Muir Woods — Too Popular for its Own Good

Muir Woods

I'm taking this week off and again not leaving the City. So we thought it would be fun to recreate the Muir Woods portion of our April staycation. But it was not to be.

We arrived around 2:15 on Monday afternoon and parking was a good 3 mile hike in from the shoulder of the road to the park entrance. I forgot completely that Summer weekdays are a lot more crowded than Springtime weekdays. I've clearly been out of school for too long and don't have babies to remind me of what I am missing out on over Summer break.

So we did what any other intrepid city explorers would do — we popped down onto the nearest trail by where we parked, on Muir Woods Road. that's one of the cool things about the Bay Area's park system– there are always a bunch of trails heading off from any of the parks. In this case, we took the Redwood Creek Trail, to the Heather trail.

California's budget situation has been in the news a lot lately so it wasn't surprising to see that we had a trail closed for renovations that didn't seem to be happening (Miwok Trail), and that both the main trail we were on and the offshoots were overgrown to the point of being nearly obscured by the weeds. I was not prepared for that level of contact with weeds– I lacked both an allergy pill and a walking stick (for pushing past the weeds without touching them). I will be sure to have both next time. And to keep our two excellent trail guidebooks (with maps) in the trunk: Moon California Hiking (Moon Handbooks) and Golden Gate Trailblazer: Where to Hike, Walk, Bike in San Francisco & Marin

If we close down dozens of state parks and cut back on staffing and services for the rest, as has been reported to be the outcome of today's budget agreement, I do wonder what is giong to happen to our trail system. Will it become overgrown and eventually warrant millions of dollars in restorative funds? Or will local citizens take it upon themselves to keep the trails clear? It will be interesting to see what happens.

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