Monday, October 31, 2016

Mori Point, Pacifica - Old Mori Trail & Lishumsha Trail

 Trail rating: Old Mori Trail - Easy
                    Lishumsha Trail - Intermediate

Trail grade: Old Mori Trail - less than 3%
                    Lishumsha Trail - 9.5%

Trail length: Old Mori Trail -  0.5 miles
                    Lishumsha Trail - 0.28 miles

Trail width: Old Mori Trail - 10 feet
                   Lishumsha Trail - 3 to 5 feet

Trail surface: Old Mori Trail - Compacted dirt, wood boardwalk
                      Lishumsha Trail - Compacted dirt, some small rocks

Trail uses: Hiking, bicycles, and wheelchairs
Accessible restroom and parking: Yes
Cellular Service Signal Strength: Good
Pets allowed: Yes, on leash
Location: Off of Bradford Way, Pacifica
               (Across from the Loyal Order of Moose Lodge - big red building)

The Old Mori Trail is one of those surprising gems that I was fortunate to learn about and visit. Golden Gate National Recreation Area did a wonderful job adding two accessible parking spots, an accessible restroom, and grading the 0.5 mile trail for an easy wheelchair hike. As you cross the boardwalk there are ponds on each side for the California Red-Legged Frog (listed as a threatened species in 1996), and a restored habitat for the endangered San Francisco Garter Snake. The trail soon brings you to a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean, Mori Point, and the black sands of Sharp Park Beach.

The Lishumsha Trail isn't listed as a wheelchair-accessible trail due to the 9.5% grade, so it could be very challenging for some wheelchair users. I would recommend you have a rugged wheelchair and be experienced in hiking steep dirt trails. The dirt trail surface is well-conditioned and it did a good job of keeping my power chair wheels from sliding down the steep slope. The entrance to the trail is on the left side of the Old Mori Trail, before the boardwalk. Even though it's only a short 0.28 mile trail, the scenic vista views make it well worth the climb and effort.

For those feeling ambitious, after your hike you can take the trail that parallels the beach and it will take you past Pacifica Beach Park, which has picnic tables, and to the Pacifica Pier.

Since wheelchair hiking both trails little more than a month ago, I've visited Mori Point two more times, that's how much I have enjoyed going there. This being a coastal area, make sure to check the weather ahead of time. Also, make sure to bring water with you.

To see more of Mori Point please watch my video

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Coyote Creek Parkway

Trail rating – Easy to moderate
Trail length – 15.5 miles
Trail type – Linear
Trail uses – Hiking, jogging, bicycles, and wheelchairs
Elevation change – Some parts of the trail have an 8% grade
Typical grade – Paved             
Cellular Service Signal Strength – Good

Accessible Parking and Restrooms:
       Anderson Lake Visitor Center -  Malaguerra Ave, Morgan Hill
       Silver Creek Valley Rd, near Piercy Rd., San Jose
       Hellyer County Park, San Jose

Dirt parking lots with limited parking and no restrooms:
       Barnhart Ave, off of Old Monterey Rd
       Monterey Hwy and Metcalf Rd

The newly-repaved Coyote Creek Parkway is never too far from the Coyote Creek. In some places it’s just a few feet away while, at a few other areas, the parkway crosses over the creek.  One of the things I enjoy most about the 15-mile parkway was the different types of landscapes you to hike through.  At the start of the parkway you’ll hike past vast, open meadows that reach out to the mountains in the far background.  At many sections of the parkway you'll past through corridors of trees that offer comforting shade, which is very welcome during the summer months. Other sections past by businesses, and under Highway 101.

Another thing I liked seeing is how parts of the Coyote Creek Parkway passes by neighborhoods, giving easy access to the parkway for to those communities.  There are rest areas with picnic tables along the way, though most of these are within the first five miles from the start of the Coyote Creek Parkway at Anderson Lake Visitor Center. At the last couple miles, however, you arrive at Hellyer County Park, and it has several areas that offer picnic tables and shade.

Most of the parkway doesn’t have water stations, so be sure bring water with you.  I enjoyed all of the 15.5 miles and would recommend starting at either the Anderson Lake Visitor Center or Hellyer County Park first, as they both offer picnic tables, available accessible parking and restrooms.

 To see more of Coyote Creek Parkway please watch my video:

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Hellyer County Park

Trail rating - Easy
Trail length - Over 2.5 miles (includes part of the Coyote Creek Trail) within the park boundaries
Trail type - Loop and linear
Trail uses - Hiking, bicycles, strollers, and wheelchairs
Cumulative elevation change - Less than 6% at one part of the Coyote Creek Trail
Trail surface - Paved
Cellular Service Signal Strength - Good
Pets allowed - Yes

I really enjoyed visiting Hellyer County Park for it has a lot to offer for recreation.  A paved path circles Cottonwood Lake, giving you an generous view of geese ducks, and other aquatic birds. There are plenty of picnic tables and barbecue pits located throughout the park, a few spacious grassy areas, and a playground.  Shade isn't a problem as there is an amble amount of trees to
keep you cool during the summer months.  For those that enjoy a long hike, part of the Coyote Creek Trail runs along the western side of the park and it connects from the southern part of the park and up to the northern part.

One of the things that surprised me when I first visited the park was seeing the Hellyer County Park Velodrome.  I was fortunate to be there one day to watch several cyclist racing around the track.  Besides having Wednesday Night races there, they also offer beginner sessions.
Using a power wheelchair I couldn't help but picture myself racing around the track.

There are a few group picnic areas and are available by reservation. Parking areas are located in all the areas of the park and I saw plenty of accessible parking spots. The restrooms and picnic tables are also wheelchair accessible.

To see more of Hellyer County Park, please watch my video:

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Sunnyvale Baylands Park

Trail rating - Easy
Trail length – Over a mile within the park boundaries
Trail type – Loop and linear
Trail uses - Hiking, bicycles, strollers, and wheelchairs
Cumulative elevation change - Less than 2% for most of the trails
                                                       Wave Walk trail has 8% grade hills
Trail width and surface - Dirt
Cellular Service Signal Strength - Good
Pets allowed:  No

Sunnyvale Baylands Park fits just about everyone’s search for fun and relaxation. There is more than a mile in trails, and the park is also connected to the Bay Trail.  There are playgrounds, a huge grassy area for sports, flying a kite, and sometimes people will fly their model planes. At the back of the park is a seasonal marshland where you can enjoy looking for birds from a viewing platform.  The park has several areas with BBQ pits and picnic tables. Most of the dirt trails are flat, but the Wave Walk has 8% grade hills, but there is a flat dirt trail that goes along next to it.  The park has accessible restrooms and parking.  

                     To see more of Sunnyvale Baylands, please watch my video: