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Salomon has updated the popular door-to-trail Sense Ride with a release of the Sense Ride 2. Fans of the original Sense Ride will be pleased to hear that the outsole and midsole remain the same as v1, with the major changes coming to the upper on v2. Those of you that read my review of the original Sense Ride will know I was a big fan, and my only real complaint was the cramped toe box. I’m disappointed to say that the tight toebox remains on the Sense Ride 2.

So, does the new upper, dynamic midsole, and grippy outsole make up for the narrow fit? I’ll cover all of that and more in this review.

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Upper

Size, Weight, and Fit

My size 11.5 Salomon Sense Ride 2 comes in at a very light 10.95oz per shoe, and fits true to size. I wore a size 12 in the original Sense Ride, but I’ve noticed a half size decrease on sizing as Salomon’s production has shifted from China to Vietnam. I also wear a size 11.5 in the Ultra Pro and SLAB Ultra 2.

The heel on the Sense Ride 2 has the same narrow and snug fit that most of Salomon’s shoes have. The original Sense Ride had a little bit of slip in the heel for my feet, so I’m glad to see that this is no longer the case.

The internal heel collar is lightly padded and seamless, which makes for a very comfortable on-trail experience regardless of trail conditions. The heel has a fairly rigid counter, which keeps my feet locked into place on off kilter terrain.

The midfoot of the Sense Ride 2 is on the narrow side of things, but more spacious than Salomon’s SLAB lineup of footwear. I have a wider than average foot, and find the midfoot fit on the Sense Ride 2 to be comfortable.

The toebox on the Sense Ride 2 is where the fit doesn’t work for my feet. This shoe has a low volume toebox with a narrow fit that has caused my pinkie toe to develop hot spots and blisters on a few runs. I had a similar issue with the original Sense Ride, and things improved as the shoe broke in. The Sense Ride 2 has a similar break in period, but I’m not sure why Salomon doesn’t just widen things up on all of their shoes like they’ve done on the Sense Ultra Pro.

Upper Build

The new upper on the Sense Ride 2 is the biggest upgrade over the original Sense Ride. Salomon uses a tight knit mesh in the heel and midfoot and an open knit mesh in the toebox. This mesh breathes very well, and has drained and dried quickly when I’ve gotten the Sense Ride 2 wet.

The toebox of the Sense Ride 2 is protected by a durable laminate overlay that does a great job of protecting my feet. The toebox might be a little too rigid and protective though, and doesn’t pair well with an already narrow toebox last. You’ll want to have narrow feet when hitting long downhills in this shoe.

On top of the mesh upper, Salomon uses their sensi-fit overlays for a secure hold on the midfoot. I love the way the sensi-fit provides a secure and movement free wrap of my feet for technical and steep trails.

For the tongue of the Sense Ride 2, Salomon uses their bootie wrap ‘endo-fit’ for a snug hold on the top of my feet. The lacing on the Sense Ride 2 is Salomon’s standard kevlar quicklace system with a bottom loading lace garage on the tongue. The Salomon Sense Ultra Pro has a top loading lace garage, which I find to be a much better design.

Midsole

The Sense Ride 2 midsole is built on an 8mm drop with 24mm in the heel and 16mm in the forefoot. The base of the midsole is a firm and stable EnergyCell+ EVA with OPAL inserts. This combination is what Salomon calls their Vibe technology. As I mentioned in my review of the original Sense Ride, the Opal inserts do a great job of absorbing vibration. The vibration and impact dampening is really noticeable when running or hiking on steep downhill stretches of trail. The Sense Ride is the kind of shoe that can be used for short and quick outings, but is equally well suited for longer days on the trail.

With such a firm and stable midsole, the Sense Ride 2 can handle a pack for backpacking up around 30lbs. The shoe has a little bit of torsional rigidity in the heel and midfoot, and is flexible in the toe area. Because of the firm midsole, I actually prefer the Sense Ride 2 for hiking and backpacking, but find it a little harsh for trail running on fire roads and buffed out single track.

For underfoot protection, the Sense Ride 2 has the Opal insert in the forefoot and a sheet of Salomon’s pro-feel film for push through protection. This combination works well to protect my feet from sharp rocks and tenderizing gravel, but I would still prefer a more traditional rock plate or PU puck like the one found in the SLAB Ultra.

