THE SANTA CLARA
April 24, 2014
Spring has definitely arrived and the warm weather beckons for some kind of outdoor adventure.
While it’s true that tanning by the pool to get that pre-summer glow is always a great way to spend a leisurely afternoon, there is nothing like trying something new and exploring some amazing sites right here in the Bay Area.
A great afternoon activity can be visiting the Muir Woods National Monument, a hidden evergreen gem tucked a few miles north of San Francisco in Mill Valley.
Fondly referred to as Muir Woods, this National Park was named after the famous wilderness conservationist John Muir. Purchased in 1905 by William and Elizabeth Kent in an effort to preserve the natural beauty and wilderness of the land, the hundreds of acres of redwood forest were, according to Muir, a “tree-lovers monument.”
The couple donated the land in 1908 to the federal government to protect the redwoods from destruction, and President Theodore Roosevelt deemed it a national monument.
Upon visiting Muir Woods, hikers, nature lovers and tree huggers alike will be astounded by the massive redwoods that shoot straight up into the air. The dense canopy overhead keeps the forest floor cool from the day’s heat, but allows bright streams of sunlight to trickle down through the tall branches.
The sights, smells and sounds of the park are so different from urban life that it is often easy to forget that you are only 12 miles north of a bustling metropolis.
Visitors are welcome to wander around the main boardwalk area through the trees and are encouraged to ask the park volunteers more about this national treasure.
If walking is more your kind of outdoor activity, there are plenty of flat, paved trails that take you through some of the most beautiful parts of the park. But if you are more of a Muir-like wilderness adventurer, the park has plenty of exciting and challenging trails for you to enjoy.
All trails are well-marked throughout the park. Some of the most popular trails are ones that lead up to the peak of Mount Tamalpais, for those ambitious climbers looking for a more strenuous trek.
If you are dying for a sea breeze, take the Coastal View trail, or for a great view of the valley, take the Panoramic Trail.
Whichever trail you choose, be sure to bring a map, a full water bottle, some snacks and a healthy sense of adventure to visit Muir Woods.
Contact Lauren Bonney at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.