Monday, August 11, 2014

60 Hikes in 60 Miles in 60 Weeks: Week Forty-nine
Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve
Cool woods on Wildcat Canyon Trail

What it's like:
Rancho San Antonio is like the United Nations. On this 5.5 mile loop through woods, chaparral, and grassland, count the languages you hear. I commonly hear natives from Russia, India, Asia, and more I can't recognize. It's inspiring to see so many people from all over trekking on these trails!

Why now:
Deciduous trees are already dropping their leaves, and Wildcat Canyon is delightfully cool on a hot day.

If you can't make it this week:
I could hike here every day of the year. In winter the old oaks stand bare and waiting, spring flowers are varied and gorgeous, summer is hot but pretty, and autumn, oh autumn! The bigleaf maples are so lovely.

Insider tip:
Rancho is the busiest local-hiked trailhead in the bay area. The lower parking lot seems to fill within a minute, but there is an upper lot as well. I always find a spot eventually.

Rancho is hike number 49 in 60 Hikes in 60 Miles: San Francisco (third edition)Read about this hike on BAHiker.

Alternate choice:
Sebastapol is a popular destination for apple picking this month, and Ragle Ranch, just north of Bodega Highway, is a quaint little park with easy hiking trails and more than a few fruit trees (and blackberry thickets). How many edible "wild things" can you identify on your hike?

Post your comments and experiences here or on the BAHiker Facebook page.

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