Friday, August 15, 2014

60 Hikes in 60 Miles in 60 Weeks: Week Fifty
Samuel P. Taylor State Park
Devil's Gulch Road and the side path leading to the bridge and Bill's Trail

What it's like:
6.5 miles of nicely-graded trail and steeper fire roads, on the forested and grassy slopes of Marin County's Barnabe Peak.

Why now:
Bill's Trail is scheduled to close on August 20, for more than one year -- the improvement project will widen the narrow path to a multi-use width. Get there before you miss your chance!

If you can't make it this week:
Well, you'll have to wait until the trail reopens. This is a fantastic hike in every season.

Insider tip:
The two SPT hikes described on BAHiker are different from the book version. If you don't have the book, use this map and follow these directions: start at the Devil's Gulch parking pullout, walk on the paved Devil's Gulch Road, then bear right onto the sidepath (see above photo) that leads to a junction and bridge. Cross the bridge, turn left onto Bill's Trail, and hike uphill to the junction with Barnabe Road. Here, make the optional hike up to the fire lookout, then return to this junction and descend to Gravesite Road. Turn right and return to the junction at the bridge -- retrace your steps back to the trailhead. Total mileage (including the out and back to the lookout) is 6.5 miles. Once Bill's Trail is closed, use this route to access the fire lookout/summit.

Samuel P. Taylor is hike number 16 in 60 Hikes in 60 Miles: San Francisco (third edition)Read about this trailhead here.

Alternate choice:
Enjoy the deeply shaded woods at El Corte de Madera Creek Open Space Preserve, on this 6 mile loop that passes through an old plane crash site and visits a massive tafoni rock formation.

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


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