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Hiking Safety in San Ramon, California

Whether you are looking for a way to get back in shape, enjoy nature, or take some time out of your day to be with friends and family, hiking is one of the best ways. Hiking is something that can be done by anyone at any age. The most important thing about hiking is that it's fun! It doesn't matter whether you're an experienced hiker or just getting started - there are trails for everyone.

 

Tips to Stay Safe When Hiking

Hiking isn't just for adults, though. Kids can also have a great time hiking on trails of varying difficulties and levels. Whether you're looking to bond with your kids or introduce them to the outdoors, it's important that they know how to stay safe when they're out there on their own. Here are some tips for safety while hiking:

  • Outdoor Plan: Cell connectivity in many state park units is limited or non-existent. Tell a responsible person back at camp or at home where you are going and when you plan on returning. Ask that person to notify local law enforcement if you do not return on time.

  • Hike with a friend or family member. The companionship in the great outdoors is fun and you can encourage one another to meet your fitness goals.

  • Don’t walk off-trail. Do not walk off-trail or enter closed areas. Cutting across switchbacks erodes the hillside and eventually destroys the trail. Plus, walking off-trail increases your chance of suffering an injury or getting lost.

  • Be courteous and observe trail etiquette. Communicate with others and step aside to yield, if possible, when others approach you on a trail. Alert those in front if you wish to pass.

  • Take plenty of drinking water. Leave stream, river and lake water for the park wildlife. Although it looks clean and refreshing, mountain stream water can make you ill. Drink and carry plenty of water (a minimum of 1 quart every two hours).

  • Shoes: Wear sturdy, comfortable shoes to help prevent injury.

  • Never feed or touch wildlife. Do not approach or attempt to move sick or injured wildlife. Please report any encounters with aggressive, sick or injured animals to a park ranger.

  • Wildlife lives in all state parks, even near urban areas. Although rare, black bears, mountain lions and rattlesnakes may be seen. If you encounter wildlife on the trail, keep your distance, back away slowly and do not run. Report your sightings to a State Parks ranger.

  • Snakes: Always know where you are stepping. For example, if you must traverse a log that has fallen across the trail, rather than just stepping over the log, first step up onto the log then step down once you know the coast is clear. Be cautious when climbing rocks or picking up firewood. If you see a snake, maintain a distance of at least 6 feet. Most bites occur when people get too close or try to touch them.

  • Ticks: Populations are expected to rise again this season. Take the following precautions to avoid them:

  • Walk in the middle of trails.

-Use insect repellent.

-Tuck your pants into your socks.

-After taking off gear, check for hitchhiking ticks

-Always do a “tick-check” with the help of a friend.

  • Poison Oak: It is a common plant throughout much of California. Learn to identify its shiny, three-leaf pattern, and avoid touching it. If you touch poison oak, wash immediately with water and mild soap. Pat dry with a clean towel.

 

How to Get Started

When you start hiking, it can seem like a very daunting task. But don't worry! There are so many trails at state parks that anyone - no matter their age or skill level - will find one they love. Start off on an easy trail and gradually work your way up to more challenging ones by choosing new routes with longer distances.

 

Here's how:

- Find an area of the park where there is a range of difficulty levels (easy, moderate and difficult).

- Check for details about each hike in our trail descriptions online to help you make choices based on distance, terrain type, pets allowed and whether horseback riding is permitted.

- Stop by our visitor centers which contain guidebooks with maps of all the trails, elevation profiles and a list of the types of vegetation you might see.

- Some day hikes are designed to connect with nearby towns or communities for lunch, shopping or just exploring.

 

How Hiking Is Good for Body and Mind

Hiking outdoors has plenty of perks: nice views, fresh air, and the sounds and smells of nature.

It's good for you, too. Hiking is a powerful cardio workout that can:

 

  • Lower your risk of heart disease

  • Improve your blood pressure and blood sugar levels

  • Boost bone density, since walking is a weight-bearing exercise

  • Build strength in your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and the muscles in your hips and lower legs

  • Strengthen your core

  • Improve balance

  • Help control your weight

  • Boost your mood

San Ramon, California has so many amazing trails to enjoy!  Here’s a brief list you should check out on your next visit: 

  • Bishop Ranch Regional Preserve

  • Dougherty Valley Ridge Trail

  • Windermere Ridge Trail

  • Tassajara Ridge Trail

  • Iron Horse Trail 

  • Annabel Trail

  • Las Trampas Regional Wilderness Park

  • Sycamore Grove Trail

  • Summit View Trail Park

 

All of these wonderful parks are located just a short distance from our location in Dublin, California on Sierra Lane.