52 Hike Challenge

I have 1 year to complete (at least) 52 different hikes. Here are the trails I have trekked during my 52 Hike Challenge starting in December 2016:

1. December 4, 2016 – Mt Diablo Grand Loop Trail (& Summit)

mt-diablo-grand-loop

While the Grand Loop is only 6.1 miles, we decided to add the Mt Diablo Summit onto this hike. In all, it was about 7.5 miles of beautiful views and varying terrain with 2500 feet of elevation gain. This hike is worth every hill!

My friends and I started our hike in the afternoon, and reached the summit some time around sunset. There was a soft blanket of fog covering the city, which created a magical feel.

2. December 18, 2016 – Rodeo Beach to Point Bonita Lighthouse

Rodeo-Beach-Sunset

I honestly don’t know what trail we hiked this day, but we started at Rodeo Beach and adventured out to the Point Bonita Lighthouse. It was a crisp day in the Marin Headlands with chilly air that pinked my cheeks. We didn’t know where we were going, only that we were chasing incredible views.

Without planning, our timing was perfect as we crested a hill to find that we happened upon the Point Bonita Lighthouse Trail right about 12-minutes before sunset. To our left, we had the clearest view of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. To our right, we had an unobstructed view of the sun connecting the sky with the ocean, and then disappearing below the horizon’s line. It was stunning.

In all, our make-your-own-adventure hike was about 5 beautiful miles of oceanside trails.

3. December 25, 2016 – Mossy Wood Trail in Percy Warner Park

Mossy-Ridge-Trail-Nashville

Although my parents divorced a number of years ago, this is the first year that we decided to split Christmas – my mom got the first half of Christmas week, and my dad got the second. Because celebrating in NYC or LA presented complications, we decided to pick a completely new city to spend the holidays. My first choice? Nashville!

To start this beautiful Christmas Day in Nashville, my brother, mom, and I ventured out for a hike on one of Nashville’s most popular trails: the Mossy Wood Trail. Although this hike is only 30 minutes from downtown Nashville, it felt removed from the city, was incredibly beautiful, and was full of surprises! It started out pretty flat with a few easy rolling hills. We tacked on the Cane Connector Trail, which was a muddy and flat with 3 lovely moss-covered bridges that took us over a winding stream. And the hike ended with some excellent heart-pumping ascents before we finally descended back to the car.

Along the way we passed some “Charlie Brown Christmas Trees” decorated with ornaments, a mesmerizing patch of emerald-green moss, and the cutest little trickling waterfall. The Mossy Trail & Cane Connector Trail brought us to a total of 6.5 miles. Such a great hike, and so glad we did this while visiting the home of country music!

4. January 1, 2017 – Morning Sun Trail to Rodeo Valley Trail Loop

Morning-Sun-Trail-Loop

Just across the Golden Gate Bridge there’s a small, steep, unsuspecting trail in Marin that leads up a hill and takes you to a series of trails where you can choose your own adventure. This is where we spent the most beautiful, sunny New Year’s Day in San Francisco.

Where’d we hike? A loop that started on the Morning Sun Trail and continued along the Alta Trail to the Bobcat Trail, to the Rodeo Valley Trail, and then back to the Morning Sun Trail for a fantastic 6-mile hike along rolling hills.

The sun was shining, the air was the kind of crisp that slightly bites your nose, the trails were golden and surrounded by lush emerald green grass, and the sky was the most incredible vibrant blue. I couldn’t have imagined a better way to spend my first day in 2017.

5. January 8, 2017 – Nimitz Way to the Rotary Peace Grove

Nimitz-Way-January-8

Despite the rain, my boyfriend and I headed out for a much-needed trail run along Nimitz Way. This trail is perfect regardless of the weather because it’s paved most of the way. Only the last 200 meters which head up to the rotary peace grove are dirt (or rather, slippery mud when it’s raining). This is also the steepest incline of the whole trail.

We ran the rolling hills as the rain fell and the wind danced with the tree branches. It was a fantastic 4.5 mile out-and-back trail run. Don’t let the weather get in your way of enjoying the outdoors!

6. January 12, 2017 – Claremont Canyon Fire Trail

Claremont-Canyon-Trail-January-12

After spending most of my day inside, I was ready for a solid dose of hills and nature. The Claremont Canyon Fire Trail is one of the best hikes for heart-pumping hills that’s relatively short. You can treat it as a simple out-and-back, turning around once you get to the top of the hill, but I like to keep going to turn it into a lollypop loop. You just continue hiking forward until you descend to meet up with the Berkeley Fire Trail. Then you circle your way back to where you came from.

I started this hike in the late afternoon and finished just around sunset. The sky and the clouds painted a beautiful gradient of blue to gold as the sun made its way towards the horizon. The air was crisp and delightfully cooling as I trekked up hill after hill. In all, this was about a 5-mile hike. Highly recommended!