Outsole

For the Sense Ride 2, Salomon uses their Premium Wet Traction Contagrip compound. I’ve used this compound on quite a few models now, and have nothing but good things to say. The traction provided by this compound has proven reliable on a variety of surfaces, including mossy rocks, wet logs, sandy slabs, slick granite, and loose talus.

For the outsole on the Sense Ride 2, Salomon is using the same trapezoidal lug pattern found on almost all of their trail shoes at the moment. This is one of the best features for this “quiver killer” of a shoe.  The flat trapezoid lugs have good surface area to provide traction on slick surfaces. The lugs are deep enough to provide grip on a multitude of trails, and the lugs are spread widely enough that they don’t collect mud or clay. There were a few occasions on..

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REI’s biggest sale of the year is on now. From May 17 to May 27, you can save up to 30% on great brands like Patagonia, Yakima, Salomon, Osprey, and more! REI members can also save 20% on one full-price item and an extra 20% off of one REI Outlet item. See all of the best deals below!

Save 20% on a Full Priced Item and Outlet Item

This is the best deal on REI in my opinion. If you’re looking to make a big purchase on an item like a tent, car rack, or GPS device, this is the time to do it. 

Highlights of the Sale

REI Classes & Events Offers

Save Up to $20 On Any REI Class, Outing or Event when booked between May 17 – May 27.

Use coupon code: “OUTSIDE19”

REI Adventure’s Offers
  • Joshua Tree National Park Backpacking
    • Save $200 on any 2019 or 2020 departure when you book May 17 – 27.
    • For trip details, and offer terms and conditions, go to rei.com/joshua-tree
  • New Zealand Biking – Trails of the South Island
    • Save $1,000 on any 2019 or 2020 departure when you book May 17 – 27.
    • For trip details, and offer terms and conditions, go to rei.com/new-zealand-cycling

Peak Deals (While Supplies Last)

 5/17 – 5/27

  1. 50% Off REI Co-op Revelcloud II Jacket for Women & Men
  2. 50% Off REI Co-op Traverse 35 Pack
  3. 50% Off All REI Co-op Screeline Clothing for Men
  4. 50% Off All REI Co-op Taereen Collection for Women
  5. Member Exclusive Peak Deal: 50% Off Kelty Escape 2 Tent
    *Nonmember can purchase at full price.
  6. 50% Off Selected Klean Kanteen Vacuum Mugs
  7. 50% Off The North Face Stratoliner Tote
  8. 50% Off Wrightsock CoolMesh 2-Packs for Women & Men

Digital flyer: https://catalogs.rei.com/Anniversary-Sale/1/
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The Speedgoat 3 is a max cushion trail shoe from Hoka One One that’s quite possibly the most popular trail shoe around right now. The Speedgoat 3 continues with the exact same midsole and outsole as the Speedgoat 2, but brings in a revised upper to address some complaints about the v2’s fit. I’ve been wearing the Speedgoat 3s over the past few months on hikes, trail runs, and even some road runs, and will share my thoughts in this review.

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Upper

Size, Weight, and Fit

I wear a size 12 in the Speedgoat 3 which is true to size for my foot and exactly the same fit as the Speedgoat 2. My size 12s come in at 11.7oz (331g) per shoe, which is incredibly light given how much cushion there is on the midsoles. Overall, the midfoot and toebox of the Speedgoat 3 have a wider fit than the Speedgoat 2, but will still feel a little narrow for those with wider than average feet.

Starting with the heel, the Speedgoat 3s have a snug fit that doesn’t create any uncomfortable rubbing or slippage at toe off. I’ve worn the Speedgoat 3s on some really steep trails and ridge routes, and they’ve been comfortable though it all. The heel has a rigid counter that keeps my foot from sliding around on off kilter terrain.

The midfoot of the Speedgoat 3 is on the narrow side, feeling nice and secure for a locked down fit. The laminated overlays in the midfoot are very similar to the overlays used on the Speedgoat 2. They provide a great foot hold without feeling too constricting as the feet swell on longer days.

The toebox on Speedgoat 3 is still fits a little narrow, and gave my pinky toes some issues initially. I have a wider than average forefoot though, so this probably won’t be an issue for those of your with narrower feet.

Hoka is using a new toe guard on the Speedgoat 3 that provides more protection than the laminate overlay on the Speedgoat 2. I’ve stubbed my toes on a few rocks over the past few months, and these toe guards have protected my feet nicely.

