Long summer days are the perfect opportunity to stuff a daypack with snacks, fill up some water bottles, and explore local trails as a clan. Here are eight of our favorite family-friendly hikes in the West.
One of the most iconic trails in San Francisco is the pedestrian sidewalk along the Golden Gate Bridge. From the south end of the bridge, the out-and-back tromp is about three and a half miles. Tote a picnic lunch to enjoy from Vista Point on the north end. Even on warm days, bring layers; strong winds can get downright chilly.
Just north of Santa Cruz, Wilder Ranch State Park is a great spot to spend an afternoon. The easy, two-and-a-half-mile loop that connects Old Cove Landing Trail to Ohlone Bluff Trail visits Wilder Beach, a preserve for the snowy plover shorebird. At 1 p.m. on weekends, rangers offer guided tours of the circa 1897-ranch buildings and introduce visitors to farm animals and local history.