Hiking Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve (California)

Hiking Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve (California)

Now if that isn’t a mouthful, I don’t know what is.

The final hike while in California was the Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve.  After exploring the Marin Headlands the day before, we wanted a change of scenery and decided to go south. The Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve is located on the western slopes of the Santa Cruz Mountains.  Parts of the trail overlook Half Moon Bay.

I was excited to get a glimpse of the Redwood trees as I had never seen any in person. Now,  coast redwoods are only found along the coast from Oregon to Monterey.  The coast redwoods are the tallest trees in the world and can grow up to 360 feet tall. The oldest known age of a redwood is 2,200 years, but the average is 500 to 1,000 year old.

We decided to do the Purisima Creek Trail.  It was once an old logging road.  It can get steep, and some of the grade was about 15%.  The views are worth it, and it was one of my favorite hikes of the trip. We ended up hiking about 6 miles or so.

At first, I thought this was a banana pepper LOL. 

The Purisima Creek Trail

The Purisima Creek Trail

The Redwood Trees, themselves, did not disappoint. They were huge!

me hugging redwood tree

So many gorgeous views.

The Purisima Creek Trail

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Behind me…that is nature

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Hiking through California was a lot of fun. Even though it was the shortest, my favorite was the Anderson County Park, but I enjoyed each of them. Each was different and unique.

Anderson Park was a surprising and beautiful dam. I’ve never hiked a Volcano until Calavera Hills. Marin Headlands had beautiful views on the entire route. The Los Robles Trail was fun to get out of traffic for a while and of course, seeing my first Redwoods at the Purisma Trail was wonderful too. I hope to be back to California again and check out some more different hikes.

You Can See All Hikes Here.

California Hikes from the Trip:
Hiking Marin Headlands (San Francisco)
Hiking Calavera Hills Community Park
Mini Trip to Los Angeles
Hiking Anderson Lake County Park
Los Robles Trail

Questions for you:
Have you ever seen Redwoods? 
What is a fun spot to hike near you? 

Hiking Los Robles Trail and Open Space

Hiking Los Robles Trail and Open Space

It feels like this was forever ago.  While in California, we hiked five different locations between 2-9 miles.  Nothing was overly strenuous but each was fun and challenging in its own way.

Los Robles Trail and Open Space is located at the southern portion of the Conejo Open Space.  It’s located near the highway, and you would never guess there are over 200 acres in the park.

We were traveling north from Carlsbad to San Francisco and wanted to get out and stretch your legs.  When I googled short hikes, I found the Los Robles Trail and Open Space. One commenter wrote: “perfect for when you’re stuck in traffic and want to get out of the car for a short walk.”

What I didn’t realize until later was the trail’s historical significance!  On Feb. 28, 1776, Juan Bautiste de Anza and nearly 200 settlers came through the Conejo Valley on a similar trail while traveling from Mexico to San Francisco.

While we were out, we saw several other hikers as well as plenty of mountain bikers too. Hiking Los Robles Trail CA

The Open Space

Hiking Los Robles Trail CA

Lots of mountain bike trails too

Hiking Los Robles Trail CA

A very old tree

Hiking Los Robles Trail CA

Views

Hiking Los Robles Trail CA

The end of the trail to a neighborhood

Hiking Los Robles Trail CA

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Trying to catch a sunset and eating hair. Typical.

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You Can See More Hikes here.

California Hikes:

Hiking Marin Headlands (San Francisco)

Hiking Calavera Hills Community Park

Mini Trip to Los Angeles

Questions for you:

Are you good at road trips? Can you drive for a long period of time without stopping? (not me LOL)

Where is your favorite spot to hike? 

Walking the Manasquan Reservoir

Walking the Manasquan Reservoir

Recently I was at the Manasquan Reservoir.  Even with the number of times I tried to spell it writing the post, I’ve struggled!

Anyway, the perimeter loop is 5 miles and it’s an, scenic, flat loop. You can run or walk, whatever you’re feeling like.  It took me about 2 hours to walk, but I was taking my time and seeing what I saw.  It would be a fairly nice loop to run or even do a workout on.  Why didn’t I run? I was catching up with a couple of people and it was a cross training day. I would come back and run.

It’s definitely an easy hike or walk but there is always a view along the way.  Plus, I saw people riding horses which I haven’t seen in a while. I parked near the boat ramp and just walked around that way.