Upper Build

The upper on the Speedgoat 3 uses an open mesh base which is almost identical to that of the Speedgoat 2. On top of the open mesh, Hoka uses a welded TPU overlay to provide structure and support. The TPU overlay pattern on the Speedgoat 3 is only a slight change over the Speedgoat 2, but provides a very secure and snug fit through the midfoot. The reinforced TPU toe cap and rand on the Speedgoat 3 is thicker than the medial overlays, providing great toe protection and durability.

In use, I’ve found the mesh uppers to breath well, even in 90 degree desert weather. The Speedgoats have also handled our unusually wet SoCal winter very well, with quick drainage and drying. My only complaint about the upper on the Speedgoat 3 is that the narrow forefoot rubs the outside of my my pinky toes on steep downhill trails.

The tongue on the Speedgoat 3 is not gusseted, but I haven’t had any issues with sand, dirt, or debris getting into the shoe. The laces pass through a loop at the top of the shoe to keep the tongue for bunching or sliding down.

Midsole

The midsole on the Speedgoat 3 is unchanged from the Speedgoat 2. This plush midsole is built on a 4mm drop, with 32mm in the heel and 28mm in the forefoot. The midsole is made from injected EVA and has a very soft and squishy ride. The EVA is so soft that the shoe feels like a zero drop when I put my weight into the heels. The midsole uses a rocker design (like a rocking chair), which Hoka says increases running efficiency. I can’t really disagree here, as I have loved putting trail miles in with these shoes. The thick and soft midsoles absorb all of the shock that used to hit my joints, and lets me cruise for miles with ease.

The only downside to having such a soft and forgiving midsole is a decrease in stability. The Speedgoat 3s are much softer than my Hoka Evo Mafates, which is great for recovery days, but not so nice on technical trails. When the trails get rough on the Speedgoat 3s, I find my feet moving around a little more than I prefer.

Outsole

For the outsole on the Speedgoat 3, Hoka uses a high traction Vibram Megagrip. I’ve worn quite a few shoes now with this Megagrip compound, and am a huge fan. Hoka and Vibram have designed a very nice outsole with uniquely shaped lugs that provide traction on a wide variety of surfaces. I’ve worn the Speedgoat 3 on sand, mud, hardpack, talus, asphalt, and concrete, and they never seem to slip underneath me.

This outsole has also proven to be very durable, even with my use on asphalt and concrete. My one minor complaint about the outsole, is the large exposed area under the heel. I have come down on a few sharp rocks in that area and felt the shock from the point pushing through.

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Trail to Peak by Trail To Peak Contributors - 2w ago

The National Parks of America are full of mountains, deserts, valleys, and everything else in between. All offer natural beauty and spectacular views so it’s no wonder that they’re extremely popular with RVers. While all of them will make for a remarkable vacation, there are three that are a fantastic place to start for anyone. The one thing they all have in common (besides the beauty) is RV hookups. While you don’t need hookups to enjoy an RV vacation, they sure make life easier.

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park has a total of 12 campsites, only one has hookups and that is the Fishing Bridge Campground. The campground has a total of 340 sites, electrical, water, and sewage, a general store, shower and laundry facilities, and a dump station. And it’s perfectly located right next to the mouth of the Yellowstone River.

Because Yellowstone is so large (3,472 square miles to be exact), there’s a lot to be seen and done. It’s not a spot where you can spend just one day. From Old Faithful, wide open prairies, mountain streams, to endless amounts of trails, you will never grow bored. Which is why having a campsite with hookups is ideal!

Grand Teton

Grand Teton is home outdoor fun and plenty of serene views. Popular activities include hiking, backpacking, fishing, kayaking, white water rafting, bouldering, mountaineering, and biking. If you’re brave enough to face the weather conditions, Jackson Hole is famous for its snowboarding and skiing.

Luckily, they kept RVers in mind when creating campsites. Colter Bay RV Park is located near Jackson Hole and is home to 112 sites complete with water, sewer, and electric. Headwaters Campground is located 5-miles north of the Grand Teton park boundaries and has electric, water, and sewer. This makes Grand Teton one of the most RV-friendly national parks in the US.

The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is a true desert oasis. If you’re looking for a desert getaway, the Grand Canyon is a great place to start. Not only is it close to other national parks (Glen Canyon, Monument Valley, Joshua Tree, Petrified Forest, etc.), but it’s also RV friendly. The South Rim is open to RVs as large as 50-feet and the North Rim is open to RVs up to 27-feet long.

