Archive | April 2016

The 5 Best Places To Hike Near San Francisco, California

download (43)If you live in the Bay area of California or are just visiting, there is an endless supply of beautiful outdoor recreational areas to hike. Hiking in the San Francisco area is not only a great way to get in some great exercise to improve your health, it’s a wonderful way to see some of the most beautiful natural landscapes throughout the area.

There are lots of great areas for hiking or taking a nice long walk to clear the mind and stretch those legs. Here are five of the best places to go hiking in the San Francisco area. Situated among the beauty of the coast line, San Francisco has a small community feel with a big city attitude.

Strawberry Hill, hidden within San Francisco’s Golden State Park covers and entire island in the middle of Stow Lake. At a height of 430 feet tall, it is the highest point in the whole park. This is a gorgeous place to take a two plus mile hike and take in the views of Downtown San Francisco, Marin and the Golden Gate Bridge. You’ll not only take in some truly gorgeous views, but have some fun getting fit at the same time.

Those who have hiked Lands’ End have said it’s probably the most perfect hiking area for those looking for a great workout, and best part – if you get tired you can stop and take in the view of the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s a three and half mile round trip and if you are looking for an even more extensive ‘workout’ simply follow the signs that will take you to Mile Rock Beach were you can visit Eagle Point Labyrinth or hike down to the beach and back. You’ll find yourself getting fit in no time, or even discover if you not as fit as you thought you were. Either way it’s a great hiking experience.

The Bayside trail is less than a mile each way but you will get a bit of a workout because of the substantial amount of stairs. Don’t let the stairs scare you out of hiking this great trail though, because it’s well worth the beautiful views of the Bay, the Marin Headlands and the Golden Gate Bridge. In case you haven’t notice almost every great hiking area gives you a view of the Golden Gate and the Bay itself. The Bayside trail also gives hikers a history lesson along the way on the gun batteries.

If you love hiking along the lake-shore on sandy trails then head over to Fort Funston for some fun. Fort Funston is in Southwest of the city and is a part of the ‘Golden Gate National Recreation Area The park’s trails present extensive views of the ocean for those who enjoy seeing the natural beauty of the coast.

What could be better than hiking in the forest? Well hiking in the forest in the city of course. Mount Sutro Out & Back is amazingly beautiful filled with green ivy, forget-me-not flowers, ferns all set among the giant eucalyptus and various other plant life. It’s like being transported into a fantasy kingdom are you walk into the fog and mist suspended in the treetops. Of course like the other great hiking areas, you will get the glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Regardless of what kind of outdoor recreation you want, and whether or not you are hiking for health, fun or get fit, there is no better place around than the San Francisco area for some awesome hiking experiences.

5 Best Places to Go Hiking Near Portland, Oregon

download (42)Have you visited Portland before? Or are you looking for hiking locations in Portland? Few urban cities in America have stately green spaces, giving sightseers views that are remote and quiet within the city. We have put together a list of hiking trails that’ll leave your legs burning and provide loads of fun along the trail:

1) Oxblow Regional Park

Be sure to go there with your fishing rod for a fun day of hike and fishing. This hiking park is well-known for fishing and is close to Oregon camping. This park is near Gresham and offers a 3.3-mile loop that includes long stretches. One of the fascinating features of the recreation center is the “ancient forest” which is composed of large, hundred-year-old trees that rise above the trail, and the river.

2) Washington Park

Beautiful deep woods and a mountain view makes this gem one of the best hikes within Portland. The Wildwood Trail begins and ends at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial where signs for Wildwood Trail is posted throughout the hike to ensure safety and prevent health hazards.

3) Tryon Creek State Park

Tryon Creek State Park is a state park that can be found inside one of the major metropolitan areas, just minutes from downtown Portland if driving. Tyron Creek State Park provides several activities within its boundaries such as a 659-acre park with several good hiking trails to follow. If you are experiencing health challenges that will hinder your foot from long trips, come along with a bike, bicycle or a horse as there is a trail that guarantees fun if you decide to go by those options.

It is a good idea for the whole family to be fit in order to view the entire 2.7-mile loop. Starting at the visitor’s center, follow Old Main Trail, then the Red Fox Trail Cedar Trail to the loop.

4) Mount Tabor

This park takes you through a 2-mile hike from the 60th Avenue Trailhead that brings you to the summit of a dormant volcano with amazing views of downtown Portland and Mount Hood.

Various routes can be taken to complete the hike with many things to admire such as picnic areas, playgrounds statues.

