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Winter hike in Redwood Regional Park

It was a clear, cool, beautiful winter day, so Dave, Ania, and I decided to go for a hike. Ania's request was "I want to do something outside, in nature". Dave and I each had an idea for where we wanted to go, but I didn't know the name of the place I was thinking of, and didn't recognize the place Dave showed us in his book, "Hiking the San Francisco Bay Area Guide Book". I knew how to get to my place, so we went there, and it happened to be the Skyline Gate entrance of the Redwood Regional Park — the same place Dave had in mind!

We'd been there a long time ago, but only flirted with the trail, advancing just part way down the very level section and turning back, thinking "we'll have to come back here". We set off on the East Ridge Trail, which was a pleasant walk, then turned right at Prince Road, which started to go down. The guidebook listed the hike as 1.5 - 2 hours and "moderate" effort, though its elevation guide did indicate fairly significant elevation changes, depending on the route you chose. Somehow, we didn't think to really respect that, and we learned our lesson!

MAP: Redwood Regional Trail Hike

We saw lots of oaks in the beginning, then found ourselves in the park's namesake redwood forest as we reached the cooler depths of the trail. At the bottom of the long descent, we took the Stream Trail for a while until we encountered our next signpost, at a place that was teeming with ladybugs. They were literally all over everything, and you could hear the faint sound of their movement. Look at the picture closely; everything red is ladybugs.

Even though it was much longer, we took the Tres Sendas Trail as opposed to continuing on the Stream Trail, reasoning that the latter would likely be a very difficult ascent given its shorter length. Well, Tres Sendas was no picnic, but we weren't in a rush to leave the peace and stillness of the park. The hike was a bit tough, given the time since our last hike, but well worth it, and we enjoyed the exercise. We misread the map, and thought we were done at the end of Tres Sendas, but still had to take the West Ridge Trail back to where we started — it was the perfect cool down after a fairly long climb. Ania was right; we all felt great after some time outside, in nature.

We rewarded ourselves — and likely canceled out the benefits of doing the hike — with a burger at Barney's, and some old-fashioned ice cream at Fenton's. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday!

PHOTO-SUMMARY: Redwood Regional Park hike