While there are many campsites throughout the park, there is only one with hookups and that is Trailer Village, on the South Rim. It does book up quickly so if you decide on the Grand Canyon for your next adventure, you will want to book in advance.

If you’re looking for a cheaper option and you aren’t too picky about having hookups, you can do a bit of boondocking just south of the Grand Canyon. Dispersed camping is allowed in the area and there are many rustic RV sites that you can stay at for free is you take a look at websites like freecampsites.net or by asking locals in the area.

While having hookups is a luxury many people love, don’t let the thought of going without hookups keep you from exploring America’s great national parks. These three national parks are just a glimpse of the natural wilderness that the US has to offer. But they are a great starting point for those who are overwhelmed by all of the options!

Outdoorsy.com

Outdoorsy.com is a platform for outdoor travelers to rent RVs. Their selection spans vintage Airstreams, toy haulers, fifth wheelers, Class A, B, and C of RVs, as well as garden variety trailers and motorhomes.

Would you like to contribute to Trail to Peak? You can submit your ideas using our contact page.
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Trail to Peak by Trail To Peak Contributors - 1M ago

New England hiking trails don’t get as much love as their western/West Coast counterparts (kind of like skiing), but they’re definitely worth trying out if you have a chance. One of the most popular is the Franconia Ridge Loop in New Hampshire, a strenuous 8.9-mile day hike that takes you up three of the state’s famed 4000-foot peaks.

I have done the hike on sunny and on rainy/overcast days. If you only have one chance to do this hike, I highly recommend waiting for a clear day. As you ascend the peaks and hike the ridges between, you’ll have stunning views of the White Mountains and Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom.

If you live in or are visiting Boston and are looking for a challenging hike a reasonable distance from city, this trail is only 2.5 hours north. During the summer months, you can hike the trail at a relaxed pace and be back home by sundown.

Getting There

Franconia Notch State Park straddles Lincoln and Franconia, New Hampshire and can be accessed via either the north or southbound side of Interstate 93. There are parking areas on both sides of the interstate. If you park on the southbound side, there is a path that will take you underneath the interstate to the trailhead.

During peak season, get there early as the parking lots fill up quickly. Some visitors park along the interstate, but this is very dangerous and illegal. New Hampshire State Parks recently began a shuttle service to transport visitors from more distant parking areas to the trailhead.

Hiking Profile
  • Trail type: Loop
  • Mountains: Little Haystack Mountain (4,760’); Mount Lincoln (5,089’); Mount Lafayette (5,249’)
  • Distance: 8.9 miles
  • Falling Waters Trail: 2 miles
  • Franconia Ridge Trail (Little Haystack Mountain → Mount Lafayette): 1.7 miles
  • Greenleaf Trail (Mount Lafayette → AMC Hut): 1.1 miles
  • Old Bridle Path Trail: 2.9 miles
  • Elevation gain: 3,860’
  • Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Time: 6-8 hours
  • Dog friendly: Yes
  • Trail condition: Mixture of logging roads and rock staircases
  • Phone reception: Spotty above the treeline
  • Weather: The weather in the White Mountains can change drastically as you reach higher elevations. Bring layers and rain gear.
Hike Description

The trailhead is adjacent to the Lafayette Place parking lot on the northbound side of Interstate 93. During days with active or impending inclement weather, there is sometimes a park ranger at the trailhead inspecting hikers for preparedness. On one of my visits, I watched some potential hikers be turned away because they were not wearing proper footwear and didn’t bring rain gear.

The hike starts with a short walk (0.2 miles) on the Old Bridle Path Trail before you reach a fork. Going left, you continue up the Old Bridle Path trail, starting a clockwise path on the loop. The right fork will put you on the Falling Waters Trail. The Old Bridle Path option is more strenuous, taking you up a steep hike to the peak of Mount Lafayette. Falling Waters is more gradual and leads to the shortest peak, Little Haystack. I’ll describe the Falling Waters option, as I am more familiar with this route.

Falling Waters Trail

As the name suggests, Falling Waters Trail requires you to cross multiple creeks and streams and walk along a few stunning waterfalls. Be warned that the rocks are slick and creeks flow very vigorously especially after rainstorms. The trail is heavily forested with few opportunities for views of the larger mountain range. This suddenly changes upon reaching the peak of Little Haystack, when you will have a clear view of the upcoming mountains on the path.

