From hikes just outside of San Francisco to long strolls in the Sierra Nevada, this book covers 80 of the best easy-to-walk hikes throughout the region.
Written in a personal but informative tone by outdoors expert Ann Marie Brown, The Creaky Knees Guide Northern California is a perfect resource anyone can use to explore the beauty of Northern California without breaking too much of a sweat.
In addition to a full-trip description, each hike includes:
• Clear, up-to-date driving directions
• Elevation gains
• Topographical map
• Mileage and estimated hiking time
• Trail conditions, effort level, best season, map references, exploring options, access, permits required, and where to find more information.
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About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Thirty years ago, I worked very long hours behind a desk five or six days a week, putting in plenty of overtime and spending way too much time indoors. On my precious days off I tried to get outdoors as much as possible,
but with all of life’s demands, I rarely had more than a few hours each week to get out in nature. On top of that, I was frequently plagued with injuries to my knees and hips—likely due to my chained-to-theoffice lifestyle.
But one day I made a decision to commit more of my life to the beauty of the great outdoors, and I started scheduling my hiking time with the same level of commitment as I scheduled my business meetings and social obligations.
I began my new, nature-focused life on the trails in this book. Yes, I
got more exercise when I hiked these paths, but they are by no means arduous or strenuous. Some trails may present a few gentle challenges for those who are less fit, but all of them were chosen for their scenic beauty and fun factor. Feel free to bring along your children, your grandma, or your spouse who thinks the “great outdoors” is nothing but mosquitoes and poison oak. Every trail in this book was chosen because it offers a good payoff—a reason for going besides just exercise. These eighty hikes lead you away from pavement, exhaust fumes, and crowds,
to places where you’d rather be: sparkling waterfalls, scenic viewpoints,
and peaceful forests.
To choose these hikes, I walked every trail in this book, most of them many times over. I also hiked plenty of other trails that didn’t make the cut, often because they were too difficult or too dull to ensure that everybody would have fun. I also made extensive use of “field testers”: I
brought along my eighty-year-old mom. I forced my not-so-enthusiasticabout-
hiking friends to traipse along with me. I even made my friends’
kids tag along (and usually they were way out in front).
During my travels, what I found out is that there are plenty of Northern
California trails designed for ordinary people, not just the hardcore outdoors enthusiast. And when ordinary people hike those trails, they feel happy.
I look forward to seeing you (and your children, grandmas, and spouses) out there. . . .
—Ann Marie Brown