A good wander through the woods is proven to boost spirits, benefit your mental state, and better your heart and respiratory system. While San Francisco offers all the signature luxuries of a bustling bayside city, it’s also a short distance from some spectacular hiking spots.
If you’re feeling a bit tired of exploring the city and you’re ready to lace up your boots and see some of the region’s best trails, you might consider heading towards one of these top hiking spots.
Redwood Regional Park
You haven’t been to California if you haven’t properly basked in the presence of the state’s towering Redwood trees. While many might think you have to travel to the North Bay to enjoy their rustic beauty, the truth is that the East Bay has it’s very own forest of Redwood giants.
Redwood Regional Park offers a selection of trails of ranging difficulties and terrain, but the park’s Tres Sendas path is a quiet and serene way to take in the area’s best sights. It should be noted that the parking area requires a $5 fee with an extra $2 collected for those wishing to hike with dogs.
Lands End Trail
If you still haven’t captured that perfect shot of the Golden Gate Bridge, it’s time to tackle Lands End hiking trail. As one of the best hikes in the city, it offers excellent views of San Francisco’s coastline as well as a postcard-perfect viewing point to take in the Golden Gate Bridge.
The trail begins at Sutro Baths, a historic indoor saltwater swimming establishment that is now in eerie ruin. The trail itself runs up along the coastline and spans about 3 miles return. If you follow the path along the water, you’ll reach the Eagle’s Point Overlook, one of the city’s most popular vista’s and photo spots
Point Bonita Lighthouse Trail
Located in the Bay Area’s gorgeous Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the Point Bonita lighthouse is the ending point of a half-mile hike that trails through a historic tunnel carved by Chinese laborers and crosses over a captivating suspension bridge.
Although the trail itself is relatively short, it offers up views that make it well worth it. Because the path is relatively easy and also quite beautiful, it’s an ideal hiking choice for those with families or young children who are wishing to get out and explore.
Cataract Falls Hike
There are many waterfalls in Marin County, but Cataract Falls is by far the most popular. It’s trail winds alongside scenic Cataract Creek, which serves as a water source to the areas rich selection of flora and fauna. Though the trail leading to the falls is highly popular, it still serves as an excellent opportunity to spot some of the area’s unique wildlife.
The waterfall itself is most active after periods of intense rain, though the trail may be enjoyed regardless. While it’s possible to the trail as a loop hike, many prefer to simply hike the 1.3 miles to the waterfall’s base and return to the trailhead.