Finding Fall

Northern California is a truly special place. And no wildfire can take that away. Find fall in all its colorful glory and crispness on these hikes, bike rides, and paddles.

My Weekend Sherpa:

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Week of:

1) Picnic and a Pedal

West Marin has all the right stuff for an autumn afternoon getaway: bike paths, babbling brooks, canopy forests, and secluded picnic spots. Combine a picnic and a pedal at Samuel P. Taylor State Park, where the leaves are churning out…

2) Breathe Easy

The 1.5-mile hiking trail around Lake Lagunitas in Marin might just be the most perfect one-hour hike in the Bay Area. It’s mostly flat, so nearly everyone can do it. It’s beautiful, so nearly everyone will appreciate it. And it’s…

3) What a (Road) Trip!

You’ve gotta love a road trip: it’s spontaneous and gives you the freedom for loads of explorations. The hardest part is figuring out where to go. Humboldt County is a road-tripping mecca perfect for an autumn getaway. All you have…

Road Trip to the Redwoods

4) Big Tree Bonanza

Roosevelt elk, canyons draped in ferns and dripping with small waterfalls, oh … and the tallest trees on the entire planet! Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park (located within Redwoods National Park) has all the fixings for world-class hiking. For a truly remarkable…

5) Sweet Autumn Sunol

Whoever says that Northern California just doesn't get much by the way of fall colors hasn't seen the cascade of autumn tones dressing the foliage at Sunol Regional Wilderness right now. Enjoy it on a 5.3-mile hike that starts adventurously…

6) The Joaquin Dead

Named after the poet, Joaquin Miller Park in Oakland belongs in a sonnet about small wonders. But it also may belong in a classic ghost story! This unassuming park is said to be haunted by a woman who only appears…

7) River of Bicycle Dreams

Cycling without having to worry about cars? Hooray! Cycling beside a gently flowing river through fall foliage? Double hooray! The Sacramento River Trail in Redding lives up to its reputation as a premier rail trail in the country: 17 miles…

8) Touch the Skyline

The Peninsula's Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve knows how to make a grand entrance when it comes to changing seasons. Hills turn golden and crisp leaves carpet trails on the preserve's 2,000+ acres. Combine autumn colors, ridgetop vistas, and a…

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