Summit View Trail Park
Summit View Trail, San Ramon, CA 94582, United States
You may not have heard of Summit View Trail Park, but it is a great place to visit for anyone who enjoys the outdoors. The park features over 2 miles of trails that are perfect for hiking or biking with family and friends. These trails take you through some beautiful scenery including forests, wetlands, and meadows. There are also two ponds on site where you can spot wildlife such as beavers and waterfowl! If you're looking for a new adventure this summer then Summit View Trail Park might be just what you need!
7 IMPORTANT WAYS HIKING STRENGTHENS THE FAMILY BOND
Hiking is the perfect family activity that promotes a healthy lifestyle and strengthens family bonds. Whether you are hiking with small children or teenagers, everyone benefits from this family time in nature.
Here are 7 important ways that hiking can strengthen your family bonds.
Exercises Releases Endorphins & Improves Attitudes
Not only does physical exercise strengthen your body, but it releases endorphins—chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers. Boosting endorphins is proven to improve abilities to sleep, reduces stress and anxiety, and generally brings a lift to your mental health. Getting the whole family out for hiking–whether strenuous or not– helps get the blood pumping and oxygen circulating. Maybe it's the endorphins, maybe the fresh air, maybe it's just getting away from daily life – but whatever the magic ingredient is, moods and attitudes improve as your brood hits the trail.
Silence is Golden–Nature Does the Speaking
One of my favorite things about hiking with my family is the time to just be together, but not necessarily have to speak. When we hike as a family, we try to spend at least some time hiking silently and observing nature. It's amazing how much you notice about nature and the hike: bird calls, water running, squirrels scampering, leaves rustling in the breeze. This time serves a dual purpose of letting each of us commune in our own personal way with nature while also giving us time to relax, focus on our footwork, and mentally zone out.
Difficult/Tricky Conversations are Easier While Hiking
This benefit is probably more relevant to those of us when teens and tweens, but it works on any age. Sometimes we need to have difficult conversations and it just never seems like the right time to sit down and discuss whatever is going on. The phrase, “We need to talk” strikes dread in most anyone (I mean, has anyone in the history of the world started a conversation “We need to talk…about how I won the lottery and want to give you half.” — I think not.) But when you are hiking, and focusing on the nature surrounding you, and your breathing as you labor up an incline, holding these sensitive conversations can be a little easier.
No Digital Devices
In today’s electronic-heavy world, it seems like it's virtually impossible to take a break from our devices, but when we head out on a family hike, leaving the phones off (we do bring one in our packs in case we have an emergency) is easy and natural. In fact, the minute we’re a few feet onto most trails, there isn’t any signal anyway. Knowing that all devices are off for our time in nature is liberating. I don’t feel like I should be answering emails, checking texts, or restocking our paper towels–I can focus entirely on our family time.
The same goes for children who normally would rather be playing video games, texting friends, or doing who-knows-what on whatever App is currently the big player. Everyone is relieved of their digital social obligations/inclinations while hiking with the family. In today’s world, this family time is even more precious.
Physical Challenges Allow Siblings Help Each Other
Hiking with the whole family does have an extra challenge of finding a trail that is easy enough for the youngest member of your brood while also being challenging enough not to bore the oldest member. You’ll usually end up with a hike that is somewhere in the middle of the difficulty range – which means that the youngest child might have trouble sometimes, while the oldest might find it a bit easy. Instead of causing issues, this arrangement lends itself to cooperation and sibling bonding. Encourage your children to work together to conquer their hiking challenges. Older kids can help little ones scramble up rocks and over fallen trees. Younger children can help with keeping motivation.
Hiking Means A Get Away From Regular Life
Sometimes it can feel like family-time is hacked away by after school activities, sports practices, homework, video games, and social events. Pretty soon, it seems like there isn’t time for the family to connect at all. Scheduling a whole Saturday just for the family hike is the antidote to the schedule-mania. It forces everyone to set aside our normal obligations/chores/plans in favor of pure family time. This is time well spent.
Hiking Makes Family Memories
Families that hike together are never in short supply of great stories to tell and retell from past adventures. Even the bad ones – the sudden rain downpour, the slip and fall, the missed trail marker — the fact that your family made it through those experiences together is the glue that helps family bonds to set strong.
Families that hike together are stronger, happier, and healthier. You can pick up a local trail guide book from the library and start researching your next family adventure together! Start small and work your way up. You’ll find that it's a lot of fun to explore your section of the world one trail at a time! Don’t forget your camera!
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
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.