5) Pittock Mansion

There is parking space for your bikes, cars, bikes and bicycles at the Lower Macleay Park. After packing, begin by walking under the Thurman Street Bridge. There are various trail options to choose from, but focusing on the Wildwood Trail you are guaranteed to reach your destination.

At the top, you will find beautiful views of downtown Portland and Mount Hood as Well as the Historical Pittock Mansion, which is always open for tours from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day.

Essentials for a Hike

images (15)When on a hike, safety is your biggest concern. You could get injured or even lose your way. Sports watches with GPS help to navigate yourself back home. Similarly, with that, here is a short list of essentials to pack light, smart and be prepared for a safe and pleasant hiking journey.

A good breakfast. You must have already heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Yes, it is true. Your morning meal before a hike should include a cereal (oats or wheat), which will give you the necessary carbohydrates for energy. Your energy level can be kept on track throughout the day by sipping on water as well as munching onto fruits and nuts.

Inform someone about your plans. Never take off without informing your family or a friend that you are planning to hike and which direction you intend to go. In case you are not back in time, rescuers will have an idea where to find you. You could also use your GPS enabled watch to navigate back. Never post your itinerary anywhere on your car as this can attract thieves.

Weather update. Be informed about the weather conditions within your trail. Accordingly you should be clothing yourself to keep you warm and dry. If the weather turns out to be worse than expected, always choose to return home. Do not risk your life for anything. The mountains are always going to be there on the same trail.

Hiking equipment. A compass is a very valuable tool but you could also carry a sports watch with GPS instead because those come with inbuilt compass as well as additional navigation tools. A map and a guidebook will also be helpful.

Light source. Headlamp or a flashlight is extremely essential even if you don’t intend on staying out till dark. Twist your ankle or take a wrong turn and your hike will take much longer than expected.

First aid kit. Just basic stuff such as bandages, adhesive tape, antibiotic ointment, gauze and pain relief tablets should be sufficient.

Lots of water. You need more than the normal daily intake of water required because you are exercising. Not only do you feel better with water, your body also functions better when you stay hydrated.

Duct tape. This should be your secret weapon. Wind it around your water bottle to make sure it stays close at hand. A tear in your tent or a hole in your canoe can be saved with duct tape.


This entry was posted on April 16, 2016 and tagged .

6 Ways Why Hiking Is Better Than Going to the Gym

download (41)Gyms spur on people to work out to get in shape. As a matter of fact, health clubs and gyms do a great job helping millions of people get rid of those extra pounds and live their lives to the fullest. All of the activities, such as aerobic classes, aerobic exercises and treadmills happen inside a building that can be a club or gym. But is there any activity that is more stimulating? Yes, it may be hiking. Let’s know more about it.

According to experts, for mountain sports lovers, hiking is on the list of one of the best aerobic activities. The beauty of hiking is that you don’t need to pay any fee and it can be done outdoors. While working out in a gym can help you burn the unwanted fat and get in shape, I think, gyms still leave a gap. Although working out in a gym has its benefits, we can’t deny the fact that hiking has a number of advantages over it. Let’s take a look at them.

· When hiking, you take in fresh air, which is something you can’t do in a gym where there is smell of sweat and noise of machines.

· In a way, hiking breathes new life into your body.

· Hiking improves the function of your brain

· In a gym, there are a lot of people working out. It’s like you are on a busy road. But while hiking you are on your own with atmosphere full of peace.

· Hiking is almost costless. All you need is a pair of hiking shoes and you are good to go.

· You don’t have to spend time waiting for the weights or machines.

Here are the results of a research study conducted in 2004. The research was done to find out how hiking can affect the amount of sugar in the body of hikers. The research involved many members divided in two groups. The research was done in the Alps. One group was asked to hike uphill for 60 days. The other group was sent to the top through a cable car. After 60 days, the group was asked to switch their relative programs, doing the experiment again.

According to the findings, hiking offers a lot of health benefits. Climbing up and down brings the “bad” cholesterol levels down. As a matter of fact, downhill hiking does a better job of reducing blood sugar levels and enhancing glucose tolerance. This is what this simple activity can do for you.

You see that the study showed that hiking is good for health. In fact, I always believed that hiking had tremendous health benefits, but this study proved it very well. The study was done by the researchers at a well known institute. Indeed, hiking is a great activity if you want to improve your fitness level and stay healthy for as long as you are alive.


This entry was posted on April 1, 2016.