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Sunday, June 8, 2014

A weekend in the parks

The all-to-common running injury (patella femoral syndrome - aka runner's knee) has reared its ugly head and been giving me fits this past week. So in honor of National Trails Day, and an attempt to stay active while recovering I went for a few easy, mostly level hikes.  Saturday consisted of three county parks in the Santa Cruz mountains in relative proximity of each other, beginning with Sam McDonald.  From here I would venture through a wide variety of terrain including redwood groves and grassy meadows to reach the Hiker's Hut.  Click on the link for rentals from the Sierra Club.  Most of the hike was on the Heritage Grove trail with a nice array of redwoods.

Next was a stroll through Memorial Park to hike the short 1.6-mile loop to the Mount Ellen summit.  Memorial is the complex headquarters and is a popular area for picnics, camping and recreating within the park where swimming areas are accessible in Pescadero Creek.  Parking at the Hoffman Flat trailhead provided access to Pescadero Park, the areas largest at 5,700 acres.  I walked along the Old Haul road and may have found my new destination for summer long runs!

On Sunday I was in the East bay and made a side trip to Redwood Regional Park for an easy trek on the Stream Trail from one end of the park to the other.  This area is rich with history, from logging in the 1800s to the rehabilitation efforts of the rainbow trout.

Towne Road Trail - Sam McDonald Park

Old Haul Road - Pescadero Park

A few very tall redwoods in the upper heritage grove


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