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coping skills,  Self-care,  therapy

NorCal and Bay Area Hikes

I went through a phase: Hiking in NorCal / Bay Area state and county parks every weekend of September.

Happy October! We’ve moved on to the next month. September was quite an adventure, figuratively speaking and in a literal sense. Just imagine hiking 5-10 miles in forest groves, with towering redwood trees and a steady stream that follows the trail; this is what my September weekends entailed- morning hikes in state and county parks all by myself, and sometimes with my husky-bulldog.

You may think I’ve completely digressed from the topic of therapy and self-care, but hiking is definitely relevant as it promotes physical and mental wellness. With hiking, you get the benefit of exercise and enjoying nature. You get to be away from the noisy, fast-pace city life. You get a chance to practice mindfulness in the woods. And if you’re like me (a person who prefers hiking alone), you get some peace, silence, and solitude. Although, I wish these hikes were not as traffic during weekends.

Here are the hikes/ trails I’ve visited in September:

1) Point lobos – 1 mile

I drove 1.5 hours away from home to find a lovely coastal trail. The hike was short and sweet, so before I left I just marveled at the tide pools. This was when I decided I need a strenuous, more lengthy hike.

2) Big Basin, Berry Creek Falls – 11 miles

THIS was what I needed. Berry Creek Falls is a moderate to strenuous level hike that can last up to 5 hours. You get a chance to go deep into the woods until you can only hear the wind in the trees. Mind you- in other parks I’ve been to, I still was able to hear the cars speeding down the highway and chatty people from behind. Being “lost” in the woods gave me peace and solitude. The falls were a bit dried out, but it was still worth seeing. Just imagine coming here after a heavy rainstorm.

Also the banana slugs were cute.

3) Mount Tamalpais, Cataract Falls Trail – 8 miles

I always bring Meeko, my husky-bulldog to this one. This wasn’t the first time I hiked this. I love the little falls, lagoons, and the cute little bridge that crosses the stream. At the end of the hike, you get to see a small lake.

4) Quicksilver Lake – 5 miles

This wasn’t quite a hike to me, but it was still worth it. I brought Meeko and I loved watching him marvel at wildlife. Midway, I got to see one of our lame “lakes!” (It’s actually a lake reservoir).

5) Mount Tamalpais, Dipsea and Ravine Trail – 6 miles

This hike was so colorful and scenic. I started off from the beach then traversed the forest. Going up the stairs was pretty strenuous but I made it up. Midway, I was up on the mountain’s meadow. It was a gorgeous view- the golden meadows contrasting starkly against the ocean.

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Have you ever hiked any of these trails? I still have county and state parks yet to visit. If you have any recommendations, please comment below!

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” -Martin Luther King Jr.

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Psychotherapist and Associate Clinical Social Worker; emphasis on Families and children, and k-8 school systems. I love Jesus, my husky-bull, my reptile babies, hiking, and making music! In an ever so changing world, I hope to help you help yourself find some peace!

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