Franconia Ridge Trail

Upon reaching Little Haystack, you’ll make a left to continue along the Franconia Ridge Trail. It’s a steady climb up a ridge first to the summit of Mount Lincoln and then to Mount Lafayette. The Mount Lafayette peak is a popular resting point for hikers coming from either direction. During peak season it’s a very busy spot.

Greenleaf Trail

Taking a left from Mount Lafayette will put you on the Greenleaf Trail. You’ll walk along a rocky path for 1.1 miles until you reach the Greenleaf Hut. Greenleaf is one of eight lodging locations operated by the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) in the White Mountains. Greenleaf has fresh water, bathrooms, bunkrooms, and hot meals. It’s a popular place from thru hikers to spend the night.

Old Bridle Path

After leaving the Greenleaf Hut, you’ll begin the final leg of the hike down the Old Bridle Path Trail. If you’re a plant lover, you’ll enjoy seeing multiple species native to Northern New England like Rhododendrons, wild sedges, and mountain cranberries. At the end of the trail, you’ll descend a rock staircase before reaching the junction with Falling Waters Trail and then continuing back to the trailhead.

What to Bring

During a hike in the White Mountains, you may experience heat, cold, rain, and strong winds all in one day. Be sure to pack multiple types of clothing to keep you safe and comfortable. Waterproof hiking boots will keep your feet dry as you walk through multiple creeks. This hike is physically demanding, and you will need plenty of snacks and water.

Hike the Whites!

I love the topographical diversity you experience when hiking in the White Mountains. It’s a beautiful place and I encourage people to come visit.

Yetunde Abass

Yetunde Abass is a active hiker, trail runner, and traveler who loves exploring her surroundings in New England. A Texas native, she currently lives in Western Massachusetts.

Would you like to contribute to Trail to Peak? You can submit your ideas using our contact page.
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Chino Hills State Park is a 14,173 acre park located on the borders of Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties. Visitors to Chino Hills State Park can explore 60 miles of trails and fire roads that pass through woodlands, sage scrub, grasslands, and wildflowers. One of the most popular hikes within Chino Hills State Park is the Bane Ridge Trail. This hike covers 4.8 miles with just under 1000ft of elevation gain.

Getting There: Directions And GPS Track
  • The trailhead for this hike can be reached via Bane Canyon Road near HWY 71. As you enter the park from Bane Canyon Road, you will pass the park kiosk to pay the $5 entry fee. From there, you will drive for 5-10 minutes before reaching a hairpin turn with a dirt road on your right.When you turn on to the dirt road you will see a loop parking area for horse staging. You can see how the trailhead begins from the staging area in the photo below.
  • Use the Google Maps link here for exact directions from your location: Chino Hills, CA 91709
  • Download GPX
  • See track on Strava

Hike Profile
  • Distance: 4.80 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 978 ft
  • Minimum Elevation: 767 ft
  • Maximum Elevation: 1171 ft
  • Time: 1-2 hours
  • Difficulty: (2/5)
  • Dog Friendly: No pets allowed in Chino Hills State Park
  • Permit Required: No
  • Parking: $5 entry fee to park in Chino Hills State Park
  • Water: No water sources
  • Weather: Very hot in the summer months, only advisable from September to May. Do not attempt this hike without plenty of water.
  • Trail Condition: This trail is mostly single track with a few steep rocky patches
  • Cell Phone Reception: Very good

Do you have the appropriate gear for this hike? Don’t hike unprepared!
See my current hiking gear list. 

Hike Map And Elevation Profile

Hike Description:

0.0 Miles – Starting from the horse staging area, head towards the fire road at the north end of the parking loop. The trail begins with a gradual uphill and you’ll see the signage for Bane Ridge Trail. There are restrooms located at the trailhead, so make sure to stop here before hitting the trail.

Bane Ridge Trail quickly leaves the fire road behind and starts out on a rolling single track. The grass can be high and thick here depending on the rainy season and time of year. Make sure to stop and look back behind you to enjoy the views on the other side of Bane Canyon.

Chino Hills State Park is also a great place to see wildflower blooms in the springtime. You won’t see the same concentration of poppies here that are on display in Lake Elsinore, but there are far fewer people here as a trade off.

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Trail to Peak by Trail To Peak Contributors - 1M ago

Hiking has always been one of my favorite outdoor activity. There’s nothing like finally being on top of the world. Literally! For a long time, I used to hike with my college buddies but we all got busy with family, and eventually, most people dropped out and then I was alone again.

