Well, I just got back from exploring another trail, Johnson Ranch. It was a nice, easy trail in the grasslands next to the freeway and South Higuera St. in SLO. Unfortunately I forgot my camera this time, so there are no pictures to share.
We got off the 101 South at Higuera and right there was a nice little parking lot at the start of the trail.
This trail is very people-friendly with a big bulletin marking the beginning and displaying a map of the trail and describing the history behind this Open Space path. All along the trail are little creeks and footbridges crossing them, and on any slippery or muddy parts cement blocks are laid across the path to help hikers keep their footing. Every so often signs marked the trail, warning about conditions, or pointing the right direction. Like I said, this hike is very welcoming to people.
It was a fairly short hike, there are two loops, but we only did the first big one. The path is easy for hikers, and we decided to run it. Johnson trail is awesome for cross-country running; we saw many other joggers and runners out there, with dogs and families accompanying them. There were people of all ages on the trail this morning.
The only downside to this trail is that for a portion of the time it is right next to the freeway, so any “natural escape” sounds are muffled by the loud noise of cars rushing by. However there is still plenty of wildlife, including cows (watch out for droppings!!), lizards, birds, poppies, wildflowers, and keep a look out for wild pigs- I saw lots of signs warning about them!
Tomorrow I plan to go back and try running the full two loops of the trail!