The Manasquan Reservoir Park has about 1,200 acres which include the reservoir itself plus the surrounding forests and wetlands. While it was cold when we were out, you can definitely boat or fish at the reservoir too.

manasquan reservoir perimeter trail

It’s well marked with plenty of signs. It’s next to impossible to get lost (believe me, if there is a way to get lost, I will)

manasquan reservoir perimeter trail

A few bridges in the beginning

manasquan reservoir perimeter trail

manasquan reservoir perimeter trail

The water wasn’t frozen over but the tree branches had their fair share of icicles.

manasquan reservoir perimeter trail

Much of the path is easy, crushed, gravel

manasquan reservoir perimeter trail

A pack of deer literally right next to me. They were tame and didn’t care…

manasquan reservoir perimeter trail

manasquan reservoir perimeter trail

manasquan reservoir perimeter trail

The final section goes by the road. It’s not more than 1/2 mile though.

manasquan reservoir perimeter trail

In all, it was a beautiful but cold adventure. I like the Manasquan reservoir and I definitely want to come back and run.

You Can See All NJ Hikes Here.

2019 Winter Hikes I’ve Done:

Hiking to the Headley Overlook at Mahlon Dickerson

Questions for you:

What is your favorite season to hike?

Have you ever come close to a deer? 

Hiking to the Headley Overlook at Mahlon Dickerson

Hiking to the Headley Overlook at Mahlon Dickerson

I haven’t had a lot of time to hike lately and I’ve missed it.  Truthfully between running and hiking, there are times I just appreciate hiking. Not trail running but just hiking and tooling around in on trails for a few hours. I’ve wanted to get to the Headley Overlook for a while.

Headley Overlook is located in Mahlon Dickerson Park in northwest NJ.  The park itself has about 10 miles of hiking or running depending on your mood. I went the day after a few days of rain, so the park was wetter than normal but still moderately easy to get through.

Hiking to the Headley Overlook at Mahlon Dickerson

The Headley Overlook looks over Lake Hopatcong and then follows a pass by the highest point in Morris County (1395′).

Then you return down an old flat rail bed.  You can hike anywhere between 1-10 miles because of all of the trail systems. We set out to stay around 3 hours. It ended up being somewhere between 5-7 miles.

Hiking to the Headley Overlook at Mahlon Dickerson

We parked at the beautiful and peaceful Saffin Pond. We started on the teal diamond which was rocky and a little wet due to rain.

Hiking to the Headley Overlook at Mahlon Dickerson

Nothing too strenuous and I used my Under Armour Gore Trail shoes with no issues.  Slowly I started climbing over the course of a mile and arrived to the Headley Overlook around 2.5 miles. The view is wonderful and you can see Lake Hopatcong in the distance.

Around 4 miles, I reached the highest point in Morris County. It’s not the highest spot in NJ, but up there.

highest point morris county me

From there, we hiked back to the car which was another hour or so. We explored the old rail beds.  It was the lowest, and the wettest area from all of the rain.

Hiking to the Headley Overlook at Mahlon Dickerson

Hiking to the Headley Overlook at Mahlon Dickerson

In all, it was a peaceful hike. The entire park has about 10 miles of trails which are doable for most, especially the rail bed (which is almost completely flat).

You can see all hikes here. 

Questions for you:

What is your favorite hiking spot?

What is your favorite season to hike?

I thought mine was summer, but truthfully, I enjoy the lack of bugs and people during this time of the year.

Walking Merrill Creek Reservoir

Walking Merrill Creek Reservoir

Recently, I found myself in Phillipsburg, New Jersey.  Phillipsburg doesn’t get a lot of attention in the Garden State.  It’s an area northwest of Trenton and an area that is truly considered “the Garden State”.  I decided to take a walk at the 650 acre Merrill Creek Reservoir.  The reservoir is a man-made lake with a dam constructed in 1986-1987. A surprising fact is the construction cost $217 million and was one of the largest construction projects in the US.

Merrill Creek has plenty of space and can be used for running, hiking, cross-country skiing, and photography. If I was local it would be somewhere I would run. There are several loops but I chose to walk around the 5.5-mile perimeter loop.  It’s fairly flat and well maintained.

There are beautiful views of both the reservoir as well as mountains in the background.  If I lived close by, I could see myself running there.  It was quiet and there were only a few others on the trail.


Walking Merrill Creek Reservoir

Walking Merrill Creek Reservoir

The bark peeled off means a bear got to it :O

The trail was a bit flooded over in one small section

Walking Merrill Creek Reservoir

Walking Merrill Creek Reservoir

You could walk over the dam

Walking Merrill Creek Reservoir

In all, it was a lot of fun and a short easy walk. It took about 2 hours to complete.  If you’re looking for something easy, scenic, and fun, the Merrill Creek Reservoir is a good option.

You Can See More Hikes here.

Questions for you:

Have you ever walked around a reservoir

Where is your favorite spot to hike around you?

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