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Austin Explorer's Logbook


Total Log Entries: 302 (Rank: 3rd) [List Them] [Map Them]
Total Distance: 1,201.34 Miles (Rank: 4th)
Average Distance: 3.98 Miles

Average Rating: (3.05)
Average Difficulty: (2.22)
Average Solitude: (2.53)

Earliest Log Entry: 4/7/2001
Latest Log Entry: 3/12/2017

Average ratings are based on the published values and not the values entered in your own log entries.


Trail View

What the city calls the "Equestrian Trail" provides some of the best trails in the park. [Mary Moore Searight Park]

Log Entries

Great views of San Pablo Bay
Mare Island San Pablo Bay Trail - 3/12/2017  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 4.01 Miles Duration: 2 hours, 1 minute

Coppertone and I spent the day exploring Mare Island and this was our first stop.  The fencing with barbed wire at the trailhead is a bit of a turnoff, but once the trail gets beyond the off limits area all you'll be looking towards the bay anyway.

We saw 2 raptors, probably Harriers, working together to scan the fields and marshes for prey.  Someone, we're sure it wasn't the Harriers, took to sticking some dead bird parts into the chain link fence.  Probably less meaty parts of the birds the raptors didn't bother with.

There are plenty of other birds still around.  Large numbers of ducks and geese dotted the inland marshes.

I recommend tackling the trail earlier in the day if possible.  The bug count increased as we made our way back to the car.

Rougher side of Mare Island
Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve - 3/12/2017  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 2.43 Miles Duration: 1 hour, 18 minutes

Coppertone and I were spending the day exploring Mare Island.  We started off the day hiking at the nearby Mare Island San Pablo Bay Trail, drove around looking at the buildings on the old naval base and then stopped by here to get info for a future visit.

We stopped in at the welcome center adjacent to the trailhead and the folks were so helpful and encouraging that we ended up going for a hike anyway.

Unlike our first hike of the day, this one includes a bit of elevation gain, though nothing too terribly difficult.  There are ample rewards with vista views over San Pablo Bay, the Napa River and the Carquinez Straight.

The later start meant we had to deal with more bugs than were out earlier in the day, which tended to make us keep moving.  There are enough trails, views and history to ensure a return trip for us in the near future.

Flat paths and farmers fields
Santa Rosa Creek Trail - 2/26/2017  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 5.51 Miles Duration: 2 hours, 1 minute

Coppertone and I revisited the Santa Rosa Creek Trail where we last left off at Fulton Road.  Being near the edge of town the path goes through more suburbs and then vineyards and fields filled with horses and cows.

A couple of trees with some light gnarly bark caught our attention.  A passerby indicated that it was a cork oak.  We weren't aware that any grew in the area.

The path on the north side of the creek is all paved and makes for very easy navigation for folks of any ability level.  Unlike the trail closer into the city, the path here is often a very straight shot.

At Willowside Road the paved northern trail comes to an end and an unpaved gravel road continues westward.  A sign designating this segment the "Ewok Trail" sits near the road.  The Ewok Trail continues for about a half mile before petering out into what appeared to be more of a maverick trail that contiued on.  But it appeared quite a bit muddy giving recent rains so we decided to turn back.

The return route was on the unpaved trail on the south side of the creek from Willowside Road.  The course gravel surface is easy enough to walk and discourages many cyclists, so if you'd rather not deal with as many bikes this is the option for you.

One shout out to the cyclists.  Though almost all were quite polite, we have found that recumbent bicyclists seem to be universally friendly with a hearty hello as they pass.  We'll leave it as an exercise to others to determine why this might be.

A cow was determined to get as some of the lush green grass just on the other side of the fence along the trail.  She seemed to appreciate the handful of pull grass leaved provided over the fence.  Another couple got into the act as well as we were leaving.

Great walking surface during rainy season
Santa Rosa Creek Trail - 2/5/2017  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 6.62 Miles Duration: 2 hours, 16 minutes

Coppertone and I were looking for a trail here the prospect of getting our boots caked in mud was minimal.  On top of that, we'd ignored some nearby trails because they didn't seem as intriguing as others going to the tops of mountains.  Perfact time to try them out.

Our starting point at Olive Park was quite promising.  The section of the trail here is marked as the Prince Memorial Greenway and contains numerous public works of art, some of which are quite good.  As the trail continues west things take a bit of a turn for the worst with some typical city center problems one faces on trails.  Some rundown buildings, trash, the homeless.  Compared to some of the trails in bigger cities in California though the conditions here are far from dire.

We turned around at Fulton Road and doubled back to the car.  More miles await beyond our turnaround point and in a couple of different directions.  Santa Rosa has plenty of other paved trail options to keep us busy while the rains keep failing.

Klondike Challenge Graduation Hike
Jack London State Historic Park - 1/28/2017  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 2.50 Miles Duration: 1 hour, 3 minutes

Coppertone and I had both taken part in the Klondike Challenge to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Jack London's life.  A select group of folks were invited to attend a ceremony at the park where some prizes were given out and stories shared about our hiking adventures.

After getting to know everyone the group set out on a 2.5 mile loop around London Lake.  The originally planned trek to the ancient Redwood tree was shelved given the recent heavy rains which had caused creek levels to rise.