Let’s be honest. You can’t always rely on your friends to show up for such things all the time. We’ve all canceled a trip or outing at least once because people couldn’t show up. That used to be my excuse for not hiking until I found out I had a squad that was always more than willing to hike with me. My kids!

Hiking with kids is a fantastic experience, and although most people think it’s taking on too much, it’s not that hard. As long as you carry essential things and even give them their mini hiking bags, you’re not adding to the stress of hiking.

Here are a few reasons why you should carry your kids along with your next hiking trip!

1. It’s a learning experience outside of school

There’s so much to learn in the great outdoors. Some hiking trails have their plants and trees labeled for help in identification. Some even go on to write a little on the plant such as its benefits and uses. It is therefore essential for you to stop once in a while for your child to get a little bit of education. Once your child sees a name they’ve encountered in school, it’s something that will stick in the memory.

There’s also a lot of wildlife to be seen out there. Some of these animals can never be spotted elsewhere apart from hiking trails and high places like mountains.

2. Kids learn to lead

Letting your kids lead during the hiking could pave the way for exceptional leadership skills in the future. Once in a while, I made my kids guide me so that they gain confidence in their ability to lead grown-ups which is a big thing to them. They’re the ones who decide what route to take when we come to a junction, and they determine how we get to where we are going.

Sometimes they turn back to look at me for approval, and there’s nothing better than giving them a nod of approval. All these skills will eventually spill over to other areas in life such as school and at home.

3. It’s a chance for the kids to relax

Believe it or not, children also have things that stress them and give them anxiety. We, adults, tend to think that we are the only ones who are genuinely stressed. A child’s stress can quickly turn into depression.

Hiking with kids is the perfect outdoor activity for anyone looking to unplug and be at one with nature and peace with themselves. Because let’s be honest, hiking is a great way to escape that stress that we bring home from work and we were looking for somewhere to channel our frustrations.

4. Hiking with your kids gives a chance for the family to bond

There’s no phone service in most places, so you’ll have to pretend like it’s the 1980s. Talk to your family. There’s something about taking a walking with someone that makes it so much easier to talk about what’s bothering you. This is the time your kids will probably open up about the kid that’s been bullying them or the teacher who is picking on them. Anything that’s on their mind.

It’s also a great way to connect with your spouse or friends because nobody is on their phone anymore and it’s just human minds now.

5. Hiking with kids presents a good opportunity to exercise

There’s no denying that the rates of teenage and childhood obesity are increasing at an alarming rate. According to publications made in 2016, about 19.6% of kids aged between 6 and 11 years are obese, and 4.3% are extremely obese and at risk of suffering from obesity-related diseases. Hiking could solve overweight issues if it’s practiced frequently with a strict diet.

Final Thoughts

Everyone should get a chance to hike, especially kids. Take them, out to see the world and be at one with nature. It doesn’t have to be a regular thing because sometimes you need to climb major mountains on your own. Never pass the chance to spend more time with them because they grow up so fast.

Tom Brown

I’m Tom Brown the founder and editor in chief at Thrifty Outdoors Man. I love taking my kids away from their screens and spending time with them outdoors. My favorite things to do outdoors are trying out new hiking trails and exploring different camping sites.

Would you like to contribute to Trail to Peak? You can submit your ideas using our contact page.
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Trail to Peak by Trail To Peak Contributors - 2M ago

While it’s well-known that the Bay Area has thousands of miles of breathtaking trails and parks, there are also quite a few fantastic hiking trails within the confines of San Francisco itself. At 49 square miles large, the city of San Francisco packs in everything from diverse neighborhoods and top-rated restaurants, to beaches and hiking trails. There are more than just ten to explore, but the below are some of the most popular and most beautiful hiking trails located within San Francisco’s city limits.

Corona Heights
Smack in the middle of the city and rising out from the concrete jungle surrounding it is Corona Heights Park. It’s only about a mile to the peak from the base, but it offers one of the best views of San Francisco. It was once a quarry in the 1800s, and the exposed rock is still visible once you reach the top. Now, in addition to offering an unobstructed view of San Francisco, Corona Heights also features the Randall Museum, a playground, tennis courts, and basketball courts, as well as a large grass field. For easy weekend plans, explore the park and hike to the peak in the morning, followed by brunch in the Castro or Duboce neighborhoods afterward.

