It’s summertime in cool Cambria. While our friends in North County swelter in 100-plus-degree temperatures and folks in the San Joaquin Valley wilt in the wicked heat, we bask most days in the bounty of ocean breezes.
So, it’s totally appropriate to get out of the house and into our cherished natural world. Turn off the television, shut down the texts and leave the digital communication tools behind. Slap on the sunscreen and venture out into this wonderland we are blessed to share with whales, dolphins, condors, zebras, deer, hawks, and myriad other species of wildlife.
Hiking trails are abundant along our magnificent stretch of the Central Coast. The most readily available and ideal hiking venue is the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve. The Ranch offers stunning ocean views as folks trek along a number of agreeable trails.
Some Ranch trails are flat and easy to negotiate; some have small hills and forests to traverse; and still other trails are tough climbs – but worth every step. The Bluff Trail is a favorite to many. Here is link to all the Ranch trails: http://bit.ly/2tAd31i.
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Hearty hikers only
For those in good shape who want to tax their physical stamina — and for those perhaps training for a 5K — the stairs leading up to the Cambria Pines Lodge from the Rodeo Grounds provide that challenge.
However, if you’re not in good physical condition — certainly if you’re overweight and don’t work out — you should probably stick to the flat trails at the Ranch. In fact, a sign at the bottom of the Lodge stairs warns that there are 257 stairs and you traverse them “at your own risk.”
Be forewarned: a few of the stairs are wooden; some are embedded railroad ties; some are just large stones; and there are earthen “steps” that keep trekkers on their toes. There are wonderful vistas of Cambria from several points on these steep stairs. Besides a supply of water, bring a camera.
Generally speaking, climbing stairs is for fitness buffs. It’s a cardiovascular exercise for sure, and it helps increase core muscle strength. Your hamstrings, quadriceps, abs, calves and glutes all benefit when you climb stairs.
Getting there is easy: Take Burton Drive in the East Village to Rodeo Grounds Road. The bottom stairs to the Lodge are on your immediate left as soon as you enter Rodeo Grounds Road (a gravel road).
Above all, have fun, be safe, and when you see visitors who have escaped the torrid summer temperatures in North County or the Central Valley, welcome them with a smile and a wave.