting about Kentucky trails as well as offering some guest authors to share their experiences and trails.  So I look forward to returning home and seeing you on the trails.  Happy Hiking.

North Shore Tour # 1

I realize that the site is titled Hike Kentucky and the following post is about California and some of the trails and places to see and hike out on the North Shore but since I was making the trip I figured there would be things that I would want to share with you.  This will be the first of 2 installments about my travels along the North Shore of California.

Annadel State Park

ANN Bmtn Pano3.jpg (no description)For the first time hitting the trails in Santa Rosa, California it was going to be my brother (Jared Smith) and myself doing a little trail running.  Annadel provided some beautiful scenery along with some tough climbs.  This trail covered rocky outcroppings, grassy open areas, dark forested areas made even darker by the moss hanging from the tree.  All in all we did about 4.5 miles which is a little lengthy for a trail run but the cool weather and wonderful scenery it was well worth the extra workout.  So it’s off to an excellent start for my California North Shore Tour.  The links provide more information on the parks listed.

Point Reyes National Seashore

Point Reyes Headlands © Robert CampbellWhat my family and I did during our trip to the seashore was a 1 mile hike out and back.  I know that it doesn’t seem very impressive but during that one mile we had a .4 mile walk uphill followed by 302 steps downhill to a lighthouse and a great view of the Pacific Ocean.  The 302 steps back uphill is enough to leave most people winded.  This was just the tip of the iceberg of what Point Reyes has to offer, there are enough hiking trails out here to keep the most dedicated hikers busy for weeks, unfortunately I had only a few hours.

Armstrong Redwoods State Nature Preserve

ArmstrongRdwdsSRimg029Park.jpg (no description)When one thinks of Northern California they immediately think of giant redwoods so large that you can drive through.  Well that’s not exactly what Armstrong offers but the Redwoods found here are very large including Parson Jones which stands 310 feet tall, diameter of 13.8 feet and has an approx. age of 1300 years.  This is the enchanted forest you see in movies.  The trail we took was easy walk through the enormous Redwoods,  it was a trail for all people to enjoy as I was joined by Eddie, Ruth, Jared, and Lauren Smith (my parents, brother, and sister in law).  A lot of trees had hollowed out points at the base that were large enough for several people to stand in and deep enough to be completely dark inside.  According to my brother (Jared Smith) these look like the entrance to Narnia so I did not venture to close:).   This park offers several miles of trails which hopefully I will be able to make a return trip before I leave, we’ll have to wait and see.

Join us on Facebook
Want to see more photos, join the hikes, and find out more about the hiking opportunities in Kentucky? Join us here Hike Kentucky on Facebook