Fort Funston
Fort Funston sits above Ocean Beach in San Francisco’s southwestern corner, and on any given day can be blazing hot or densely coated in fog. Popular during the day for dog walkers and parents with young children, this area gets extremely crowded on the weekends. There is the paved Sunset Trail which you can use to branch off to the Low Tide Trail, which will take you down to Ocean Beach and back for a total of 2.5 miles. The remnants of the World War II bunker Battery Davis, covered in graffiti, puts the ‘urban’ back into this hike.

Land’s End
Arguably one of the best hikes in San Francisco is Land’s End Trail, mostly due to its incomparable views of the ocean and the Golden Gate Bridge. Consisting of around 4 miles and also sitting above Ocean Beach, but towards the northern end of the city, Land’s End showcases some exciting history of San Francisco, including Sutro Baths, the Cliff House, Point Lobos, Mile Rock Beach, and Mike Rock Lighthouse. And if you want to turn this into a longer urban hike, you can take the Coastal Trail down to Baker Beach, the Presidio and eventually to the Golden Gate Bridge.

Mt Davidson
Welcome to the highest natural point in San Francisco, sitting at 927 feet. Another close competitor for best hikes in San Francisco, Mt Davidson’s 40 acres is most recognizable because at the peak sits a giant sculpture of a cross. If you happen to be there on a clear day, the views towards San Francisco are stunning. But even coated in fog, the trails offer a creepy-cool setting for a hike. Mt Davidson is located directly south of Twin Peaks and northeast from Fort Funston.

Twin Peaks
While there isn’t much in terms of hiking at Twin Peaks, the view is well worth the trek. There are options to drive right up to the top or trek from the base if you’re looking for a workout. The main viewing area offers a 360-degree snapshot of the city. It’s second-highest only to Mt. Davidson and part of “The Seven Hills of San Francisco.” Make sure to trek up to both peaks, and clear paths are attaching them. The northern peak (the one with the parking lot) is named Eureka, and the southern peak (the one with the better view) is called Noe.

Mt Sutro
Hidden amongst the city and even unknown to locals living just a few blocks away is Mt. Sutro. Featuring unique forest-like hiking in San Francisco, the trail here spans about 2.2 miles in a loop dotted with 200-foot-tall eucalyptus trees. This 80-acre eucalyptus forest is known to get drenched in fog to the point of feeling like you’ve escaped the city and are walking amongst the clouds. Even though these trees aren’t native to the area, they’ve been thriving in San Francisco’s climate since the forest was planted in 1886 by the mayor at the time, Adolph Sutro, in celebration of Arbor Day.

Glen Canyon Park
Sitting just south of Twin Peaks and east of Mt. Davidson is Glen Canyon Park, a 70-acre parcel of open space that was formed by Islais Creek, one of the last remaining free-flowing creeks in San Francisco. Hiking here involves a 2-mile loop throughout the park that is home to many wildlife species of birds and plants. The park is also home to tennis courts, sports fields, a community center, and a children’s camp.

Stern Grove
Another eucalyptus forest is hidden within San Francisco, just northeast of Fort Funston in the Sunset District called Stern Grove. Most known for its free concerts in the park, a tradition dating back to 1938, the park offers so much more. Taking the trail loop around the park is about 2 miles and will take you past Pine Lake, through a large grass area popular for off-leash dogs, and past the concert meadow and Trocadero Clubhouse. Overall, it’s around 33 acres, or about 15 blocks long by three blocks wide.

Bernal Heights Park
Those looking for another 360-degree view of San Francisco will find it by climbing Bernal Hill in Bernal Heights Park. Located in the Bernal Heights neighborhood just south of the Mission District, Bernal Heights Park is a designated off-leash park for dogs, so expect to see lots of them running around this 1-mile hike to the peak. The park also features playgrounds, a basketball court, picnic benches, a recreation center with a gym, and a rock labyrinth.

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When the winter rains fall heavy in California, our beautiful state flower explodes with a super bloom as we pass into spring. We’ve received well above average rainfall in 2019, which has caused a poppy super bloom unlike any in recent memory. This weekend, we made a drive down to Lake Elsinore and enjoyed one of the most beautiful landscapes I’ve ever laid eyes on.

The California Poppy is a perennial plant that is native to the western regions of the United States and Mexico. The California Poppy flowers in a brilliant shade of orange, and only fully opens during the day with sunlight. The flower of the poppy usually takes place between February and September.

