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A few random and recent  hikes to share. While both were short, they had their moments, scenic or otherwise, which is kind of the point of hiking too.

Pinnacle and Shorttail Gulches, Bodega Bay

It’s an almost 2-mile loop that goes to the coast, follows it for a brief distance and then returns inland. On the way out and back, you walk down into and alongside a gulch. Nothing stupendous, but within a few minutes of the parking lot at the trailhead, you are down a ravine and then onto the ocean. If you’ve timed the tides right, there’s plenty of room to walk or just hang out on the sand and enjoy a secluded beach moment at low tide. Great views of both Bodega Head and Point Reyes are worth the trip. And if the tide’s up, you can hug the rocks and scoot along the coast that way. Either way, it’s a fun out-and-back detour on your way out or back from somewhere else on the coast. It’s a steep climb and (leashed) dogs are allowed. The parking lot is right in the middle of a housing development.

The coastal access trail (click for map, directions, details, etc.)  is officially part of the Sonoma County Regional Parks, as is….

Ragle Ranch Regional Park in Sebastopol. We kind of stumbled across this one the other day and traversed the small trails through the back of the property. There’s a two-mile ‘backcountry’-like loop, along with about a mile or so of a paved trail. Wander around enough criss-crossing the trails and you can do a few miles of exercise therapy quickly. I stayed on – and off – the Blackberry Trail, trying to refrain from munching my way into the thicket. But there were plenty of the berries to be found, although they won’t be there for long. The park also features full facilities, an interesting grove of oak trees, a dog park, athletic fields and occasionally a festival. (And an education-oriented treasure quest too, for the explorers out there.)

More info (map, directions, hours) on Ragle Ranch here.


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