I love that if I want to hike, almost any day of the week all I need to do is get dressed and drive 20 minutes to some great wilderness parks or nature walks. My local favorite is the Claremont Wilderness Park. They have a five mile loop that is a fire road and perfect for just about any level of hiking. You'll see big families with people of all ages, trail runners, mountain bikers, people on horseback, and people in training for larger hikes all on the same day.
The boy and I went this week for the first time since he had surgery. It is part of our plan for preparing for the six pack of peaks we want to do this summer, which I talked a little about here. It has a decent elevation gain and because it is so close to us and doesn't require a lot of preparation (it's well maintained and well traveled, we don't need our full packs for this one) it is the perfect place to prepare during the week for the larger and more challenging trails we want to hit on the weekends.
We took it easy this time and I was very grateful for the foggy clouds we walked through. In the summer the sun beats down on this loop and makes it a little more challenging due simply because of the sun and the heat. It is a great place to see deer if you keep an eye out below the trail, especially in the oaks.
It is a highly populated trail. You will see plenty of other people while on it and there are benches, trash cans, and even some port-a-potties throughout the loop. At right around the halfway point there are some covered benches where you have the best view of the valley below.
The day we went, there was a cute couple sitting there and I really didn't want to disturb them by taking a bunch of pictures so this was the best I could get.
For us, this is the perfect afternoon hike. When we can't make a full day of hitting the trail but want to be outdoors, see great views, and get a good workout: this is the spot to go. While most of the views are of the suburbia below, there are some parts of this trail where you get great views of the rolling hills or are surrounded by big old oaks and it is just gorgeous.
What are your favorite light hikes or nature trails?