We arrived in Lake Elsinore just after sunrise, but the sun was already warm, and the flowers were open. As we approached the trailhead, we were blown away by the bright orange patches canvassing the green hills to the east.

We began hiking upward into the super bloom and enjoyed an outing we won’t forget anytime soon. Here are my 15 favorite photos from the Lake Elsinore California Poppy super bloom!

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As more people become aware of the health benefits of exercise, outdoor adventure sports have gained in popularity. People seem to be waking up in droves to embrace the benefits of the outdoors, and are leaving behind their sedentary indoor lifestyles. In this post, I’m going to cover seven reasons why you should add adventuring rafting to your bucket list of outdoor activities.  First, let’s cover some of the benefits of outdoor adventure sports:

What are the benefits of adventure sports?

  • Make the most of aerobic exercise
  • Increase respiratory stamina and health
  • Better intake of vitamin D increases immunity and bone density
  • Adopt a more active and exercise-driven lifestyle
  • Push limits and try new experiences in the form of sports

There are a ton of adventure sports you can try, but few provide the rush of adventure rafting! Adventure rafting or Whitewater rafting can be a lot of fun and also challenging at the same time. For beginners who’ve never rafted before, a little extra precaution is required. Luckily, the rapids in the rivers are categorized based on the level of challenge, ranging from category 1 to 6.

Adventure rafting is a great option, whether you’re looking for a day trip or a mini vacation outdoors. Let’s look at some of the advantages and reasons why adventure rafting should definitely be next on your list of activities to try.

1. Team Building

Adventure rafting is actually a great team building exercise, especially for a group of beginners. You get to meet new people and form a team or go with your own group and learn a new skill together! Rafting does have a lot to do with coordination and teamwork and makes for an exciting exercise that builds trust, morale and also a sense of team spirit. For children as well this is a great way to imbibe a much-needed life skill, which is teamwork.

2. Reconnect With Nature

Rafting through the rapids, surrounded by the gorgeous marvels of nature, what could be better? Away from the concrete jungle, a rafting adventure could truly offer a one-of-a-kind experience for anyone who wants to reconnect with nature and rediscover the beauties of the environment. There are so many spots for adventure rafting all over the country, and each place has a different experience, view, and environment to explore. If you a thrilling adventure, you should try rafting in Colorado with Echo Canyon River Expeditions. They offer a wide rage of trips and have qualified guides who can help you get the most out of your rafting stint.

3. Family Time

Quality time with the family is priceless and so necessary. As you grow older, you realize how your family should always come first, and what better way to reinstate this than a fun family vacation? Adventure rafting makes for a great family vacation, and yes, it’s absolutely safe and protected as long as you have professionals to guide you through it.

4. Excellent Exercise

Rafting involves significant hand-eye coordination and also muscle strength, and hence it makes for a great cardio workout! Cardio is brilliant for building stamina, increasing muscle strength, training the brain for physical activity and also to increase blood circulation in the body! So many health benefits can be derived from the exercise that adventure rafting involves, and it’s also the adrenaline rush the motivates you and keeps you going throughout.

5. Fresh Air

The benefits of breathing I’m fresh, unpolluted air are numerous, and we should jump at every opportunity to get some. Rafting always occurs in areas that are surrounded by green forests and lush landscapes, and there’s no shortage of fresh air either. Breathing in unpolluted oxygen truly helps with cleansing the lungs and increasing your breathing capacity. The more you learn to indulge with nature, the more you’ll notice all aspects of your health becoming improved.

6. Camping Culture

Camping is more than just about sleeping under the stars; it also teaches you skills like pitching a tent, surviving the wild, interacting with animals (with guidance), cooking food in nature, and so much more. Apart from rafting, you can also camp in any of the nearby sites or even have it organized by your rafting outfitter. A 3-4 day trip is ideal for this because you can also use this time to enjoy bonfires, barbecues, and go wildlife watching with a guide. A complete outdoor experience indeed!

7. Great Views

Believe it or not, the view while rafting is absolutely breathtaking. Photography enthusiasts will be particularly excited about it and, of course, who doesn’t love a great view of mountains, gorges and flowing waterfalls? It’s a view that cannot be compared with anything one sees within city limits, and that’s why adventure rafting is the perfect opportunity for this.

Final Thoughts

We hope these reasons have motivated you enough to start planning your next adventure rafting trip! We guarantee that you’ll want to go on more such trips and explore more spots all over the country once you get a taste for it.

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