Point Lobos State Park located on Highway 1 in Carmel. This is a fantastic place to take the family. It has 7 miles of hiking on 14 intersecting trails that wonder through forests and the coastline. Most of the trails are easy to manuever and even the littlest family members can walk/run around. There are designated picnic areas in the park. The entrance fee is $10 and includes a map. For more information call 831-624-4909
Carmel River Parkway's South Bank Trail
is one of Carmel's newest trails. A 1.5 mile long ADA accessible pedestrian and bicycle path located on the south side of the Carmel River between the area near Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley and Palo Corona Regional Park. The trail features both scenic inland and river views and provides an accessible alternative route to Palo Corona Regional Park. The South Bank Trail begins at the intersection of Rancho San Carlos Road and Valley Greens Drive in Carmel Valley. www.bigsurlandtrust.org
Palo Corona Regional Park is a little more of a challenging hike and is best for seasoned hikers and older kids. The trail is accessable by permit only. Permit requests are processed on a “first come, first served” basis and should be submitted at least 2 weekdays in advance of planned hike. There are gorgeous views of the Carmel coast. To the right of the trail is a picnic bench that sits on the edge of Inspiration Point where hikers will get the bird’s eye view of Carmel and the coast nearby. You can enter the park, by permit, on the east side at the Carmel South Bank Trail or off Highway 1. For more information call 831--372-3196 or visit www.mprpd.org
Mitteldorf Preserve in the foothills of the Santa Lucia mountain range is one of Monterey County's best kept hidden treasures. It's a perfect trail for kids and families. It is a private trail and is open to Big Sur Land Trust members. For $99 per year, families can hike both Mitteldorf Preserve and Glen Deven Ranch on the Coast. To learn more about Mitteldorf and becoming a member of Big Sur Land Trust go to www.bigsurlandtrust.org or call 831-625-5523
Garland Regional Park located at 700 West Carmel Valley Road has varied hiking trails which surround the Carmel River. The park offers picnic tables and restrooms. There is no entrance fee and the park is open from 8:30am to sunset. Call 831-659-4488.
Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail stretches from Lover's Point to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and beyond. This is one of the most popular trails on the Peninsula for walking, jogging and bicycling.
Lynn "Rip Van Winkle" Open Space is located on Congress in Pacific Grove about a block down from the Pebble Beach Country Club Gate entrance. This is a very popular place for dog lovers so even the family dog can come along!
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is approximately 30 miles south from Carmel on Highway 1 in Big Sur. It offers hikes through redwood canyons as well as glorious views of the Big Sur coastline. It is fun as a day trip, but there are also camp sites available. Amentities include restrooms, hot showers, laundry facilities and a camp store. 831-667-2315
Jacks Peak County Park has much to offer the outdoor enthusiast. Almost 8.5 miles of horseback riding and hiking trails wind through cathedral-like forests and to breathtaking ridge top vistas. The Skyline Self-Guided Nature Trail traverses the summit of Jacks Peak and features fossils from the Miocene epoch. Brochures describing features along the trail are available at the entrance station. Visitors can also enjoy activities including nature study, photography or picnics.
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